Contact Us

History Detective: Rock like an Egyptian…sort of.

by Carolyn Newman

1625 HC Newman History Detective sandstone pillarWALSENBURG — It’s like building the pyramids, said County Commissioner Frank Piazza in 1985 about hauling blocks of sandstone.

The plan was to load stone onto county trucks, taking the already cut bits from an old railroad trestle on Lascar Road east of I-25. The Huerfano County “Egyptians” got the job done even without slaves.

Today you see that stone is built into 11 pillars along the courthouse low retaining wall, known at one time as the Loafer’s Roost. The wall surrounds the courthouse’s yard and by 1985 needed sprucing up. The pillars were topped by shatter-proof ball light globes. Then JJ Construction began trenching in order to lay an underground sprinkling system.

It was only through the generosity of Alven Fossceco that the stone donation was made; those blocks were on his land. In return the county placed a plaque on the north portion of a pillar:

“The sandstone for the wall was donated by Alven Fossceco in loving memory of his wife, Josephine Fossceco.”

The plaque is embedded in stone facing Main Street.

The really big puzzle for the courthouse is the origin of the sandstone for the building itself. When it comes to repairs, no one knows where to find matching stone. It appears differences in the color of sandstone are greater than one imagines. The wrong color makes a substitution very apparent.

Information is from Bill Hix, from the Huerfano World newspapers of April 19, July 11, July 18, and Sept. 26, 1985. The History Detective is a service of the Huerfano County Historical Society, 114 W. Sixth Street, Walsenburg, CO 81089. 719-738-2840.

1625 HC Newman History Detective sandstone plaque