Deforested Fishers Peak

Core Exhibition

Borderlands of Southern Colorado: The Santa Fe Trail

The Santa Fe Trail was an important highway for more than just people and their goods. It facilitated the exchange of ideas, religions, traditions, and understandings. For generations it crossed the often blurry and overlapping lines between powerful states- the borderlands between the United States to the northeast, and in the southwest first the Spanish Empire and later independent Mexico.

This exhibit explores the Santa Fe Trail through new eyes, tracing the long history of trade and travel in this region. Discover rarely told and frequently forgotten stories of the Borderlands of Southern Colorado, from the earliest encounters between the Spanish and indigenous peoples, to the women of southwest trade, to the founding of new families and communities, and finally the transfer of territory and the shifting of borders that can still be seen on the land today.



Photo of Amache Ochinee Prowers
Buffalo Chase over Prairie Bluffs
Photo of five separate images of women who were important figures in the borderlands history of Colorado. From left to right, the women are: Teresita Sandoval, Amache Prowers, Josefa Carson, Rebecca Lopez, and Dona Bernarda Mejia Velasquez.
historic photo of town in Southern Colorado
Photograph depicting Taos American Indians standing next to large adobe structures, photographed in Taos Pueblo in New Mexico by an unidentified photographer, circa 1900-1920. The group is mostly wearing blankets. Some stand on the ground, while others pose on the ladders leading to the adobe structures. Beehive ovens, also known as Hornos, are in the foreground.