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An escort and a trial

An escort and a trial

We continue with the story of Sheriff Billy Kern and the Montoya/Howe Sheepmen’s Cattlemen’s War. Cattleman William Howe is dead and sheepman Juan de Dios Montoya, wounded by a bullet…

Montoya/Howe Sheepmen’s-Cattlemen’s War and its aftermath

Last week we began the story of the Montoya/Howe Sheepmen’s-Cattlemen’s War. As we closed last week, William Howe, his brother Abe Howe and Old Joe Mann were sitting in William…

Sheriff Billy Kern and the Sheepmen’s-Cattlemen’s War

Sheriff Billy Kern and the Sheepmen’s-Cattlemen’s War

Six guns and buffalo rifles blazed on the West Fork of the San Juan River in August of 1892. In later years, old-timers here referred to the shootout as the…

Billy Kern’s fateful mail trip

Billy Kern’s fateful mail trip

Pagosa Springs was full of interesting characters during its “Cowboy Days.” One of those characters was Billy Kern. Kern was not a character because of his personal weirdness. He was…

Emmet Wirt: cowboy, business owner, agent, shooter

Emmet Wirt: cowboy, business owner, agent, shooter

In last week’s column, we described how three cowboys from New Mexico hurrahed an open house celebration conducted by Archuleta County Sheriff Billy Kern in Pagosa Springs. Later, after Emmet…

An overly heated housewarming party

An overly heated housewarming party

Back in the day when you’d have entered Pagosa Springs riding a horse or a horse-drawn carriage or maybe a stage coach, you’d have found the “downtown” business section planted…

Driving cattle into Pagosa Country

Driving cattle into Pagosa Country

Last week we completed the first person report of the adventure-laden journey of the first passenger cars over Wolf Creek Pass when that newly created crossing of the Continental Divide…

Teetering on the edge of Wolf Creek Pass

Teetering on the edge of Wolf Creek Pass

Once again, we continue with a narrative of the first trip over Wolf Creek Pass in July of 1916, the year it opened. Our narrator is Myrtle Hersch, a member…

Traversing Wolf Creek Pass with a liquored-up wagon train master

We continue with a first-person account of the first crossing of Wolf Creek Pass in 1916, the year it opened. The group we are talking about is in a caravan…

Traversing Wolf Creek Pass in 1916

Traversing Wolf Creek Pass in 1916

We continue with a first-person account of a challenging journey over Wolf Creek Pass when the brand new pass was barely open in July of 1916. The writer is Myrtle…