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Early Pagosans: From everywhere on the map

Photo courtesy John M. Motter Independence Day on July 4, 1900, was a big deal in Pagosa Springs as this photo of Native Americans dancing at the intersection of San Juan and Pagosa Streets attests. I’ve been told there are Navajo, Ute and Jicariila dancers in this circle.

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
Independence Day on July 4, 1900, was a big deal in Pagosa Springs as this photo of Native Americans dancing at the intersection of San Juan and Pagosa Streets attests. I’ve been told there are Navajo, Ute and Jicariila dancers in this circle.

Mary Procarioni died May 2, 1972, at the age of 97.

She had been born in the village of Locano, Italy. She married Dominic Procarioni May 7, 1900, at Florence, Colo. The couple moved to Allison in 1905. Four children preceded her in death. Those who survived her death were son John and daughters Mrs. Callisto Luchini, Mrs. Holly Tyner, and Mrs. John Degani.

Mrs. Melissa Provancher, the wife of David Provancher, was born Jan. 5, 1863, in Metcalf County, Ken. She passed away Jan. 12, 1919.

Her maiden name was Thomson. She and David married July 16, 1911. Surviving her death were the following children: Virgil Amyx, Bufford Amyx, Mrs. Maggie Mattox, Dean, Claude, Ruby and Mrs. Charles Port; sisters Mrs. R.J. Chambers, Mrs. F.E. Butler, Mrs. Maggie Ward, and half-sisters Mrs. J.L. Chambers and Mrs. Libbie Burgess.

The Provancher Ranch was located on the Blanco River a few miles upstream from where U.S. 84 crosses that stream south of Pagosa Springs. The family ranch is now owned by the U.S. Forest Service and has also been known as the Murray Ranch. For many years, the Forest Service maintained the ranch as a kind of museum representing that period of time in local history. Visitors were invited to tour the ranch. In recent years, the ranch has remained closed and the road to the ranch is closed at the campground on the Blanco River which occupies the former CCC campsite of the 1930s.

Albert A. Putnam was born in 1839 in Purvan, N.Y. He was an early Pagosa Springs settler and his home on the old Pagosa/Durango stagecoach road remains and is occupied.

Until the 1930s, that road was used when leaving Pagosa Springs in a westerly direction. Today’s Put Hill is named for Albert Putnam, but the present road carrying that name is approximately one block north of the old road, which runs east/west just south of the elementary school. Putnam also manufactured bricks at his homesite. Putnam bricks were likely used in the Phillips building, still standing downtown in Block 21 on Pagosa Street. He died in February of 1913.

Harry Ernest Putnam was born in Bourbon County, Kans., June 8, 1886. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Putnam.

He married Alice May Bishard at Fort Scott, Kans., in January of 1905. The couple came to Pagosa Springs in 1906.

Mrs. Putnam died in 1959, Harry in 1974. Their daughters were Mrs. U.H. Chambers, Mrs. Ray Murray,and Mrs. A. J. Crowley.

This story was posted on June 27, 2013.