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Home » Entries posted by John Motter, Pagosa's Past (Page 2)
Stories written by John Motter, Pagosa's Past

Man, beast received short rations in winter of 1878

Man, beast received short rations in winter of 1878

Construction of Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs began with the arrival of the first troops in October 1878. A special Pagosa winter arrived soon after the troops. The deep snow…

Brutal winter made travel, correspondence difficult

Brutal winter made travel, correspondence difficult

U.S. Army units consisting of elements of B Company of the 15th Infantry and Company D, 9th Cavalry spent the winter of 1878 at the newly constructed and still unfinished…

Winter of 1878 descended on fort with special fury

Winter of 1878 descended on fort with special fury

Troops to build and staff Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs in late 1878 were very busy, just ahead of what was to be an especially cold winter. Construction of quarters…

Troops supplied as Fort Lewis built

Troops supplied as Fort Lewis built

In last week’s column, we described the 1878 arrival of troops in Pagosa Springs. They busily set about building what was to become Fort Lewis. Fort Lewis stretched along the…

Sounds of building as the Army rolls in

Sounds of building as the Army rolls in

The sounds of hammers, saws and axes must have filled the mountain air of Pagosa Springs soon after the soldiers from the 15th Infantry marched into town on Oct. 18,…

Early writings describe Ute camps and natural beauty

Early writings describe Ute camps and natural beauty

We continue from last week, when we were quoting from memoirs left by Joseph W. Picket, a minister who described the Pagosa Hot Springs in June of 1878. “June 8…

Pagosa’s first post office opened in 1878

Pagosa’s first post office opened in 1878

One could say that Pagosa Springs started as a town on June 5, 1878, when the first post office opened for business. The first postmaster was Joseph Clarke, who had…

Peace did not come with the new reservation

Peace did not come with the new reservation

As increasing numbers of settlers and miners occupied the southwest corner of Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains, during the 1870s, tension between the newcomers and the Southern Utes also…

Game grew scarce, leading to threat of war

Game grew scarce, leading to threat of war

During the early years of settlement in Pagosa Country, the naturally occurring wild game such as deer, elk, sheep and antelope nearly disappeared. The cause is obvious, and relates to…

Tempers flared when miners crossed Indian country

We continue from last week. In 1874, E.H. Ruffner from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported, “The consequences of war with the powerful and intelligent tribe occupying the entire…