Amargo falls in a ‘dastardly’ way, Lumberton begins

Photo courtesy John M. Motter This stagecoach is resting at the Halfway House located on today’s U.S. 84 near the south entrance to Halfway Canyon, just south of the green bridge crossing the Blanco River. The Halfway House was located halfway between Amargo, N.M., and Pagosa Springs and is the source of the name of the canyon in which it sits. Weary teams could be replaced at this site and weary travelers could get a meal or even a bed for the night.

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
This stagecoach is resting at the Halfway House located on today’s U.S. 84 near the south entrance to Halfway Canyon, just south of the green bridge crossing the Blanco River. The Halfway House was located halfway between Amargo, N.M., and Pagosa Springs and is the source of the name of the canyon in which it sits. Weary teams could be replaced at this site and weary travelers could get a meal or even a bed for the night.

In the July 1893 edition of the Pagosa News, we learn how the town of Lumberton got started and the town of Amargo met its demise.

Both towns are important to Pagosa Springs history because the narrow gauge railroad connecting the San Juan Basin with the outside world ran through those towns. Consequently, passengers and freight bound for Pagosa Springs rode the train to those towns, then climbed on a stage for the bumpy, approximately 40-mile journey to Pagosa Springs.

This arrangement lasted until a branch railroad was built from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs by lumber magnate A.T. Sullenburger, a construction train having been the first to reach the town of Pagosa Springs when it arrived Oct. 13, 1900.

Here is what happened to Amargo, according to the News article.

In July of 1893, Ed. A. Vorhang’s hotel in Amargo was burned. Vorhang had recently won title to the land on which Amargo’s business houses and residences stood. His immediate response was to attempt to collect rent from the people squatting on his newly acquired property. The people responded in a variety of ways, none of which added one dollar to Vorhang’s personal stash.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

This story was posted on August 27, 2015.