‘A Bear and Two Tenderfeet’ continued

http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/oldtimer-092718scan0007-300x251.jpg Photo courtesy John M. Motter
This photo shows one of the officer’s quarters from Old Fort Lewis now located at the R.D. Hott ranch north of town on Fourmile Road. The officer’s quarters of Old Fort Lewis were originally four log buildings located on the north side of 4th Street in Pagosa Springs. I have been told that shortly after 1901, one of the buildings was disassembled, each piece marked for accuracy in reassembly, then reassembled at what is now the Hott Ranch.[/caption]

We continue with the story of “A Bear and Two Tenderfeet” written by John Toner and published in The Pagosa Springs SUN in 1926.

When we closed last week, Mr. Toner had been challenged by the chair of the meeting at which he was speaking to explain why it was necessary for Toner to tiptoe away from the scene of the action. We begin today with a reply given by Toner’s friend and fellow storyteller, John Stevens.

“Mr. Stevens arose and angrily protested. He considered the question unnecessary, out of order, and an insult to a charter member of the truth-loving brotherhood. He himself had heard the crash of timber and had gotten out of doors in time to see the bear on top of Pagosa Peak clawing at the rising moon with the obvious desire to get off the earth.

“The chair apologized to Mr. Stevens, saying that the question was only a count form and carried no reflection whatever on the reputation of Mr. Toner. In fact, the story was far more reasonable than any that had been told at former meetings. He would, therefore, move that it be enclosed in a neat timetable frame and hung up above a picture of George Washington at the next Fourth of July celebration. The motion was unanimously seconded and the meeting adjourned.”

Thusly ends our series of columns about bears with a fitting testimonial of the respect for truth espoused by our pioneering patron forefathers.

And now we return to the subject which triggered this discussion of the bare facts. We were launching a study of the historic facts leading to the establishment of an especially unique set of circumstances governing the southeastern part of Archuleta County I am referring to as the Banded Peaks region.

These circumstances have their roots in Spain before 1820, Mexico from 1820 to 1865 and territorial New Mexico.

Correction and apology

Accompanying “Pagosa’s Past” column published Sept. 13 was a photograph of Christian Stollsteimer. The credit line for the photo read “Photo courtesy of John M. Motter.” It should have read “Photo courtesy of Joseph Rivas.” My mistake, I apologize.

Mr. Rivas supplied me with the photo. It remains in my possession.