Walsenburg 1877: We regret to say our newspaper, The Independent, has abandoned our town and moved to La Veta. The town, however, has not died a natural death but is gratified that the recent storm ended the grasshopper threat and an abundance of grass and all kinds of small grain is expected. 1883: A camp has been established on the east side of the east one of the Spanish Peaks and they have organized a mining district there. 1890: The traveling inspector found the boilers at the Walsenburg coal banks at Walsen to be in a very bad condition. 1896: The town should take more interest in improving the cemetery which is just now a field of yellow mounds devoid of grass and trees. 1903: Dr. T.D. Baird’s house burned down Friday afternoon but quick action by the bucket brigade and water from the Colorado and Southern Railroad engines and from the town ditch, the adjoining homes were saved. 1910: A Denver and Rio Grande westbound passenger train had a bad wreck two miles north of Cucharas, caused by a broken rail. Fifteen people were injured. 1914: S.T. Thomas was hurt Friday in the Walsen mine and rushed to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company hospital in Pueblo on the afternoon train. 1920: The eastbound passenger train wrecked last night west of town, derailing five cars but only one person was injured. 1926: For Rent: two room partly modern house on Walsen Avenue. $13.00 per month. 1932: The Walsenburg municipal garden is now all planted except for a half-acre which will be put into celery. The 15-acre site on the Sefton place east of town is worked by the unemployed who will receive the vegetables. 1940: The Memorial Day parade will feature marching units of veterans, the Junior Band and various organizations, followed by mounted units with the Huerfano County High School band, rodeo riders, Indians, and
conclude with motor units. 1946: Walsenburg’s first church was in the first school building on the site of today’s F.H. Unfug Chevrolet on West Sixth Street. 1953: H.C.H.S. will graduate 49 students May 29, with Alfreda Stephens, valedictorian and Evelyn Nogare, salutatorian. 1962: Juan A. Martinez sold the building at 911 South Main for $3,000 to Juan de Dios Bustos who operates the grocery store there. 1968: A beautiful new native stone community center is under construction in Gardner. 1974: Ninety-nine seniors will graduate tomorrow, May 22, in the Walsenburg High School football stadium, weather permitting. 1980: Duane Hamilton, manager of Otero Savings in Walsenburg, was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Huerfano County Planning and Zoning Commission to replace the late Art Benine. Other members are Dick Colvin, chairman, Bob Armour, secretary, Angelo Blase, Otto Goemmer and John Kimbrel. 1986: Finally! The Colorado Senate passed on first reading Wednesday the bill designating Walsenburg as the site of the next state veterans nursing home after at least 10 years of consideration. 1992: Pick ‘n Shovel Deli and Gift Shop, 618 West Seventh, will open for the season this week.
La Veta 1881: A committee of 16 men has been organized to plan and prepare the Fourth of July celebration, picnic and program. There will be a brass band for patriotic numbers and a string band for dancing. 1890: The severe storm May 30 made it advisable to delay the Memorial Day services and decorating of soldiers’ graves until Sunday. 1896: The Christian Endeavor members will have a Social Tuesday evening in the Band Hall and for the curious commodities compounded certainly can command considerable custom. 1902: Mrs. E.E. Shafer and Mrs. Edward Willis, better known to old timers as the Todd sisters, have rented the Dr. Mathews’ property and will spend the summer here. 1908: The new fence around Railroad Park is a peach. The committee even erected a “Welcome” arch over the entrance. 1914: Another little fall of snow occurred on Tuesday night and more followed the next day; the streams are bank full with every prospect of running high for a long time to come. 1921: Members of the Grand Army of the Republic and Women’s relief Corps will have their annual services and parade to the cemetery on Memorial Day. 1927: If it doesn’t rain pretty soon we’ll be having more than a long dry spell. It’s dry enough to suit the prohibitionist and then some. 1933: If the valley were not so backward in donning its green coat, what a picture it would be with a background of those pure white mountains – probably the whitest ever seen at this season of the year. 1939: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Masinton have moved into the house they recently purchased from Vernon Ashcraft, which has been thoroughly refinished and redecorated. 1945: Word has been received that Baudy Griego, a prisoner of the Germans for many months, has been released and will soon return to the United States. 1951: The ladies of the Presbyterian Church treated 16 of the 18 members of the senior class and their sponsor, Paul Frick, to breakfast at 7:30 a.m. last Thursday. 1958: The junior senior banquet and prom were Saturday evening with Jimmee Howard and his orchestra from Pueblo supplying the music for the dance. 1964: Mr. and Mrs. Tony Masinton celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary May 17. 1970: Rotary Club had its annual Senior Class Nite [sic] program in the United Methodist Church when the nine member senior class was introduced and feted. 1976: There are now 29 paid members of the Cuchara Valley Chamber of Commerce. 1982: Graduating seniors are Joan Aguirre, David Andreatta, Floyd Archuleta, Kim Budd, Cindy Combes, Susan Denton, Bobby Hockett, Bob Kennedy, Earl Kreutzer, Troy Mayfield, Denise McMahon, Cindy Price, Randy and Ricky Shutts, Kellie Smith, Elden Swanson, Pat Turman and Jimmy Van Lue. 1988: The Friends of the Arts Guild will sponsor a concert by the 60-member Pueblo Chorale June 11 in the La Veta School Auditorium. 1994: The Art Guild will have a Summer Arts Program for young people under the leadership of Verne Story and Jane Stevenson.