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Stories written by John Motter, Pagosa's Past

Choosing the route for Wolf Creek Pass

Choosing the route for Wolf Creek Pass

We are repeating the words of J.E. Maloney, the engineer who conducted the surveys and provided the information that led to the building of Wolf Creek Pass as a replacement…

Surveying Wolf Creek Pass

Surveys for the new road over the San Juan Mountains which was to become Wolf Creek Pass started in 1913. The first surveyor was a man from Alamosa who was…

The decision to build Wolf Creek Pass

The decision to build Wolf Creek Pass

Colorado Highway Department Engineer J.E. Maloney left the following written account of how the decision was made to build Wolf Creek Pass instead of restoring the flood-damaged Elwood Pass Road.…

Cruising into the future

Cruising into the future

By the 1910s, trucks and cars were showing up on the local scene in increasing numbers. For example, Galbreath Tie and Lumber Co. purchased a 55-horsepower diamond-T truck in August…

Did you know? Pagosa history trivia

Did you know? Pagosa history trivia

Pagosa history trivia No. 1: Did you know that Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing once owned two lots on Lewis Street in Pagosa Springs? For those who don’t remember…

Cement sidewalks and a new bank

In 1906, the Pagosa Springs town board ordered a cement sidewalk built on Pagosa Street. Prior to this order, all sidewalks downtown had been built of wood. And in May…

Pagosa lumbers into the 20th century

Pagosa lumbers into the 20th century

Two large lumber manufacturing companies were harvesting logs and exporting timber as Pagosa Country entered the 20th century. Each of these companies was among the largest, most modern, and best…

A new understanding of old-timers

A new understanding of old-timers

This week I’m weaving a little history of my personal life into my column. I’ll be 83 in March and have camped out in Pagosa Country for about 50 of…

Years of growth and progress

Years of growth and progress

The early 1900s were years of growth and progress for Pagosa Country. The Rio Grande and Pagosa Springs Railroad had laid track across Coyote Park to the vicinity of Boone…

Activists, prohibition and automobiles in Pagosa Country

Activists, prohibition and automobiles in Pagosa Country

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) formed in the late 1800s as a powerful nationwide organization dedicated to, among other things, women’s suffrage, religion and the prohibition of drinking alcoholic…

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