ALAMOSA– The bronze plaque that hung on what was once known as “the Memorial Building” in Cole Park, now known as the Trinidad Law Enforcement Training Center, placed to commemorate Robert and Jeffery Bradshaw’s tragic death in the Rio Grande in 1953 has been replaced. The original plaque had been on the building since 1953 when the building was first built before it went missing.
The story behind the building is a sad one. On a beautiful March day in 1953 two little boys, Robert “Bobby” Bradshaw, 8 years old and Jeffery “Jeff” almost 6 years old, went to the Rio Grande river, walked onto the ice, fell through and both drowned. They were the two older boys of Dr. Robert Bradshaw and Madeline Bradshaw, well known and respected citizens of Alamosa There was a tremendous outpouring of help by the entire community in searching for the bodies. It took several days to find and recover the bodies of both boys.
The tragedy underscored the need for a recreational facility for the youth of Alamosa to divert youth activities away from the Rio Grande and prevent another such tragedy. Through the generosity of many businesses such as Husung Plumbing and Heating, Jones Construction, and many others the building was built and dedicated to these little boys who drowned and to “the youth of today and the Hope of tomorrow”.
For many years the building housed a private kindergarten, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts and many 4-H events, as well as birthday parties and many holiday events. It opened to the first kindergarten class in the fall of 1955.
Sometime in the early 2000s the plaque which had hung on the west side of the building went missing. Family members searched for it, but no one seemed to know what had happened to it. A new plaque was purchased and is now hanging on the East side of the building. The new bronze plaque located above the older dedication plaque states, “Memorial Building, Constructed in memory of Bobby and Jeff Bradshaw, March 1953.