We’ve been writing about lawlessness during the pioneering days of Pagosa Country settlement. We continue that venue today by describing the last stagecoach holdup.
Before getting into the story, I feel compelled to tell an often repeated story I heard several times while drinking coffee with some of the oldtimers I knew shortly after moving here in 1970. The chief proponent of this story was Earl Mullins, the former barber.
According to Mullins, the stagecoach running between Chama and Pagosa Springs had been held up. In the process, the robber or robbers had abandoned the stagecoach somewhere in the aspen groves on the south side of the Blanco River, maybe as far east as the Upper Blanco Basin.
Mullins didn’t claim to have seen the derelict coach himself, but said Red Sisson had seen it and told him about it. Red was the husband of school teacher Ruby Sisson, for whom the Pagosa Springs library is named. The Sissons ranched on the Upper Blanco a short distance east of the bridge crossing shortly after the road reaches the river bottom. An old country school once stood on the north side of that road near the Sisson place. Early in her career, Ruby taught at that school. The school building still survives, but has been moved to the Fred Harman Art Museum.
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