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Stories written by John Motter, Pagosa's Past

Grappling with modernization

Grappling with modernization

Pagosa Springs grappled with modernization in 1901 by installing utilities such as a telephone system and a town water distribution system. On Nov. 9, 1901, a telephone ordinance was passed…

Pagosa’s first bank opens its doors

Pagosa’s first bank opens its doors

During the early 1900s, Pagosa Springs acquired conveniences we take for granted today. Among those amenities were a bank, a flour mill, a telephone system, electricity, municipal water and geothermal…

The Adobe: From the Buckles and Schultz Hall to Los Banos Hotel

The Adobe: From the Buckles and Schultz Hall to Los Banos Hotel

The community suffered a sadness recently when the Bear Creek Saloon and Grill burned. When I moved to Pagosa Springs ca. 1970, the building was known as the Los Banos…

An entertaining account of early settlers

An entertaining account of early settlers

An early pioneer by the name of Jay Randolph Scott leaves us an early and entertaining description of the first settlers along U.S. 160 as it follows Yellow Jacket Creek…

The road to the west and a bachelor named Perkins

The road to the west and a bachelor named Perkins

Based on the premise that Pagosa Country’s first pioneers settled along the roads existing in the 1870s and 1880s, we’ve been describing those roads and naming the settlers. So far,…

The exploits of ‘Dutch’ Henry Born

The exploits of ‘Dutch’ Henry Born

By the late 1870s or early 1880s, S.J. Berlin and Asa Pangborn had taken up land on the west fork of the San Juan River. Both were Summitville miners. Berlin…

Where did the early settlers live?

Where did the early settlers live?

We’ve been writing about the fact that the first settlers in Pagosa Country lived along the then-existing travel routes. We’ve described the most easterly of those entrances from the east,…

Entering Pagosa from the east

Entering Pagosa from the east

Before and during the first years of settlement in Pagosa Country, the most used entry route from the east was the Elwood Pass Road. This route crossed the Continental Divide…

More early routes to Pagosa Country

More early routes to Pagosa Country

Last week, we pointed out that the first settlers in Archuleta County built their homes along existing travel routes. Then we began a discussion of the first north/south routes through…

Entering Pagosa Country: the early routes

Entering Pagosa Country: the early routes

Pagosa Country’s first pioneers settled along the roads that already passed through what was to become Archuleta County. The major north-south road entered from New Mexico Territory. The points of…

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