Moffat: A Boomtown Wannabe

By Kenneth Jessen Moffat came close to becoming a town of great importance in the north-central part of the San Luis Valley. Historian Holly Rechel-Felmlee wrote about Moffat in 1980: “A cold wind blows through, swirling dust around old buildings. One can hear the swings on the playground squeaking and a loose door slamming open …

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Places – Iris: A Very Remote Ghost Town

Article, photo and map by Kenneth Jessen Iris, located in the northern part of Saguache County south of Gunnison, was one of the most remote ghost towns in the state. Until recently, the roads into the area were private, gated and posted. New home construction west of the site has opened up the area to …

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Long Time Coming

Mike Rust, pictured at the Colorado Cyclery in Salida before he moved to the San Luis Valley. Photo courtesy of the author.

The Mystery of Mike Rust Solved and A Killer Convicted

By Nathan Ward

 

The San Luis Valley locals knew who killed Mike Rust on the night of March 31, 2009, in Saguache County. They told us the killer’s name just days after we started making a film to celebrate Mike’s role as a pioneer in the sport of mountain biking, and to draw attention to the mystery of his disappearance. The locals knew who killed him, but as former Sheriff Mike Norris said “With no body, there is no crime. We just have to wait for someone to talk.” After eight years, someone finally talked.

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Center: In the Middle of the San Luis Valley

By Anthony Guerrero

There is a small town in the center of the San Luis Valley and its location has gifted it with the name Center, Colorado. It is also not uncommon to hear the Spanish pronunciation, Centro since it is populated by a very large Hispanic and immigrant population.

Center was incorporated on January 19, 1907. It has a population of 2,271 as of the 2012 census. That population generally swells by an additional 800 to 1,000 in the summer months due to migrant farmworkers. Close to 90 percent of residents are of Latino descent and a little over 10 percent are Caucasian.

Center resides primarily in Saguache County, and interestingly enough, a small portion, south of Colo. Highway 112 is located in Rio Grande County.

Photo by Mike Rosso

The town is easily identified by the large water tower displaying its name hovering over, letting every visitor know where they are.

Center is not really a tourist destination although there are great opportunities to experience regional culture. The town is mostly the home to hard-working families who help sustain the San Luis Valley’s lifeblood, the agricultural industry.

It is home to one bank, one school, a post office, a dance hall, the preferred Catholic church among other denominations, a popular Alta Convenience gas station, two parks, a few other businesses and multiple restaurants. 

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