Fort Garland hosts Trujillo homestead talk August 9

FORT GARLAND — On Wednesday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Mess Hall at Fort Garland Museum, archaeologist Marilyn Martorano will present “Guns, Fire and Sheep: The Archaeology and History of the Trujillo Homesteads National Historic Landmark in the San Luis Valley.”

The Teofilo/Maria Andrellita and Pedro/Sofia Trujillo homesteads are two early historic Hispano ranching sites located within and adjacent to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The homesteads were occupied from 1865-1902. Archaeological, historical, and architectural investigations at these sites have yielded important detailed information about the lifeways of some of the earliest Hispano homesteaders in the San Luis Valley. The cultural heritage of these families and their interactions with and influence from other ethnic groups, including Anglos and Native Americans, are visible through the archaeological and structural remains.

This is a story of struggle, strength, and survival during early settlement, and a period of cattle and sheep conflict and ethnic-related violence that is not often discussed in history books. Possible ties of the Trujillo families to Fort Garland will also be presented. The archaeology, architecture, and history of these sites and the stories that have been revealed are significant locally, statewide, and nationally.

Martorano has not only conducted the archaeological research for the Trujillo Homesteads National Historic Landmark but also archaeological research at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and in the San Luis Valley for several decades. Her research interests include culturally modified trees, early Hispano-period archaeology, Old Spanish Trail-related resources, and most recently a new type of prehistoric artifact class called lithophones (an ancient musical instrument made of rock). As a bonus, Martorano will discuss what has been learned about the lithophones found in the San Luis Valley from a State Historical Fund research grant. 

A film crew from C-SPAN will be filming this presentation for their C-SPAN3 network for American History which airs ‘all weekend every weekend.’

This free event is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Garland Museum. For more information contact Fort Garland Museum at 719-379-3512.

Caption: Pedro Trujillo log house Courtesy photo