Despite fort moving, settlement of Pagosa continues

Photo courtesy John M. Motter This is the oldest known photo of the Pagosa Hot Spring. The view is looking south across what are probably the oldest buildings in town. The little log cabin on the left may have served as the first school building, with Fil Byrnes as the first teacher.

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
This is the oldest known photo of the Pagosa Hot Spring. The view is looking south across what are probably the oldest buildings in town. The little log cabin on the left may have served as the first school building, with Fil Byrnes as the first teacher.

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 said: “General Sheridan and I have fully discussed the situation of affairs in Ute Country … There are three bodies of men bearing on the country … First, Colonel McKenzie of Fort Garland with about 650 men … second Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert, Seventh Infantry, with about the same number of men at the White River Agency … Third, a force of about 300 men, mostly under Colonel Buell at Pagosa Springs … We propose to give up Pagosa Springs, as already occupied by settlers.”

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

This story was posted on January 29, 2015.