Artists Explore Climate Crisis

TWO CENTRAL COLORADO ARTISTS were among eight Colorado artists selected to participate in the Colorado Art Science Environment Fellowship, a program that connects artists with University of Colorado Boulder scientists and educators to visually explore the climate crisis in their own communities. “We could essentially choose any environmental issue that affected the way our community …

Read more

Tarryall City & Hamilton: South Park’s First Gold Rush

FOR FOUR YEARS, 1859-62, the hotspot of mining activity in South Park was at Tarryall City and Hamilton, situated a half mile apart on opposite banks of Tarryall Creek, 2 miles north of present-day Como.  In the summer of 1859, a group of miners whose luck had run out at Gregory Diggings (Central City), including …

Read more

Ulysses S. Grant in Central Colorado

Ulysses S. Grant in Leadville, Colorado, circa 1880. Courtesy of William Korn, Temple Israel Museum.

By Forrest Whitman

Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War hero and President from 1869 to 1877, is an often forgotten part of history in Central Colorado. Interest in President Grant is sure to peak now that Ron Chernow’s biography, Grant, is out. Chernow made Alexander Hamilton come to life for us and the hit Broadway musical followed. Could a musical be on the way for Grant?

Read more

Museums of Central Colorado: The San Luis Valley Museum

The Pioneer Schoolroom at the San Luis Valley Museum.

By Joyce Gunn

The San Luis Valley Museum is located in Alamosa, across the street from the fire department, at 401 Hunt Avenue. On the north side of the building is a mural depicting 96 or so images of various sites in the Valley as well as many of the people who had an impact on the Valley’s history. Stop by and we’ll be happy to give you an informational guide to the mural.

Read more

Museums of Central Colorado: The Fort Garland Museum

From the Civil War in the West exhibit at Fort Garland. Courtesy of the Fort Garland Museum.

By Anita McDaniel

Western expansion fueled the need for frontier forts. The primary purpose of these forts was to keep the peace between the settlers and the indigenous people.

Read more

Quillen’s Corner: Being Top Dog Is Overrated

Columbine and Bodie.

By Martha Quillen

Everything I ever really needed to know I could have learned from my dog. But for some reason I didn’t realize how smart he was until after he was gone. Bodie died last month (with a jolt of assistance from the vet). He’d started getting sick about three months earlier, and the vet prescribed an antibiotic.

Read more

From the Editor: About This Issue

By Mike Rosso

I’d like to start off with a bit of business.

Last month, due to negligence on the part of our new printer, many of you received only a portion of the July issue and in some cases, only the cover. The problem lay with the “stitch and trim” process, the last order of business before the magazines are shipped to us. With apparently little oversight, the printers allowed over 900 copies of the magazine to be shipped with compromised stitching, resulting in many magazines falling apart in transit.

This was disastrous for us as we spent a good portion of the past month repackaging and resending magazines – time we could have spent researching articles, selling advertising, and other day-to-day business. We’re happy with the quality of the actual printing but when the last worker neglects to do their job well, the entire works fail. We’ve been promised this will not happen again and if you are reading this, chances are they’ve corrected the problems. If you were one of the unlucky ones to have not received an intact version of the July issue, please contact us by email at or give a call at 719-530-9063 and we’ll make it right.

Read more

Museums of Central Colorado: The Past Returns to Crestone

By James P. McCalpin

Beginning this month, we will be profiling many of the museums that can be found throughout the region. Often staffed by community volunteers, these institutions play a vital role in archiving and documenting the history of the region and help to keep us connected to the past. We begin the series in the San Luis Valley, home to a number of museums, large and small.

Read more

Down on the Ground With George Sibley: Keeping America Great, One Ecosystem at a Time

By George Sibley

Over here on the west slope of Central Colorado, we continue to be concerned about the evidence indicating the probability of a changing climate, despite official assurances from above that there is no such thing, or if there is, it is nothing to be concerned about.

Read more

Curtis Imrie: “When in Doubt, Print the Legend”

By Hal Walter

The following may or may not be true. And if it ain’t then it ought to be.”

That is an opening quote from one of Curtis Imrie’s films, The Lost Frontier.

Curtis collapsed and died while preparing to show one of his donkeys at the National Western Stock Show back in January. He was 70 years old and doing what he loved. To borrow from Thoreau, one of Curtis’ favorite authors, here was a man who figuratively “sucked the marrow out of life.”

Read more

TUNING IN: Music Organizations in Central Colorado

Central Colorado is rich with musical organizations and it would take several pages to list them all, so here are few of note. Apologies to the many we left out. You are appreciated!

Arkansas Valley Music and Dance
Since 2004, this Chaffee County-based nonprofit has been promoting and organizing educational events for the joy of community dancing and live music for dance in the upper Arkansas Valley. They envision the community as healthier, happier and brighter as each person participates daily in music and dance. They began putting on events in 2004 and have been a 501(c)(3) non-profit since 2007. Their events include contra dances, country-western dances, swing and waltz classes, old-time music jams and weekend festivals. They are also an affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society, a national organization committed to “continuing the traditions, linking those who love them.”

Read more

Camels in Moffat are no Mirage

By Judith Reese

The late afternoon sun is just beginning to cast long shadows on the San Luis Valley floor. In pastureland renown for sheep and cattle, three vaguely Dr. Seussish fantastical creatures graze on the low brush of the high desert of Moffat. Camels, once thought exotic, now make their home in Colorado’s heartland.

Mudita Camel Dairy, a modest two-story combined home and milking barn, sits framed by the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east and the La Garita Wilderness to the west. Out front, a young couple loads milk into refrigerators in a pickup. They are Matt and Meghan Stalzer, and the camel dairy farm is their labor of love.

Matt moves inside, and nine-foot-tall Dora pokes her head into the barn, her 1,500-pound girth framed by the doorway with the Sangres supplying the backdrop. Inquisitive Dora just wants to be part of the welcoming. 

Read more

The Lettuce Harvest That Once Was

Central Colorado and the entire state once had a booming head lettuce growing operation from the early 1920s into the 1940s that is now all but forgotten. With good rail access via the Denver & Rio Grande to eastern markets, favorable growing conditions and plenty of ice to chill the leafy vegetable, head lettuce production was all the rage.

However, changing market conditions and the introduction of the refrigerated rail car doomed the local industry. Growing head lettuce in Colorado followed a national trend of the time where agriculture was expanding, and growers were taking chances with crops that ultimately didn’t grow well in certain locations.

Read more

Regional News Roundup

A Loquacious Bill

A bill has been introduced by Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Jim Wilson to address a controversial speed study initiated by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The bill, SB-14-146 does not mince words: “Concerning information that the Department of Transportation may consider when conducting a traffic investigation for the purpose of determining the appropriate speed limit for a portion of a state highway for which a municipality has proposed a speed limit alteration.”

Read more

Climate Change in Central Colorado

By Tyler Grimes

With any article on climate change, it’s tempting to try to grab the reader’s attention with horrifying statistics or stories of natural disasters or the severity of drought, but this is an issue where facts speak loudest:

• The global temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees Celsius over the last century. (EPA)

• 2000 to 2010 was the warmest decade on record. (EPA)

• August was the 342nd consecutive month with above average global temperatures. (

Read more


Proposed Endangered Listing for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

On Jan. 13, 2013, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed the Gunnison Sage-grouse (GUSG) for listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The GUSG is only found in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The GUSG is a unique species of bird, and in 2000 became the first new North American bird species in over 100 years as recognized by the American Ornithological Union.

Read more

Postcards from a road trip

Column by Hal Walter

Central Colorado – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

SOMETIMES getting out and around is easier said than done. Other chores call. There’s work to be done. And gasoline can be expensive. Then, at other times, it becomes imperative. You can’t get anything done at home, and fuel seems cheaper than a visit to a shrink. During a recent bout of emotional distress, I found myself driving around Central Colorado, taking stock of things.

Read more