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St. Charles Mesa History

Avondale, Blende, Salt Creek, St. Charles Mesa and Vineland Chronology
Researched and Prepared by Joanne West Dodds

Note:   Key events in United States, Colorado and Pueblo history are listed to help clarify events and do not have citations because of the nature of the information.

13,000 B.C. to 1900 A.D.

Native American occupation and trails included prehistoric cultures such as the early to late Folsom and people making parallel-flaked points, Archaic, Woodland, and Panhandle.  Later tribes included Plains, Apache, Cheyenne, Ute, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa and Pawnee

(Scott, 1975).

1541-1779 

Spanish explorers whose routes passed through what is now Pueblo County included: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, 1541; Don Juan de Archuleta, 1664; Governor Diego de Vargas, 1696; Don Juan de Ulibarri, 1706; Gov. Antonio de Valverde, 1719; Col. Don Pedro de Villasur, 1720; and Gov. Juan Bautista de Anza, 1779  (Scott, 1975).

1787-1788

San Carlos de los Jupes was established as a settlement for the Comanche who had been defeated at the Battle of Cuerno Verde in 1779.  Spain provided workmen, tools, farming implements, livestock and seed.  It is believed to have been located just west of the confluence of the Arkansas and St. Charles River. The site was abandoned within the year following the death of a member of the tribe. The St. Charles River, known in Spanish as the Rio San Carlos, may have been named for the settlement. The tributary was also known as the Rio Don Carlos, presumably for Carlos Beaubien, the first American federal judge in New Mexico and grantee of the Maxwell Land Grant (Martinez, 2001; Taylor, 1966; Dodds, 1982; Pueblo County Historical Society [PCHS], 2000, Marker 50).

1803

The Louisiana Purchase acquired territory for the United States, including the St. Charles Mesa, Vineland, Avondale and other lands south of the Arkansas River.

1806 

While exploring the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase for the United States government, Zebulon Pike encountered Pawnees on Nov. 22 on the south bank of the Arkansas River near the future sites of Avondale and Vineland (Hatton-Wolf, 2006).

1815-1860    

Fur trappers and traders traveled along most streams and trails in the area.

1820s 

Numerous Native American tribes lived in the Colorado area. The Utes lived in the mountains, the Cheyenne and Arapaho resided on the plains from the Arkansas to the Platte rivers, and the Kiowa and Comanche lived south of the Arkansas River. The Pawnee hunted buffalo along the Republican River and the Sioux sometimes hunted in the outskirts of the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands.  Source:  Colorado State Archives Chronology.

1821 

The Republic of Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

1836

Texas became an independent republic and claimed a narrow strip of mountain territory that extended northward through Colorado to the 42nd parallel.

Source:  Colorado State Archives Chronology.



1842 

Fort Pueblo was established by former fur trappers and traders including Alexander Barclay, Joseph Doyle, James Beckwith, George Simpson and others.

1843

Mexico created the Gervacio Nolan land grant on Nov. 14 and the Cornelio Vigil and Ceran St. Vrain land grant on Dec. 8.  It has been speculated that Gervacio Nolan used the Don Carlos River as one of his landmarks to honor Carlos Beaubien. This later became the St. Charles River.  Source: Spanish/Mexican Land Grants. Colorado State Archives website.

1846 

A community of Mormons wintered on the river bottom of the Arkansas near the future site of Blende.  At one point the population reached 275.  They arrived on Aug. 7, 1846, and left in May, 1847 (Dodds, 1982).

1847 

The Taos Revolt on Jan. 19, led to the death of Cornelio Vigil and Governor Charles Bent.  Charles Bent’s daughters inherited his land, which led to some of the first settlements in the Arkansas Valley.

1848

Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded to the United States most of that part of Colorado not acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. The treaty included a provision which guaranteed the property rights of Mexican citizens.

Source:  Colorado State Archives Chronology.

1850 

The U.S. purchased all Texas claims of Colorado lands, establishing the present day boundaries of the state of Colorado.

Source:  Colorado State Archives Chronology.

1853 

Ceran St. Vrain sent Charles Autobees to establish a settlement on his land grant.

Born in St. Louis in 1812, Charles Autobees was described by contemporaries as a “fur trapper, frontiersman, military scout and settler.” He spoke French, Spanish, English and Native American languages. The settlement was established on Feb. 20, 1853, on the west bank of the Huerfano River two miles south of its junction with the Arkansas River.

In 1857, he brought his wife, Serafina Avila, and their younger children from Rio Colorado (Red River), New Mexico to live at the placita.  His eldest son, Mariano (born in Taos on Oct. 15, 1837) and his wife, Elena Baca were already with him. By 1860, he had 120 acres under cultivation.

The United States Census for 1870 recorded the following members of the Charles Autobees household: Charles 59, Saraphine (Serafina) 62, Mariano 28, Joe 25, Thos 21, Ellen (Elena) 20, Catharin 8, Charles 4, Andrew 10 months, Consa Autobees 24, Juan Pablo 40 and Jose Leandor 13.

After years of negotiation, Autobees received 686 acres of his original land claim. The settlement was recorded as Plat of Derivative Claim No. 1, Vigil and St. Vrain Grant in Colorado Awarded to Charles Autobees. The claim was confirmed by Congress and approved on Jun. 2, 1860, awarded by the Register and Receiver on Feb. 23, 1874, approved by the President on Mar. 2, 1877, and certified by the Colorado Surveyor Generals Office on Oct. 27, 1877.

Charles Autobees died in 1882. His family members have continued to live in Pueblo County. Autobees descendants include the Ortiviz, Tobin, Jaquez, Sierra, Finn, Olguin, Baca and other families. (Taylor, 1963; PCHS, 2000, Marker 43 and 48; Bullen, 1939; US Census, 1870; Colorado State Archives)

1854 

During a Christmas celebration, Ute Indians who had been allowed to enter Fort Pueblo, massacred most of the residents and abducted others on Dec. 25.

1858 

Gold was discovered at Cherry Creek near Denver, Colorado.  This event led to the 1859 gold rush.  Some found gold and prospered, while others took up ranching, farming and lumbering. 

Source:  Colorado State Archives Chronology.

William Kroenig of New Mexico bought some of Autobees’ land in 1858 and began raising stock. In 1859, he was the first to send vegetables, meats and corn to Denver in commercial quantities. The Rocky Mountain News reported on Dec. 21, 1859, that Kroenig had delivered fresh pork, cornmeal, corn, potatoes, onions, cabbage, and turnips to the city (Steinel and Working, 1926; Malone, n.d., “Huerfano Valley’s White House”).

1859-1864 

Doyle Settlement, also known as White House or Casa Blanca, was on the west bank of the Huerfano River. Virginian Joseph B. Doyle (1817-1864) came west as a teamster for Charles and William Bent after working as a clerk in St. Louis. In the early 1840s, he became an independent trader working in partnership with Alexander Barclay, Dick Wootton, George Simpson and William Kroenig.  With the exception of Wootton, these partners were all related to Doyle through Teresita Sandoval.  Teresita was the wife of Barclay and the mother-in-law of the other men. They built Fort Pueblo at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek in 1842. Following the massacre he lived at several sites in New Mexico.

In 1859, Doyle purchased two miles of the Huerfano River valley from Cornelio Vigil and  Ceran St. Vrain’s Mexican land grant and established his family home. By June 1860, he had 30 acres under cultivation and the next year he sent corn and corn meal to Denver.

In 1861, Doyle built a flour mill which cost $9,000.   He was a Huerfano County commissioner and served in the territorial legislature.

In 1862, Doyle designed an eastern style, two-story frame house which he painted white with green shutters. Casa Blanca (White House) soon became a landmark. One of the main trails from Pueblo to Trinidad passed through the ranch.  Newspapers called Doyle’s Ranch the main outfitting station between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains for oxen, mules, wagons, corn and general merchandise. His wife was Cruz Suazo. A teacher named Oscar Goldrick was brought to the ranch to educate Doyle’s children.  

A little north of the main house Doyle built a Mexican style casita where his mother-in-law, Teresita Sandoval (now 50 years old) lived. Doyle also built a small chapel. He died at the age of 46 on Mar. 4, 1864. The Doyle settlement is on the National Register of Historic Places.

(PCHS, 2000, Marker 51; Aschermann, 1982; National Register application).

1859-60 

The city of Pueblo was founded.

1860

Congress approved only 96,000 acres of the Vigil and St. Vrain grant in June. The decision was disputed but upheld by Congress in an act on Feb. 24, 1869.

On Apr. 25, 1860, The Rocky Mountain News reported that Kroenig had shipped over 20 wagonloads of vegetables to the Denver market. By June, Kroenig had 160 acres in cultivation, Charles Autobees had 120, J. B. Doyle had 30, E. Young had 40, and M. J. Patterson had 40.  These crops were all along the Huerfano River. In contrast, the Greenhorn area had about 100 acres under cultivation.

                                                                                                            

1861 

The Territory of Colorado was established in 1861.  Autobees Plaza was the county seat for Huerfano County and Pueblo was the county seat for Pueblo County (PCHS, 2000, Marker 48).

J. B. Doyle, I. B. Welton and Charles Autobees were elected as county commissioners for Huerfano County on Dec. 2. George Simpson was county clerk. Precinct one was located at Autobees’ ranch, precinct two was at Doyle’s ranch, precinct three was at St. Vrain’s ranch, precinct four was at Gray’s ranch, and precinct five was at Ft. Wise (Malone, n.d., “Huerfano Valley’s White House”). 

Haynes Ranch had postal service that lasted until 1863 (Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990).

1862 

On May 20, 1862, the Free Homestead Act was finally passed and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 1863.

William Craig was appointed as Power of Attorney for Ceran St. Vrain. He awarded quit claim deeds to Charles Autobees, the Bent Family heirs (Hicklin) and others.

The Huerfano post office was established on Feb. 25 with Joseph B. Doyle as postmaster (Malone, n.d., “Huerfano Valley’s White House”).

1863 

Booneville had postal service until 1891 when it was renamed Boone. Located near the junction of the Arkansas and Huerfano rivers, Boone was named for the grandson of Daniel Boone (Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990).

1864-1878

Hermosilla (Beautiful Place) was the name of William Craig’s Mexican land grant ranch along the Huerfano River. During the Civil War, Ceran St. Vrain and Craig developed a profitable working relationship. On June 16, 1860, St. Vrain conveyed to Craig a one-fourth interest in his land grant and on July 1, 1860, the land along the Huerfano was deeded to Craig.  While serving as quartermaster at Fort Union., Craig received the power of attorney for the Las Animas grant from St. Vrain on Dec. 31, 1862. In Apr. 1864, Craig left the Army and moved his family to Hermosilla. Located on the new route from Denver to Fort Union, Hermosilla had postal service from 1870 to 1872. The ranch was famous for its hospitality. Craig’s two-story home of stone and adobe burned on the evening of Oct. 25, 1878. The first story of the house survived. The predominately adobe and stone house is in the National Register of Historic Places (Butler House National Register Application; Aschermann, 1982; Hayes, 1881; Simonich, 1984).

1864 

The Sand Creek massacre occurred on Nov. 29.

Mark Blunt established his cattle ranch near the junction of the St. Charles and Arkansas rivers near present day Vineland. His Jan. 8, 1867, water rights claim was one of the oldest in the Arkansas Valley.  His Arkansas Irrigation Ditch, also known as the Arkansas Valley Ditch, ran almost 11 miles and cost $20,000.  It was the first cooperative ditch in the Arkansas Valley (Malone, n.d., “Mark L. Blunt”).

1865 

After the Civil War, Gen. Butler was U.S. Surveyor General for the Mexican land grants in this area. He traded with Spanish settlers for over a hundred thousand acres on the west and east sides of the Huerfano River (Malone, n.d., “Huerfano Valley’s White House”).

 

1867 

Seraphine Garcia settled on Arkansas River bottom lands next to Mark Blunt and near what was to become Vineland (Malone, n.d., “Mark L. Blunt”).

1867-1872

Fort Reynolds was constructed of adobe with civilian labor and first occupied July 3, 1867. It was named for Gen. John F. Reynolds, who was killed at Gettysburg in 1863. The troops were assigned to protect the residents against Native American hostilities which had increased after the Sand Creek massacre in 1864. The Fort Reynolds troops were never engaged in any skirmishes. Surrounded by 25 square miles of government land, the fort had 30 major buildings.  Fort Reynolds had postal service from 1869 to 1870. The fort was abandoned July 15, 1872, and the land sold at public auction in May 1881.

Captain John J. Lambert, post quartermaster and commissary, purchased the Colorado Chieftain in 1870.  His brother Nicholas Lambert managed it until John resigned his commission and started The Daily Pueblo Chieftain (Aschermann, 1982; PCHS, 2000, Marker 49; Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990; and Malone, n.d., “Fort Reynolds on Santa Fe Trail).

1868

The Colorado legislature reduced Huerfano County to its modern irregular boundaries and increased Pueblo County’s eastern boundary to the Kansas border (University of Colorado Studies, 1906)

1868-1869 

Andersonville post office was established in 1868 and closed in 1869. Joseph W. Anderson was the postmaster. The Anderson “way house” was a popular stopping place for many years. It was listed in Bancroft’s list of Pueblo County towns and settlements in 1888. It later became the property of Mr. Nicholson for whom a county road and nearby school were named (Aschermann, 1982; Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990).

1869-1893 

Juniata, located on the west bank of the Huerfano River, had postal service from 1869 until 1893 (Aschermann, 1982; Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990).

1870 

The Colorado legislature established the Pueblo County boundaries as they are today (University of Colorado Studies, 1906).

Ceran  St. Vrain died at his home in Mora on Oct. 28 (Broadhead, n.d.).

1870s 

Salt Creek became a recognized Pueblo community along with the Grove and the lower Eastside.

1872

The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad extended into Pueblo from Colorado Springs.

Gold was discovered at Rosita.

The Central Colorado Improvement Company completed arrangements for the purchase of the Nolan Land Grant which consisted of 48,695.48 acres on Mar. 30.  A portion of the land was offered for sale as the South Pueblo Colony. Many of the same men who owned the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad owned the Central Colorado Improvement Company (Scamehorn, 1976).

1876

On August 1st, Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state.

When Colorado became a state, its first general laws provided for elected county school superintendents. Parents could petition the county superintendent to establish a new school district with a minimum of ten school age children (ages 6-21).  Schools were the first sign of a new community (Report on School District Organization, 2002).

1877 

On May 24, William Craig created a warranty deed covering 71,000 acres in favor of Benjamin F. Butler.  This was in consideration for services in the passing of Craig’s Mexican land claim (Simonich, 1984).

1878 

In 1871, P. T. Barnum (of circus fame) and David W. Sherwood purchased two ranches, the Las Animas Altos and Corral de Torres, on the upper Huerfano River from George W. Schofield. Their ranches adjoined William Craig’s ranch. In 1878, they sold their ranches to the Colorado Cattle Company for $320,000.  By 1881, it had 30,000 head of cattle. The company did not prosper. By 1883, it was in court for foreclosure proceedings (Simonich, 1984).

 

1879  

Undercliffe (formerly Huerfano) had postal service until 1925 (Bauer, Ozement and Willard, 1990).

Stockholders ratified a plan to create the Colorado Coal and Iron Company from three companies:  the Central Colorado Improvement Company, the Southern Colorado Coal and Iron Company and the Colorado Coal and Steel Works Company.  General William Palmer was named president.  The incorporation papers were filed in 1880.  The business plan called for the new company to sell town and agricultural land, the production of coal and the manufacture of coke, and to build a plant to manufacture iron and steel products (Scamehorn, 1976).

Silver was discovered at Silver Cliff.

1880  

The Salt Creek post office was established.  It was discontinued in 1893.  Eleven years later in 1904 it was reestablished and discontinued in 1908 (Malone, n.d., “St. Charles River Basin”).

1882 

Huerfano had postal service until 1883.  After a break in service, postal service continued from 1883-84 and again from 1900-29 (Bauer, Ozment and Willard, 1990).

  

A log school, built by M. J. Patterson, was the first school in the area.  15 children attended the school (Ingo, n.d.).

1883

Jesuit priests dedicated St. Patrick’s Church in Pueblo on Dec. 2. The priests served the St. Charles Mesa residents.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self published, 2000.

The Colorado Cattle Company faced foreclosure proceeding and Benjamin F. Butler was appointed trustee by the courts.  A public auction and sale of the entire ranch was held on Aug. 3, 1886. Butler purchased the mortgaged territory for $40,000.  This included 81,003 acres.  In this public sale, Pueblo attorney Allen J. Beaumont was appointed by the courts as special master.  Later Butler formed the Union Land and Cattle Company. Over time it became known as the Butler Ranch.

Source:  Simonich, Edward J., “The Ben Butler Ranch” in Pueblo Lore, April 1984, vol. 10, no. 4.

 

1884 

Pueblo real estate developer J. Eire Greene purchased the Forest Park area of Fort Reynolds.  He also purchased a part of the Frederica Mesa and acreage from Dr. Collier along the Arkansas River. He then had the combined acreage platted into town lots. Englishman Samuel Taylor, came to Colorado in 1890, and opened a general store in Greene’s development. 

Source: Daisy Robert Malone. “St. Charles River Basin Settlement History Goes Back to Civil War Days,” in Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection. 

Salt Creek residents established Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Church in Salt Creek.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self published, 2000.

Fairview School, also known as Fairview Mission School on 30th Lane and Iris Road, was built circa 1884. The school was also the local church and Sunday School.  It burned in 1926 and a new school was built.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1885

Doyle School was organized as District No. 6. (Note: As schools opened and closed it was standard procedure to reuse school district numbers.) Doyle was probably the sixth school in Pueblo County.  As time passed, school district numbers were not good indicators for establishing when schools opened relative to other schools.

Source: Colorado State Archives. Source:  Colorado State Archives.  

1886 

After Pueblo, South Pueblo and Central Pueblo consolidated in 1886, there was a real estate boom throughout the county.  

 

1888

The Colorado Coal and Iron Company established an irrigation company to build a canal to transport water from the St. Charles Mesa to Avondale. The head gate was on the Arkansas River west of Pueblo, and the Ditch emptied into the Huerfano River near Avondale. As principal financial backer, the Colorado Coal and Iron Company received 7,400 water shares and a portion of the ditch enterprise. The company had 20,000 acres that could be cultivated. 

The ditch construction started in 1889, and was completed in 1890. By 1891, the lands of the St. Charles Mesa, Vineland and Avondale had been surveyed and engineered. The ditch followed an irregular course along the foothills. At intervals, laterals emanated from the head gates to distribute water to the farmlands that sloped northward toward the Arkansas River. Roads were laid out so each 640 acre area was bordered. Later, many intervening access roads were created. Each block was to be ½ mile long and ¼ mile wide or 80 acres.

Land was sold to individual farmers at $100 to $200 an acre. Included with each acre of land was one share of interest in the water rights at a cost of $10 a share. One share was supposed to provide enough water to irrigate one acre of land in an average year.

The land was sold in plots of five to forty acres. Since most of the buyers were workers in the steel mills and smelters and had limited funds, they wanted small tracts they could work during their off-job hours.  Investors in larger acreages bought sites in Vineland and Avondale.

In 1894, the company was reorganized as the Bessemer Irrigating Ditch Co.

Source:  Bessemer Ditch Near Pueblo, Colorado.  Washington, D. C.: Senate, 100th Congress, 2d Session, Report 100-518, H. Lee Scamehorn, H. Pioneer Steelmaker in the West: The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 1872-1903, Ralph Taylor, “Colorful Colorado: Mesa’s Root Sunk in History,” Pueblo Chieftain, March 31, 1974 and St. Charles Abstract.

Salt Creek had an estimated population of  65. Source: “Descendants of the Conquerors, Pizarro and Cortez,” Pueblo Chieftain, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1902.

Verde School was built on Verde Road overlooking a valley along the St. Charles River.  The school year only lasted five months because the boys were needed in the spring to prepare the soil and in the fall to harvest the crops. Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

 

1890 

Pleasant View School was built on 25th Lane and Highway 50 and had only two classrooms.  It was part of School District 48.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection and Colorado State Archives Website.  Pueblo County School Districts, no date.

The United States Census Records recorded the arrival and increase of Italians in Pueblo County. In 1880, there were only five Italians.  By the 1885 state census, there were 140. The Italian population steadily increased to 474 in 1890, 761 in 1900, 1,957 in 1910, 1,752 in 1920 and 1,458 in 1930. The smelters, such as the one in Blende, were their primary employers and later the steel works provided jobs, as well. 

Source: Joanne West Dodds,.  The Order of the Sons of Italy in America, Southern Colorado Lodge No 2738 Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Pueblo’s Columbus Monument and Our Italian Heritage.  Pueblo, Colorado: My Friend, The Printer, Inc., 2005.

The Vineland Methodist Evangelical Church was organized. Source: Daisy Roberts Malone. “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

1890-93  

Real estate developers platted a portion of land into small tracts, set out grapes and fruit trees for advertising purposes and named their project Vineland. Much of the development was on the mesa south and east of the Blunt (1864) and Garcia (1867) river bottom ranches. The first plat, with a grape design on the paperwork, was filed Oct. 29, 1890. The second Vineland plat was notarized on Dec. 27, 1890, and filed at the courthouse on Jan. 3, 1891. The Fruitland Subdivision was filed June 10, 1891. The Burns Addition to Fruitland was filed Apr. 14, 1893. The Vineland Gardens plat was filed Aug. 21, 1893.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone, “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County. Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form, Pueblo City-County Library District Collection and the plats courtesy of the Pueblo Abstract of Title Company of Pueblo, Colorado.

 

1891

The St. Charles Mesa plat was filed on June 3 and Aug. 10.

Source: St. Charles Mesa Abstract courtesy of the Pueblo Abstract of Title Company of Pueblo, Colorado and Pueblo County Courthouse.

In September, Rev. Alexander M. Darley purchased a former dance hall and refitted it as a hall for literary and religious purposes. It was dedicated on Oct. 4 by four Presbyterian ministers and Secretary Kling of the Y.M.C.A.  The church was not organized until May 1892 with twelve members.

Source: “Descendants of the Conquerors, Pizarro and Cortez,” Pueblo Chieftain, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1902.

The Pueblo Cemetery Association was incorporated on Jan. 22 to provide a perpetual care cemetery. Part of the America the Beautiful movement, it was originally named Riverview Cemetery.  When the Panic of 1893 forced the investors to return a portion of the land they had purchased from the Colorado Coal and Iron Company, the cemetery was renamed Roselawn Cemetery.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, Historic Guide to Roselawn Cemetery. Pueblo, Colorado: Roselawn Cemetery, 1996.

The Vineland School District No. 47 was organized on Jan. 3.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone, “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

1892 

Hillside School, District 18, was built.

The Colorado Coal and Iron Company and the Colorado Fuel Company consolidated into the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I).

Avondale had postal service on Mar, 22. Sam Taylor was the post master, He continued in this position until 1921. When he applied for the post office he called the area Avondale in honor of his birth place, Stratford-on-Avon, England.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982 and Bauer, William H., James L. Ozment and John H. Willard.  Colorado Post Offices  1859-1989. Golden:Colorado Railroad Museum, 1990.

1893

There were three Avondale plats. The first was Aug. 19, 1893, the second Avondale filing was on Apr. 18, 1894, and the third filing was on Nov. 10, 1902. There had been Avondale plats filed in the courthouse on Aug.19, 1889, and on May 29, 1890; however; the title companies cite the 1893 plat as being the first Avondale development.  This indicates that the 1889 and 1890 plats were never developed.

Source: Pueblo County Courthouse Records Department and plats courtesy of the Pueblo Abstract and Title Company of Pueblo, Colorado.

Formally known as La Hermandad de Nuestros Padre Jesus, or more commonly as the Penitentes, New Mexican laymen believed in physical punishment for their sins and performed rites of penitence.  The first published accounts of the brotherhood were published in Pueblo by Alexander Darley in a Presbyterian missionary Spanish-language newspaper, La Hermandad.  In 1893, Darley’s reports and illustrations were published in a small book titled The Passionists of the Southwest.

Source: , Joanne West Dodds.  Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982 and revised edition 2003.

1894 

Carrie C. Holly from Vineland was elected to the Colorado State legislature.  One of the first three women to be elected to the legislature, she was the only one to have a bill that she sponsored become a law.  It established the age of consent for women.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo, Norfolk Beach, Virginia: Donning Company, 1994.

1895 

The two-room Nicholson School, on Nicholson Road south of Lombard Village, was organized as District 31.

Source:  Source: Samuel F.Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection and Colorado State Archives. “Pueblo County School Districts,) no date.

1896 

School District No. 12 erected the two-room Blende School for children from the zinc smelter and Salt Creek.

Source:  Samuel F Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1898

The Pueblo County Poor Farm land was purchased by the county as a home for indigent residents of Pueblo County.  Those who were able worked on the farm.  In 1930, the farm produced milk, butterfat, corn, hay, chickens, eggs, green beans, onions, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, apples, calves, pigs, pumpkins, lettuce, radishes, melons and cauliflower.

Source: Pueblo County Courthouse Records Department and Joanne Dodds.  Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982 and revised edition 2003.

1899   

Tom and Jose Autobees, with brother-in-law Joe Ceran, built the adobe St. Joseph’s Church near the Autobees settlement. Petisio Gomez and Pablo Valdez made the adobes. It was built by men who were formally known as La Hermandad de Nuestros Padre Jesus, or more commonly as Penitentes.

1901

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was dedicated on Oct. 20. Services were conducted in Italian and Spanish.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colordo: self published, 2000.

Jesuit priests of Mt. Carmel began serving Sagrada Familia Church in Salt Creek.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colordo: self published, 2000.

The owners of the American Smelting and Refining Company formed the United States Zinc Company in 1901.  They had purchased a new zinc smelting process that had been developed in Belgium. Historically, zinc was more difficult to smelt than many other metals because of its low boiling point.  At the temperatures used for smelting other metals, zinc became a gas that escaped from a furnace with the flue gas.  The new process prevented this.  Zinc blende, known as sphalerite by geologists, was the ore used at the Blende smelter.

Approximately 500 acres were purchased along the Arkansas River in 1902. By April 1903, the new 16,000 square foot plant was almost completed. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad line to the smelter opened in 1905. A two-story brick hotel provided housing for 50+ workers.  There were cottages for the two foremen and a two-story house for the superintendent. By 1905, the plant employed 1,500 men.  Housing for employees was a problem and the company provided bus service from downtown Pueblo.

1902

Salt Creek’s population was about 250. The community was located mostly along the road to Riverview (Roselawn) Cemetery. The men were employed as laborers, smelter men, steel workers and wood haulers. Most of the children attended Edison School in Bessemer and had a teacher who spoke both Spanish and English.

Source:  “Descendants of the Conquerors, Pizarro and Cortez,” Pueblo Chieftain, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1902.

1903

The Blende Subdivision plat was filed Apr. 7. The original boundaries from north to south were Steck Avenue (now Highway 50), Liberty Lane and Independence Drive. The west to east streets were Aspen Drive, Bent Street, Carson Street, Delta Street and Frontier Street. Herman & Schloss erected housing and a large brick store. There were several hundred residents by 1908. During World War I zinc production was at its peak. The population soared from 500 to 1,200.  The company closed in 1923 after the flood of 1921 destroyed much of the plant.

Sources: Tom McAvoy, “Blende: Source of Fruit, Fun for Puebloans” The Star-Journal, Sept. 15, 1971, Eleanor Fry, Smelters of Pueblo. Pueblo, Colorado: Pueblo County Historical Society, 2000, Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection, “Zinc Smelting” in Wikipedia and geologist Robert Cryderman.

1904 

Two rooms and a belfry were added to Blende School.

Source: Ingo, Samuel F., A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1908 

District 12’s Riverview School was built at the corner of Gale Road and 29th Lane. There were two classrooms and two teachers who taught grades 1-6.  A large pot belly stove provided heat in each room. Kindergarten was discontinued in the late 1920s because of overcrowding.

Source: Samuel F, Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1909  

White Rock, a dry land farming community, had postal service until 1927.

Source: William H. Bauer, James L. Ozment and John H. Willard.  Colorado Post Offices  1859-1989. Golden: Colorado Railroad Museum, 1990.

Armond Crook, O.H.P. Baxter and Charles Beaty deeded land near Lake Idlewild Reservoir to School District 48 for a two-story brick building. The school was named Lakeside.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone,. “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

1911

The Victoria Heights subdivision in Salt Creek was platted on Mar. 3, 1911.

Source:  Plat in the Pueblo County Courthouse

The Orchard Park Townsite plat was filed on June 19. The development for fruit trees was not successful.

Source:  Plat in the Pueblo County Courthouse

A new Pleasant View School was built behind the current school.  It had four rooms and a huge belfry.  Kindergarten through tenth grade were taught in the new building. In the 1920s, it became a four-year high school.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1913 

The Avondale Bridge, County Rd. 327, was completed by the Pueblo Bridge Company.  This vehicular bridge over the Arkansas River was supposed to be a steel structure.  The design was changed to a three-span Luten arch when the steel could not be delivered prior to high water in 1913.  It was one of the few bridges in Pueblo County that withstood the major flood of 1921, and it was replaced in 2005.

Source: National Register- Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. National Register 2/4/1985, 5PE.300.

1914 

John W. Finland opened a mercantile business in Vineland.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone, “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

Park School was built as part of School District 12.  The District included Pleasant View, Park, Fairview, Blende and Riverview schools. The children had attended Pleasant View School prior to its construction.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection

1915 

Circa 1915, Fowler School was established in Pueblo County as a joint school with Otero and Crowley counties. Source:  Colorado State Archives Website. Pueblo County School Districts, no date.

 

1917

The Fulton Heights subdivision in Salt Creek was platted Apr. 17, 1910, and a second filing was made on Apr. 24, 1917.

Source:  Plat in the Pueblo County Courthouse

On Dec. 4, land was purchased in Avondale from Sam Taylor to build a Catholic church.  The Sacred Heart Church was completed Oct. 31, 1918, and blessed by Bishop Tieher on Apr.27, 1919.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone, “Religious History of Pueblo-Huerfano Counties Stared With Early Spaniards,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

1920s

Farmers grew a variety of crops including sugar beets, corn and alfalfa. Sugar beets required extensive hand labor. Immigrants from Mexico provided much of that labor.  Three sugar beet companies (National SugarCo., American Crystal and Holly Sugar Co.) loaded the beets at railroad sidings in Salt Creek and Baxter.  Because few families had telephones, farmers were notified that there were cars to be loaded by hoisting red flags on tall poles located at high points.

Source: Ralph Taylor, “Colorful Colorado: Schools, churches on the mesa,” in St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo,Colorado: self published, 2000.

1921 

A series of floods along the Arkansas River were caused by rainfall on June 2-3. Flooding occurred from Pueblo all the way to Kansas and beyond.  Where other rivers joined the Arkansas the flood damage was more intense. Pueblo’s downtown business district was flooded. The Blende smelter, the bridge at Avondale and farm land along the river were damaged.

Source: Joanne West Dodds,  Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach Virginia: Donning Company, 1982 and revised edition 2003.

School Districts 47 and 48 formed a union high school.  Two years later the Lakeside and Vineland schools were consolidated.

Source: Daisy Roberts Malone, “Mark L. Blunt One of First Settlers in Vineland District,” Early History of Pueblo County.  Collection of articles by the author some published in The Pueblo Chieftain/Star-Journal others in manuscript form.  Pueblo City-County Library District Collection.

Huerfano Bridge was designed by Robert DuBois. The Pueblo Bridge Company built it in 1920-21. It is the longest filled spandrel arch for roadway use in Colorado. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Source:  National Register of Historic Places application.

Foothills, a small agricultural community, had postal service until 1927.

Source: William H. Bauer, James L. Ozment and John H. Willard.  Colorado Post Offices  1859-1989. Golden: Colorado Railroad Museum, 1990.

1923

Salt Creek residents built Sacred Heart Church.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.

1924   

The St. Charles Bridge on County Rd. 65 was completed by the Salle Construction Company of Pueblo in 1924. The excavation for its foundation involved the use of a reinforced concrete vault system which was later patented by the contractors.  It is one of the longest span filled arches still in use in Colorado. 

Source: The bridge is part of the National Register, 2/4/1985, 5PE.301, and is an associated property with the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.

1926 

United States Route 50 or Highway 50 was created in 1926 as part of the original U. S. highway system.  It was a major east-west route stretching just over 3,000 miles from Maryland to California. By 1928, the two-lane, concrete highway was progressing east from Pueblo toward Vineland. The road led to business development in Blende, Vineland and Avondale. Farmers drove truckloads of produce to wholesalers in Pueblo, Denver and beyond. Today the route is identified as the U.S. 50 Business route. In Blende, it is also known as Santa Fe Drive.  This name leads people to believe that the Santa Fe Trail traveled through Pueblo, but it actually turned south in La Junta to Trinidad.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982 and revised edition 2003.

School District 12 split.  Park and Fairview Schools became District 5. Blende, Riverview and Pleasant View remained District. 12.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection

1927 

Pleasant View High School was built. The first class arrived on Jan. 9, 1928.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1929 

The Blende P.T.A. was organized on May 10.  Mrs. Guy Wilson was the first president.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1930s 

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided hot lunches in three District 12 schools.  Students paid five cents a day. The cooks were paid by the WPA.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1931  

A new Fairview School for grades one through eight was built on 36th Lane and Iris Road.   The school closed in 1963.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1933 

On Feb. 22, the Club Recrativo Y Protectia Mutua (Recreational and Mutual Protection Club) or Y.M.P. was formed in Salt Creek to help residents support each other in time of sickness or death. Dues were 10 cents a month.

1936 

Blende School’s 7th and 8th grades were moved to Pleasant View School. 

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

The Works Progress Administration constructed indoor restrooms for Blende School.  At the same time, water from the Blende Water Company was piped into the building.  Prior to the remodel, water from the irrigation ditch was stored in a cistern which was then hauled in pails to a tank inside the school for drinking water.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1938 

Construction of the Fulton Heights Community Center began in 1938 and was dedicated on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1941.  The Center was a joint project of the Pueblo County Commissioners, the WPA and the Pueblo Recreation Commission. The multi-purpose building was designed to host meetings, entertainment, to be used for a variety of sports, theatrical productions and concerts.  The 1,015 residents of Salt Creek helped erect the building with their own hands by making 8,000 adobe bricks. The gymnasium floor was 60x40 ft.  There was also a room for small games, offices, a stage and two dressing and shower rooms. 

 

1940s- 1950s

The Silver Moon Night Club, in Blende, was a popular night club owned by Charles DeLuca which featured nationally known entertainers such as The Ink Spots, Dick Contino and Virginia O’Brien.  It hosted many Italian wedding receptions. It was the custom to toss silver dollars on the dance floor as the bride arrived.  Children were given satin bags to gather the money for the bride.  A popular bride would have silver dollars covering the dance floor.

Source: Oral interview with Norma Kreusch by Joanne Dodds, August 2008 and Tom McAvoy, “Blende: Source of Fruit, Fun for Puebloans” The Star-Journal, Sept. 15, 1971.

1942

On Dec. 2, 1942, Rev. Charles J. Murray, assistant pastor at Mount Carmel Church, and a small group of parishioners voted to organize the Mount Carmel Credit Union. The first loans were made in January 1943. The first major goal of the credit union was to assist the squatters in Salt Creek, Smelter Hill and Pepper Sauce Bottoms to obtain title to their homes. The Salt Creek land was platted as the Fulton Heights Subdivision on Apr. 17, 1910 and a second filing was on Apr. 24, 1917. The land was owned by Colorado Supreme Court Justice William S. Jackson II.  The credit union induced him to sell the property so that it could be sold to the occupants. Included in the subdivision was the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Catholic Church. The property probably came into the family in the 1870s when William S. Jackson, the owner’s father, was vice president of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, an investor in the Colorado Coal and Iron Company and partner with William Palmer in numerous real estate transactions.

The rest of Salt Creek had been platted as the Stanton and Vroman Subdivision (Apr. 19, 1941), the Celestino Martino Subdivision (Apr. 19, 1941) and the Victoria Heights Subdivision (Mar. 3, 1911).

Construction of the Pueblo Ordnance Depot began in Feb., 1942, with the first carload of ammunition received in August. Although originally planned for storage and supply of ammunition, the facility’s mission was almost immediately expanded to receive, store and issue general supplies in support of World War II. Over the years, the mission changed to reflect the current military needs.  The depot led to an increase in Avondale’s population.

Source:  History of the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot.  Issued by the Depot, circa 1996.

1944

Bob Johnston’s father made the first payment for what was to become the Red Top Ranch from the Hatchet Cattle Company in November, 1944.  The ranch was for his son, Bob, who was serving in the Army during the Korean Conflict.  They took possession of the 41,000 acre ranch on Apr. 1, 1945. Bob arrived at the ranch in January, 1946.  It took seven years to pay for the ranch.

1946 

Verde School had 8 grades and 8 students, one in each grade.  A new school had been constructed with living quarters in the basement for the teacher.  The school closed in 1948 and the students went to Lime School.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1947 

Frank’s Meat Market opened.

Source:  Advertisement issued by the store

1948

St. Joseph School opened on Monday, Sept. 27 (same source also cites Oct. 1.) utilizing former Pueblo Army Air Base buildings. There were 175 pupils registered. Students from the first to fifth grade were accepted. The school was still under construction. Soon there were 8 large classrooms and a general auditorium in the center. The school was funded by Mount Carmel Church to serve the children of Salt Creek and Blende. Four Benedictine Sisters of St. Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota, were the teachers.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.

Rev. Charles J. Murray started the Santo Nino Clinic for maternal and child health care at St. Joseph School.  By the 1950s it was part of the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.

School District 12 purchased two buses to transport students to Pleasant View School.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1950 

In July, the 34 Pueblo County schools consolidated into one district that was called District 70.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982.

1951 

The Mesa Drive-in, featuring 993 stalls and a playground for children, opened on Friday, Aug. 17. Admission for adults was 50 cents and children under age 12 were free. Opening night featured two color-films. Grace Storm and George Montgomery starred in “Texas Rangers.” Bing Crosby was the featured voice in Disney’s “Ichabod and Mr. Toad.”  The cartoon was “The Three Little Pigs”.

Source: Michael P. Thomason, Starlight Memories: 50 Years of Entertainment at the Mesa Drive-In Theater, Pueblo, Colorado.  Pueblo, Colorado: Copies in a Flash, c. 2002.

1952 

The Blende P.T.A. (Parent Teacher’s Association) led the drive for a “flash traffic signal” in front of the school on Santa Fe Drive.

Source: Ingo, Samuel F., A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

Tony and Natalie Lombard created the Lombard Village Subdivision on July 12. It was designed to provide affordable property for farm workers and immigrants to purchase and build their own homes on.  The subdivision featured three artesian wells.  According to family legend, Tony’s father, John, had won the land in a poker game.

Source: Ramona Lombard, “Lombard Village,” Pueblo Lore, July 2012, p.20-21 and the Lombard Village plat in the Pueblo County Courthouse.

1953

St. Joseph’s Chapel was established in the auditorium of St. Joseph’s School. The 20-year old Sacred Heart Church in Fulton Heights was not large enough to accommodate the estimated 800 Catholic families in the area. The school preceded the church. 

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.

1954 

Fulton Heights School was established.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1959 

The Flores Grocery and Gift Shop, owned by Baudelio and his wife Flores, opened in Salt Creek. Their specialty was Mexican patent medicines and herbs. There were 12 grocery stores in Salt Creek.

Source:  “Flores Grocery & Gift Shop One of a Kind in Salt Creek,” The Pueblo Chieftain, May 4, 1991.

1959-60 

The first unit of North Mesa School was built and occupied.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

1960

St. Joseph Parish was formed in March with Father Murray as pastor.

Source: St. Joseph Parish Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.

The former Pleasant View School became the School District 70 Administrative Services Center and the former Riverview School became the School District 70 Administrative Building. Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

The Pueblo Youth Center opened in the former Pueblo County Poor Farm as a foster home for boys age 12 and older who lacked proper parental care.

Source: Joanne West Dodds, 50 Years of Service: El Pueblo… an Adolescent Treatment Community. 2010.

Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy dedicated seven new elementary schools on Mar. 19.  He flew to each site by helicopter. The new schools were Baxter, Beulah, North Mesa, Rye, South Mesa, and Vineland. Source: Joanne West Dodds, Pueblo, A Pictorial History.  Norfolk Beach, Virginia:  Donning Company, 1982.

1963 

The Blende School was closed and students moved to North Mesa School.

Source: Samuel F. Ingo, A Brief History of the St. Charles Mesa Schools, Unpublished manuscript in the Pueblo City-County Library Districts’ Western History Collection.

The Salt Creek Water and Sanitation District was established. Mt. Carmel Credit Union donated land and loaned the community the money to drill a well 1,500 ft. deep. By 1968, the water system was operational. Prior to that time, Salt Creek had no water system.  Residents got their water from individual wells or from a natural spring called ojito.  The spring was an informal gathering place, especially for the young people who were sent to haul the water for their mothers. 

1969 

The Pueblo Youth Center was renamed El Pueblo Boys’ Ranch and in 1996 girls were admitted to the program.

Source: Dodds, Joanne West.  50 Years of Service: El Pueblo… an Adolescent Treatment Community. 2010.

1981

The new St. Joseph Church was dedicated on Mar. 21. 

Source: St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions. In Celebration of St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, 2000. Pueblo, Colorado: self-published, 2000.