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Pagosa Springs History Days are quickly approaching

Our state and community celebrates their heritage each May. Again this year, the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) for the Town of Pagosa Springs has worked to coordinate events for all to enjoy and learn more about the history of our town.

Scavenging Pagosa’s past

To start off the month, students in grades K-12 are invited to visit participating businesses to search out the answers to questions about our town. Download and print your answer sheet from or Fill in the blank with the correct answer and return your completed form by Thursday, May 19, to the front desk at Pagosa Springs Town Hall. All correctly completed forms will be entered for a drawing by grade level. The winner in each grade level will win a deck of historic Pagosa Springs playing cards.

Fred Harman Art Museum

The Harman museum features western art and artifacts from Fred Harman’s career. Harman was the creator of Red Ryder and Little Beaver comic strip and an early promoter of Pagosa Springs as a destination vacation resort. The museum opens Saturday, May 2. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Other hours are available by appointment, 731-5785. Admission is $3.

Contact the museum for information on western heritage events taking place during the summer.

San Juan Historical Society Museum

This museum has been operating in Pagosa Springs for over 30 years, sharing thousands of local artifacts and history with visitors. The museum opens for the season on May 14 at 9 a.m. There is no admission charged to tour the museum, but donations are greatly appreciated to offset the expenses of operation.

The museum will have an exhibit Pagosa Springs Heritage Quilts this summer. These are quilts that date from 1840 to 1960. They are reminiscent of the quilts that would have been brought to Pagosa Springs with the first settlers and those that would have been, and were, made as our community settled and grew. Some quilts are from the Macht, Webb and Adams families who were very early settlers to this area. There are also several friendship quilts and some wonderful crazy quilts that date from 1890 to 1900. The exhibit encompasses a very nice variety of quilts from everyday quilts to fancy.

Historic walking tour

It has become tradition for local geologist and history buff Glenn Raby to offer a historic walking tour in the downtown. This year you won’t be disappointed. Though Raby has moved away, he has agreed to come back and will lead his annual tour beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. Gather at the corner next to Goodman’s Department Store, corner of Pagosa and Fourth streets for a tour that generally lasts 1-2 hours. Bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Speaker series

Raby has also agreed to share his Pagosa History DVD presentation as the opening speaker in the speaker series. This will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

The HPB is pleased that local author and historian John M. Motter will return again this year to the speaker series. Motter will present his talk “Pagosa Country, the first 50 years” in two parts. Part one of the talk will be on Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m. and the second part will be on Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the community center.

Motter authored a book of local history, which is no longer in print. He currently writes a column for this paper that appears on a regular basis. Motter has studied local history for over 30 years. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Chimney Rock

Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday is the 2011 Chimney Rock in the Chacoan World Conference to be held here in Pagosa Springs. More information about this conference can be found at

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association potluck dinner will be on Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m. at the community center. This event is open to the public and all are invited to bring a potluck dish, eating utensils and plates, and enjoy an evening of Chimney Rock history and information. The featured speaker at this event is Mona Charles who will be speaking on the Archeology History of Fort Lewis.

Car show

The San Juan River Rod Run Car Show takes place on Lewis Street in downtown Pagosa Springs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. This annual event produced by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce brings many wonderful classic cars to our community for up-close viewing.

Annual poster contest

The HPB has conducted its annual poster contest with the assistance of junior high teacher Sally High. There were many quality entries done with the theme of “Pathways to Pagosa Springs.” The winning entry by Nick Hutcherson has been made into a poster, which will be displayed throughout the downtown historic district during the month of May.

Posters from previous years are on display at Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.

The HPB invites everyone to participate in these local events to learn more about the building of our community.

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