Members of the San Luis Valley Quilt Guild commemorated Alamosa County’s official centennial by designing this quilt. The guild had a chance to share its handiwork with the Alamosa County Commission during the board’s March 13 meeting. Pictured from left are: Jo Bowers, Janet Davis, Peg Collins, Susan Foster, Beverly Hettinger and Merlinda M. Marquez.
Courier photo by Rudy Herndon
ALAMOSA — Alamosa County is celebrating its 100th birthday this year in a variety of ways from the kick-off this month with centenarian Ralph Outcalt joining Alamosa county commissioners to a special Fourth of July party complete with themed parade and fireworks to mark this special year. The Courier will be publishing a commemorative book and appreciates folks willing to share photos of the county’s first century.
A member of the Alamosa County Centennial Planning Committee, Susan Feldman Foster, has conducted extensive research and compiled information regarding area history.
Below are “Fun Facts of People, Places, and Happenings” that she compiled for the county’s centennial:
Q. When did the “Big Fire” burn down the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad depot?
A. Christmas Day, 1910
Q. Alamosa was built starting with hand-me-down buildings brought here on railroad flatbeds from what community?
A. Garland City, six miles east of Ft. Garland.
Q. What was the name of the community which housed the Hilltop School north of Alamosa?
Q. Settlers came to the Waverly area in 1892 and again in 1937 seeking a new life. Who were these two groups of settlers?
A. The Dutch immigrants from the Netherlands; and
the Resettlers from the Dust Bowl in southeastern Colorado.
Q. Name several games often played by children in Alamosa County in the early years.
A. Run Sheep Run; Pum Pum Pullaway; Hide and Seek; Horseshoes; Wagon hooking.
Q. Who was known as the “Lettuce King” of the San Luis Valley?
A. Frank Yoshida.
Q. Mosca had two previous names. What were they?
A. “Streator” and “Patterson”.
Q. What was the name of the place that served as a stagecoach stop between Denver and Creede in Alamosa County?
A. The community of Wayside (also known as the Maddux Ranch or Splashland).
Q. What founding father of Adams State and the San Luis Valley experienced a train robbery as a child by a man hired by the famous Dalton Gang?
A. Dr. Luther E. Bean.
Q. This town was named after a Civil War hero who served under Generals Grant and Sherman.
A. The town of Hooper was named after Shadrack K. Hooper.
Q. What peak is known among the Navajo as the Sacred Mountain of the East?
A. Mount Blanca.
Q. What is the birthday of Alamosa County?
A. On March 8, 1913, Alamosa County was formed from Conejos and Costilla Counties.
Q. He was the first Anglo rancher in the area, was a friend of the local Ute Indians, and was known as a peacemaker. A bluff at the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is named after him.
A. Peter Hansen.
Q. These two ladies, of Hungarian descent, established a Women’s Clothing Store in Alamosa in 1908 and became significant community-minded philanthropists.
A. Ella and Rose Leon.
Q. These industrious people fled their mountainous homeland during the civil war of the 1980s to begin their lives anew in Alamosa County.
A. The Guatemalan Mayan families.
Q. This governor of Colorado owned a hardware store in Alamosa with his brother and ranched in the county. He successfully defeated the influence of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado in the 1920s.
A. William H. Adams.
Q. What year did a Ladies’ PEO group work to establish the Sand Dunes as a National Monument?
Q. What year was Adams State University deemed an official Olympic Training Site?
A. 1968, under the direction of Coach Joe Vigil.
Q. The Pizza Hut is the location of what two important establishments in Alamosa’s history?
A. The Alamosa Club (for gentlemen only) and the Cornum Hospital.
Q. Which religion was the Seven Gables Church in Alamosa affiliated?
Q. Who was a legendary Colorado horseman?
A. Hank Wiescamp.
Q. The “Kennedy Cuts” can be seen from almost anywhere in the San Luis Valley. Where are they?
A. They are scars along the southwestern base of Mount Blanca that resulted from an attempt by the BLM in the early 1960s to improve grazing in the area for wildlife.
Q. Who is Snippy the Horse?
A. That is left for you to decide!