Tuesday, May 28

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Crestone Area History

Land of Blue Water: A History of Saguache

By Mary Lowers. Saguache, the unique name few who are not from this area can pronounce means ‚Äúblue water‚ÄĚ in the Ute language. The blue water in question was a particularly beautiful fresh water spring about twenty miles west of the current Saguache town site. The spring waters rose from a basin of blue hued earth. In her history of the valley, Virginia McConnell Simmons writes ‚ÄúTraders and Indians are known to have camped together harmoniously several times at the spring off Saguache Creek. This location was one of the most popular and beautiful Ute Camps.‚ÄĚ In the Ute language...

SLV Anthology: an oral history of the Valley with Kizzen Lakai

In this chapter, we interviewed Kizzen Lakai. For me, she has always embodied so many qualities that I value about this place, and the level of fortitude it takes to create a real home here in Crestone, full of community service, kindness, and wisdom. This episode speaks to me, and inspires me to keep working towards this grand, unintentional community that has pulled so many of us from our suburban backgrounds, only to land here as global, cultural refugees, seeking a different kind of life at the end of the road. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to...

Environmental highlights of the Baca Crestone community

Our local environment is changing. The extreme drought has banished former wetlands and streams have atrophied. Much more space is now occupied by people, their homes, and pets. Newcomers intend to create their own history, which is as it should be. However, all of us living here have a sense that there’s a story behind the physical features and how important the surroundings have been to our choice of this as our home. I’m the long-overdue-for-replacement president of the Crestone Baca Land Trust (CBLT) and I think it’s time for the community’s environmentally concerned residents to consider some possible...

How the Great Sand Dunes were saved

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is a familiar site for residents of the San Luis Valley. The park includes almost 150,000 acres of protected land and hosts around half a million visitors each year. Its dunes, the largest in North America, reflect the unique geological history of the area. However, the lesser-known history of the park, and the activism of local women, is also worthy of recognition. In the 1920s, the threat of mining in the dunes began to worry locals in the San Luis Valley. The presence of gold, though small, sparked fear that the land would be...

SLV Anthology: an oral history of the Valley

During the summer of 2019, about nine months before the whole world turned upside down, I set out to capture the stories of the Crestone "old timers". I was determined to tell a different story than the one we always hear, about land donations and spiritual centers and vortexes and all that. I wanted to hear about the folks who were born here almost a century ago, whose parents came here in covered wagons, about kids who went to school here in the early 20th century and had to ride their horses to the old school house every morning...

Slavery in the Southwest

It was a marvelous yet troubling exhibit at the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center that led to this story. Two friends and I drove down one summer afternoon to view the exhibit ‚ÄúUnsilenced:¬† Indigenous Enslavement in the Borderlands of Southern Colorado‚ÄĚ, which flung the doors open on stories of Indigenous and Hispanic slavery in the region. Museum Director Eric Carpio said the exhibit ‚Äúcame to be through meetings with descendants who trace their ancestry to the history of Indigenous slavery from the early to mid 1800s‚ÄĚ. As Thanksgiving approaches I am thankful that the story of our corner...

Penitente Canyon  Recreation Area: Geology, history, & outdoor fun

By Zaylah Pearson-Good. Summer is here and it is time to get out and enjoy the exquisite beauty of the San Luis Valley. The Penitente Canyon Recreation Area, located outside of Del Norte along the edge of the Rio Grande National Forest, presents endless fun to the adventurous spirit. Unique geology and human history coupled with incredible hiking, rock climbing, biking, and camping opportunities make this 7,529-acre recreation area a true gem. No matter your interests, budding ribbons of wildflowers, stunning panoramic views, and dynamic wildlife sightings are sure to charm you during your next visit to the recreation area.  Geology Visitors...

A history of the La Garita Caldera: the supervolcano in your backyard

By Zaylah Pearson-Good.Passing though thirteen counties in southwestern Colorado, the San Juan Mountains are host to an array of historic mining towns, the state‚Äôs largest wilderness area, and the headwaters for the Rio Grande. Nature lovers flock to this range for its stunning views, high-mountain peaks, and endless recreational opportunities. However, few realize that this lush landscape was once host to one of the largest, most destructive volcanic events in Earth‚Äôs history, the La Garita Caldera eruption.¬† A buildup of extreme pressure and heat within the earth spurred this incredible supervolcano to burst approximately 28 million years ago‚ÄĒbefore the San...

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SLV Anthology: an oral history of the Valley with Kizzen Lakai

In this chapter, we interviewed Kizzen Lakai. For me, she has always embodied so...

Environmental highlights of the Baca Crestone community

Our local environment is changing. The extreme drought has banished former wetlands and streams...

How the Great Sand Dunes were saved

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is a familiar site for residents of the...

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SLV Anthology: an oral history of the Valley

During the summer of 2019, about nine months before the whole world turned upside...

Slavery in the Southwest

It was a marvelous yet troubling exhibit at the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural...

Penitente Canyon  Recreation Area: Geology, history, & outdoor fun

By Zaylah Pearson-Good. Summer is here and it is time to get out and enjoy...

A history of the La Garita Caldera: the supervolcano in your backyard

By Zaylah Pearson-Good.Passing though thirteen counties in southwestern Colorado, the San Juan Mountains are...

Miners, ranchers, military & railroads: White settlement in the San Luis Valley

Back in the 1850s the US Army was ready to abandon Fort Massachusetts at...

The Old Spanish Trail‚ÄĒTracking Down a Trail: Part 2

by Angie Krall (Heritage Program Mgr, SLV Public Lands Center) & Marilyn Martorano (RMC...
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