The following items appeared in the Pagosa News during the early 1890s.
During September 1891, the News reported, “The property in this town belonging to Capt. M. H. Insley and Dr. Van Duyn of Leavenworth, Kansas, and Joseph Clarke of Durango, has been divided and now each one owns a certain portion of lots individually. The property comprises about forty lots on the west side on which the barracks are located. Messrs. Insley and Van Duyn have placed their lots on the market.”
Included among these lots were most of the lots fronting Pagosa Street, where most of the town’s businesses were located. Clarke could be considered the town father. In 1877, Clarke was operating a general store about a mile south of town on the west bank of the San Juan River. A bridge crossed the river there carrying travelers headed to and from New Mexico and Cumbres Pass to Animas City and a number of mining communities in the San Juan Mountains, including Silverton and Ouray. Clarke also submitted a request for the first post office in Pagosa Springs and was appointed the first postmaster.