‘Pagosa Springs, the largest, hottest and most singularly curious springs …’


Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote in January of 1849, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Read the following publication and see if you agree with the Frenchman.
John R. Curry, editor of Silverton’s newspaper, The La Plata Miner, published a letter written from Pagosa Springs in 1881. It said in part: “Pagosa Springs, the largest, hottest and most singularly curious springs of their class in the world, are no longer isolated, as they have been in times past, shut off from the great traveling thoroughfares of the country by a formidable range of mountains, a trip across which at any season of the year, by such conveyances as were available, was unpleasant and tedious to the extreme. Now these difficulties are overcome by the approach of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, which was extended over the range in question and has a station at Chama only forty-five miles distant from the Springs. J.L. Sanderson & Co. and Wall & Witter have established lines of coaches between Chama and Durango, the flourishing city of the Animas Valley … This has given initiative to hotels and building houses … persons coming here now to see these wonderful springs and to bathe in their benefit giving waters, can feel assured that comfortable lodging will be provided and something nice to eat at reasonable prices.”
Change is represented by the coming and going of the railroad. We should note that Durango, “the flourishing city of the Animas Valley,” was started in 1881 when the railroad came to town. The older community, Animas City, was bypassed in favor of Durango. The town fathers of Animas City wanted too much money, so Gen. Palmer’s railroad saved money by creating their own town. The remnants of Animas City remain at the north end of Durango.
The same is represented by the Pagosa Hot Springs, which remain at the center of Pagosa Springs as a tourist stimulus leading to the creation of hotels, restaurants, homes and other activities which encourage tourists to visit and spend time in Pagosa Springs.