12888 County Rd. 15
National Register 5/8/1998, 5RN.529
The homestead includes a remarkably intact collection of log buildings dating from the mid-1870s. Of particular significance is the two-story log house. Such houses are rare in any condition, but the Keck house is especially noteworthy for the quality of its construction and its high degree of integrity. The barn also exhibits a high degree of craftsmanship for its location and period of construction.
St. Francis of Assisi Mission Church
Del Norte vicinity
State Register 3/13/2002, 5RN.532
Believed to have been built in 1881, the building is an unusual example of an Hispanic adobe church with a cruciform plan and an apse. The church and the adjacent cemetery are important for their association with the state’s ethnic heritage, specifically the Hispanos who settled the San Luis Valley. (2001 photograph.) More information (PDF, 68 kb).
Off US Hwy. 160
National Register 2/4/1985, 5RN.401
Constructed in 1924, for private access to the Sutherland Ranch east of Del Norte, the bridge consists of a rigid-connected, six-panel timber Warren pony truss, with verticals at all panel points, and a log kingpost pony truss approach. The use of timber represents an unusual adaptation of the Warren truss. Listed under Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Off US Hwy. 160
National Register 2/4/1985, 5RN.400
The bridge was constructed in 1924 to access what was then the Wheeler Ranch east of Del Norte. Featuring a rigid-connected, three-panel timber/steel Howe pony truss, the bridge is one of the longest and oldest examples of the Howe configuration. Listed under Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
650 Columbia St.
State Register 4/13/1994, 5RN.384
The two-story red brick and stucco building is an important example of early community planning and development. Recognizing the need for a first-class hotel to insure the community’s future economic survival and growth, local leaders brought in an experienced developer from Kansas to build and operate the hotel. It is composed of three major sections: the original 1874 hotel, the 1882 Windsor Block, and the 1888 Foote Block. (ca. 1999 photograph.)
901 Acequia Dr.
State Register 6/11/2003, 5RN.823
Built in 1885, the Stick style house was one of the earliest residences constructed in the Monte Vista area. Chauncey S. Aldrich, one of the original founders of the town - which was first called Henry - had the house built for his family. As town manager and a publisher of one of the earliest newspapers, Aldrich set the temperate tone for the early settlement of the town. (2002 photograph.) More information (PDF, 64 kb).
This Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach provided basic transportation throughout the San Luis Valley of Colorado and New Mexico in the late 19th century. The stagecoach is a rare example of an Abbot-Downing mud wagon type built around 1871.
The Barlow & Sanderson Stagecoach was listed in the Colorado State Register on June 14, 1995. The Monte Vista Commercial Club, predecessor of the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, donated the stagecoach to the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado) for display at the Fort Garland Museum in 1959. However, the donation was accepted with three restrictions that do not meet current curatorial standards. While the stagecoach is an important artifact of Colorado’s history, the restrictions imposed on the donation are beyond the scope of History Colorado’s collection policy and the stagecoach was formally de-accessioned by the History Colorado Board of Directors on July 24, 2014. In July 2014, the coach was removed to the City of Monte Vista, which had requested to use it, as per conditions imposed in the donation agreement. Pending restoration activity, it will be placed inside the Transportation Museum of the West located at 916 1st Avenue in downtown Monte Vista where it will become a key part of their static displays, which are open to the public. Nomination (PDF, 1.6 MB), Amendment (PDF, 171.11 kb).
120 Jefferson St.
State Register 3/8/1995, National Register 4/14/1995, 5RN.513
The 1919 library, designed by Denver architect John J. Huddart in the Colonial Revival style, is one of 36 Colorado public libraries funded by wealthy industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. The building represents the community’s longstanding support of its public library which began in 1885 in the back of the Fassett Department Store and led to the erection of a small stone library building in 1895. (ca. 2000 photograph.)
Central School Auditorium & Gymnasium
612 1st Ave.
National Register 3/14/1996, 5RN.521
A 1938 project supported by the school district, town leaders and a WPA grant resulted in a building used for school and sports functions as well as an auditorium for public gatherings. It is the largest auditorium in the San Luis Valley that continues to serve in the same capacity for which it was built. It is a unique Monte Vista example of the work of prominent architect Charles E. Thomas incorporating Mission, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Romanesque elements. (1938 photograph.)
El Monte Hotel (Monte Villa Inn)
925 1st Ave.
National Register 6/7/1990, 5RN.430
In 1930, this small rural community constructed the $112,000 hotel, which became a center for community activities. Designed by E. Floyd Redding, the three-story building shows influences of the Mission and Pueblo Revival styles with its stuccoed exterior, tile roof, curvilinear parapet walls, wooden lintels, and decorative vigas. It represents a distinctive architectural style prevalent in hotel construction throughout the pre-World War II southwest. The intent was to build a "Fred Harvey" style hotel with all the modern conveniences, including Monte Vista’s first elevator. (2000 photograph.)
Fassett Department Store
102 Adams St.
State Register 8/11/1993, 5RN.486
The store was the first, largest, and longest surviving retail establishment in Monte Vista. Widow Lillian Loretta Silsby Taylor founded the store in a small wood frame building in 1881 and, with her new husband Charles Fassett, erected this stone replacement building in 1898. The couple supplied nearby farmers and miners with groceries, furniture, and a complete line of dry goods. The store continued under Fassett family management for ninety-nine years. (1999 photograph.)
First Methodist Episcopal Church
215 Washington St.
State Register 6/11/2003, National Register 10/11/2003, 5RN.782
The walls of the 1922 church are purple tapestry brick with a salt glaze, a firing and glazing method not used since the 1940s. No other building constructed of this unusual material has been found in the town of Monte Vista or the San Luis Valley. While the form and detailing belie its religious function, the building’s massing attests to its Akron Plan interior. The building has also been host to a wide variety of community activities over the years, playing an important role in the social history of Monte Vista. (2005 photograph.) More information (PDF, 80 kb).
Monte Vista Cemetery Chapel
4927 County Rd. 27
State Register 8/11/1999, 5RN.646
Constructed in 1912, the chapel is an unusual expression of the Craftsman Style, a style not well represented in Monte Vista or Rio Grande County. The chapel also represents the work of Denver architect George Harvey. (ca. 2000 photograph.)
Monte Vista Downtown Historic District
National Register 11/1/1991, 5RN.484
Monte Vista, Spanish for "mountain view," was incorporated in 1886. Shortly thereafter, commercial construction moved west along Main Street. The availability of locally quarried stone resulted in the presence of numerous expert contractors and stonemasons able to work the distinctive volcanic rock. The buildings within the district were constructed between 1889 and 1921 and remain as good examples of late 19th and early 20th century commercial architecture. (2005 photograph.)
Monte Vista Library (Monte Vista Historical Society)
110 Jefferson St.
National Register 6/30/1995, 5RN.514
Now the home of the local historical society, this small stone building was constructed in 1895. The Women’s Literary Club was organized on August 4, 1884 for the purpose of establishing a circulating library. Initially books were kept in the back of the Fassett General Store, with Lillian L. Fassett serving as the first librarian. On January 18, 1887, the Monte Vista Library Association was incorporated, and the women of the association undertook a variety of fundraising activities to finance construction of the Monte Vista Library. Measuring just 16 by 22 feet, the simple flat roofed building housed the town’s library until the completion of the Carnegie Public Library in 1919. (1895 photograph.)
Monte Vista Post Office & Federal Building
Washington & 2nd Ave.
National Register 1/22/1986, 5RN.21
Constructed in 1933, the building remains a dominant structure in Monte Vista and is the community’s finest example of Beaux-Arts-influenced architecture. Listed under U.S. Post Offices in Colorado Thematic Resource. (1983 photograph.)
Sargent Consolidated School District
7090 N. County Rd. 2E, Monte Vista vicinity
State Register 12/13/2000, 5RN.689
The school district is comprised of 14 buildings, seven of which were constructed between 1917 and 1921. The two largest are the 1917 elementary school and the 1921 high school, both designed by the prominent architect John J. Huddart. These brick buildings have grown in size with numerous additions. For example, a 1937 gymnasium, once a separate building, is now part of the high school. This district is unusual as it was designed to be a complete facility, a "plant that contained every branch of school work." In addition to the two schools, the complex includes several bungalows that originally served as men’s and women’s teacherages, a superintendent’s house, and a duplex for the families of the janitor and the bus mechanic. Serving a 100-square-mile area, this group of buildings reflects the spread and influence of formal education on the development of rural communities. (2005 photograph.)
State Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home
3749 Sherman Ave.
State Register 9/13/1995, 5RN.441
Founded in 1891, the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home is the oldest veterans’ home in Colorado. The self-sufficient complex offered housing, recreational and religious facilities, and medical care. The property includes a collection of buildings encompassing the 100 year evolution of the facility as well as a cemetery, the final resting place of veterans who served from the Civil War through Vietnam. (Residential units, 2005 photograph.)
Creede Branch, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
South Fork to Creede
National Register 11/27/2002, 5RN.515.1 / 5ML.273.8
The 22.8-mile long Creede Branch originated significant rail traffic from the railroad’s nearby gold and silver mining operations. Although the complete rail line dates to 1891, the conversion of the branch from narrow to standard gauge dates from 1902. The branch line survives as a virtually intact example of early 20th century railroad construction. It retains its 1902 alignment, railbed and jointed rail with ties, as well as the contemporary bridges, two depots, water tank, and related track-side setting. Listed under Railroads in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad South Fork Water Tank
Near US Hwy. 160 at South Fork
State Register 3/13/2002, National Register 10/15/2002, 5RN.352
The 1881 tank provided water for countless steam locomotives from its construction in 1881 until the end of steam locomotive operations in 1956. Tanks of identical design, materials and construction were built throughout the D&RG system in the last two decades of the 19th century. Only a handful of these structures survive on the D&RG, and this tank is the only surviving example along the 66-mile Creede Branch. Listed under Railroads in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. (2001 photograph.)
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Engine No. 40
Creede Branch, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
State Register 8/14/2002, 5RN.781
This 1942 railroad locomotive is the oldest surviving diesel-electric locomotive to have operated on the D&RGW system. Designed and built by the General Electric Company for rail yard switching operations, No. 40 served successfully on the D&RGW from 1942 until its retirement in 1954. The locomotive was then sold to the Great Western Sugar Company where it continued to operate well into the 1990s. (2002 photograph.)
29431 West US Hwy. 160
National Register, 10/21/2008, 5RN.1043
The 1927 Spruce Lodge conveys the important role played by the Galbreath Tie and Timber Company in the existence and longevity of the South Fork community. The Galbreath Hotel formed an important part of the commercial complex built by brothers Charles and O.S. Galbreath that served as the early basis of the South Fork economy. Counted among Colorado’s original lumber barons, the Galbreaths utilized the hotel to conduct business, and once deals were made, they utilized the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad to ship their lumber throughout the San Luis Valley and the western United States. In addition to the operation of the Rustic-style hotel, the Galbreaths shipped produce and owned a general merchandise store. The town owes much of its early prosperity to the brothers and their business enterprises. (2008 photograph.) More information (PDF, 472 kb).