Most of the businesses in Pagosa Springs during the booming year of 1901 were located in what is now known as the “Old Town” down by the river. Mostly built of lumber, the buildings were scattered along San Juan, Pagosa and Lewis streets. A bridge across the San Juan River connected San Juan Street on both sides of the river. Several fires destroyed most of these buildings.
The oldest part of the town was along San Juan Street on the east side plus the north-south stretch between the hot springs and Mill Creek. There were no paved streets at that time. Gas street lamps were scattered along Pagosa, San Juan and Lewis streets. The town did not have a telephone distribution system. A line installed by Welch Nossaman through Edith to Lumberton connected Pagosa Springs to the outside world by way of the line paralleling the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad which connected the San Juan Basin with the outside world via Cumbres Pass.
The town had no water distribution or sewage collection systems. Every home had a privy or septic vault or both. Water could be purchased from a vendor with a horse-drawn, cart mounted water barrel filled directly from the San Juan River. Some homes had private wells, while other people drew their own water from the river.
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