Ownership of the Pagosa Hot Spring passed from the U.S. government to private owners in 1883.
In that year, Henry Foote, an investor living in Del Norte, was awarded title to the 40 acres of land surrounding the great Pagosa Hot Spring. The title was issued by the United States, which had retained ownership of the Hot Springs, even as the land surrounding the hot springs was surveyed and set aside for the construction and operation of Fort Lewis. Another 40-acre plot immediately south of Foote’s 40 acres was sold by the government to J.L. Byers, John Conover and A.C. Van Duyn. Later that same year, the latter three bought out Foote and incorporated the Pagosa Springs Company.
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