Native Writes: Where the history sleeps


Watching the sky darken, I think of the way our seasons tend to affect us all.

When the day loses its shine, I try to find something to laugh about.

Listening to an older man declare that he misses Beef’s bar, I said I would acquire a keg and a few mugs, let him invite feeling friends and take a photo of their drinking there. 

So many of the old buildings are gone and I can still remember them enough to wonder why more effort isn’t made toward historic preservation.

Like the aging of a human body, I believe preservation comes from within. When something is “let go,” it lets go.

The “Motorway Building” is a perfect example. When its future is discussed, the expense of bringing it back to its early “glory” is high on the list. Having grown up within four blocks of that area, I wonder what that glory might be. The Rio Grande Motorway was a fleet of trucks that actually imperiled rail transportation of goods.

Still, the building has “good bones” and could be turned into a nice complex of shops and places to visit. It could keep people here when they finish their rides on the tourist train. Durango and Silverton have worked at this and I believe they have benefited. This town began when the railroad extended its tracks here and the rail town of Garland City was hauled in on flatcars. The last remnants of this fell when Beef’s and attached businesses were demolished. I’m not joking.

Loss of the old structures may have been unavoidable. I’m not an architect so I can’t speak to actual damage, but I truly believe they deserve displays somewhere so future generations will understand.

Adams State is nearing its 100th birthday and the changing campus has evolved; however, due props go to the groups who are contributing to the preservation of Richardson Hall. Billy Adams was just a common cowpoke who had a vision, became Governor an enabled building of the normal school. I met him when I was a small girl and he introduced me to the joy of ribbon candy and roping calves.

Having attended Adams when it was still a college, I had a “memory flash” this past Sunday when I parked next to the building with an arched roof, which was once the Student Union Building. It’s still there, cuddling with the Leon Memorial as a memory trigger.

Now take that sentiment downtown. Honor the history that remains and develop its potential as a “brand.”

An old-timer such as myself can tell you where the history sleeps.

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