by Carolyn Newman
HUERFANO- With the outstanding history in Huerfano County and the need to promote tourism, two groups and five counties are banding together to promote heritage tourism in Southern Colorado.
On Tuesday, March 3, an assessment of the Huerfano heritage tourism possibilities will be conducted by Judy Walden, president of the Walden Mills Group, an expert in the field.
That evening at 5 p.m. she will hold a county community meeting at the Huerfano County Community Center, 928 Russell in Walsenburg, to give her findings. County officials and town and city officials as well as those in the tourism businesses and all others are welcome to attend. A free sandwich supper will be provided.
Ms. Walsen will be looking at the common coal mining heritage throughout three other counties that week – Las Animas, Custer, Fremont – and then at Pueblo County for the steel mill part of the coal story.
The very dramatic stories of immigrants from 32 countries arriving in Huerfano County to work in the mines, the dozens of mines which operated here at one time or another, the violent strikes including the 1913-14 strike when 75 died in this area including at the Ludlow Massacre – all contribute to the coal history.
After the study is completed, plans can be made among the five counties to promote the region and to become a heritage tourism area.
Ms. Walden′s expenses are paid partly by a grant and partly, in Huerfano County, by the Tourism Board. The Huerfano County Historical Society is involved in the historical study.
Contacts are Debra Malone, chair of the Huerfano County Tourism Board, and Carolyn Newman, president of the Huerfano County Historical Society.