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Stories written by John Motter, Pagosa's Past

More robberies by the Allison gang

More robberies by the Allison gang

“Another Stage Robbery.” So the Silverton newspaper reported in May of 1881. According to the story which followed the headline, the Allison gang held up the eastbound stage 4 miles…

Wild West gangs, just like the movies

Wild West gangs, just like the movies

We’ve been writing about the Wild West days of Pagosa’s history, circa 1881. Everything you ever saw in western movies was really happening in Pagosa Country, including shootouts in bars,…

Lawlessness seeps into Pagosa Country

Lawlessness seeps into Pagosa Country

By January of 1881, two stage coach lines were running daily between the end of the Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad and Durango. The railroad was building westward…

An 1880s view of Chama

An 1880s view of Chama

We have been repeating an 1880 first-person description of a wagon ride from Animas City through Pagosa Springs and on to Chama. With today’s column, we conclude the description with…

The wagon trip continues, passes through Pagosa

The wagon trip continues, passes through Pagosa

We’ve been quoting a November 1880 description of a wagon trip from Animas City to the railhead at Chama. We stopped last week with the traveler spending the night at…

A wagon ride from Silverton to the railroad

A wagon ride from Silverton to the railroad

In November 1880, the La Plata Miner editor gave readers an account of the southern route between Silverton and the end of the approaching narrow gauge railroad, then nearing the…

Despite fort moving, settlement of Pagosa continues

Despite fort moving, settlement of Pagosa continues

Orders were issued by the Army in 1880 to move newly built Fort Lewis from Pagosa Springs to Hesperus on the La Plata River. In a May press release, Sherman…

1880 begins in Pagosa, hot springs not a mineral

1880 begins in Pagosa, hot springs not a mineral

We’ve been writing about the first winter for Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs in 1879. In those days, Fort Lewis was a log fort located on the main business block…

An account of Pagosa’s Fort Lewis

An account of Pagosa’s Fort Lewis

For some weeks, we have been describing Indian unrest and the U.S. Army response to the unrest by building Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs. Construction of Fort Lewis in Pagosa…

Bad news for Pagosa Springs

Bad news for Pagosa Springs

When Lt. Col. R.E.A. Crofton passed through Pagosa Springs in August of 1880 with a battalion of infantry bound for the new location of Fort Lewis on the La Plata…