ALAMOSA— Members of the board of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage area, the City of Alamosa and Alamosa County all came together at the Colorado Welcome Center in Alamosa on Saturday to recognize the initial founding of Alamosa. The day was complete with period costumes, a reenactment and a short history lesson about how the city of Alamosa came into existence.
Alamosa Day, a new local holiday, to be celebrated by city declaration on the last weekend in June was remembered on Saturday with a small reenactment. As told in ‘Alamosa’ by Leiland Fritz,
“It was platted, and then a trainload of ready-made buildings were hauled in and put on the lots.”
Members of the board of directors for the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SDCNHA)such as Vice President Herman Martinez, Alamosa County Commissioner Lori Laske, Jeff Owsley and Barbara Kruse ate breakfast in Fort Garland before transporting models of the Perry House and Gem Saloon to Alamosa for a short presentation. According to accounts of the original building transport, the buildings moved housed breakfast in the morning in Fort Garland and dinner that evening in Alamosa spurring the reenactment's own Fort Garland breakfast on Saturday morning.
Erin Minks, SDCNHA volunteer, spoke to the attendees touching on a range of topics like why Alamosa was chosen to settle,
“This town site was selected by former territorial Governor Alexander Cameron Hunt because it’s equidistant from both mountain ranges and in the center of the most arable land to be found in Colorado.”
Minks also spoke in character on what a fledgling Alamosa looked like,
“It will take years for Alamosa to become a civilized town. Two years from now, in 1880, the town will have over 800 residents but will still be a rowdy, wide-open place, it’s streets filled with an assortment of railroad construction huskies, miners, sheepherders, cowpunchers and gamblers.”
Following the presentation, attendees were encouraged to pay a visit to the historic Engine 169 at Cole Park in Alamosa. For more information on the founding of Alamosa there are plenty of resources available at the San Luis Valley History Museum in Alamosa and the Nielsen Library at Adams State.