Watch Colorado's Most Endangered Places 2018
We. See them nearly every day but terrible, know their stories, on, the surface they're tired broken, down old, buildings these, usefulness, has long since passed but. Look, closer here, into their shattered, glass walk. Their rubber road pathways, and see, them up close you. Begin to get a sense of history a sense, of place every. Day more and more of these sites vanish from the landscape, without, them the, story of Colorado's, past is incomplete. Save it what remains crucial, to preserving our state's rich history, these. Are, Colorado's. Most endangered, places. Hi. And welcome to Colorado's, most endangered, places I'm Stan Bush we're, here at the history Colorado center, surrounded, by artifacts, of Colorado's, past each, one of these items represents. A story a unique, piece of Colorado's, rich history, but even this the state's constitution is, just a small chapter in a much larger book, to, get the full story on Colorado's, history you need to go out into the community, to see history in its original context, preserving, history in its original setting, is the job of Colorado. Preservation, incorporated, and every, year they, compile a list of historic sites in the state which are in danger, of disappearing now. Let's take a look at the sites on this year's list we. Start by going back to the westward expansion this. Is a recreation, of bents fort and, many early settlers came here along the Santa Fe Trail those. Pioneers, found success, in this state through trapping, and ranching our, first site takes us to Pueblo, County and a one-room schoolhouse built. By one of those early pioneers. Luck. This. Is luck because this old Adobe is kind of a miracle that it's still standing this, one-room schoolhouse. And nearby cemetery, are the last physical, remnants of the legacy, of the Colorado pioneer, Joseph, Doyle Doyle, was very important, in southern Colorado history he had great, connections, with bent and, st.. Vrain he, was connected, with he. Helped build el pueblo in 1842. Joseph. Doyle made his living operating, trade posts and hauling, free during, the westward, expansion see, a trading post said hardscrabble, which, is it wet more and tarry. All he. Had won a terraria which is one of the beginning. Of Denver when. The gold rush came to Colorado, Doyle, struck it rich supplying. Booming, mining towns in, 1859. He purchased a tract of land along, a two-mile stretch of the HOH efron--oh river where, he supplied, meat and produce to his trading posts it had quite the operation, around here for a number of years where he's, irrigating, over 600, acres he had a flour. Mill here, he also built this one-room Adobe, schoolhouse, the same year, it's, believed to be the oldest, existing school, in Colorado it served, as children and those of his ranch workers, he brought in a teacher who they believe is the first teacher in Colorado, Gold rig and he. Was here for about a year before he moved on to Denver and helped start the Denver school system Doyle, would follow goldrich. To Denver, after being elected, to the territorial, council, the precursor, to today's state, Senate he died while serving there his body was returned to Casa Blanca to, be buried in the hill overlooking.
His Ranch and that one room school house he built every, morning that's 7:30. We'd have to be here it turns out Doyle schoolhouse. Would serve local kids for generations. Andy, Duran attended, elementary, school here nearly a hundred years after it was built it was already old you, bet to us it, sure was because. My. Folks went school, here it was all one one big room and I, had two separate deaths you, know they're separated. By death one. Rule would be first natura. 2nd 3rd 4th 5th but. There was only a few kids in each one modern, amenities not, here students. Learned how the Pioneers lived, by living, it themselves this, was a water. Source which, is a cistern, and we. Should have a pool. Eater with a bucket through the decades the school became a community center, people would meet here you. Know discuss. Stuff that's, going on and he still Revere's, this building as his favorite, school the, teacher there's, great. They made sure you you, learned what you're supposed to they didn't mess around I wish, somebody. Would have kept it up you know because this thing this has so, much history the school's former, owner shared, Andy's respect, for its history and knew, he couldn't save the building by himself he, contacted, County officials we want to know if the county would be interested, in accepting. The deed if he would deed it to the county so that we could then, preserve. And protect it the county agreed but at the time didn't. Have a clear plan for word trouble with it was is then folks, kind of forgot about it over the years and nothing. Was happening the, building continued. Its decay me, and my brothers well always look at it and see when these did will come up here and we're going to redo it all the way it was local. Ranchers got together and, caught the attention of, preservationist. And I ran into one of the ranchers out here and that's. When he expressed that the ranchers. Out here we're. Interested, in getting it preserved and so I started showing pictures of it to my fellow commissioners saying we need to do something and so. That's why we're here I would, love to have this preserved, right. Now get a mothballed so it's preserved so we don't lose any more but, eventually restore, it and have. Where, you can have educational, programs here. And to.
Tell The story of what, it was like to be a pioneer in Colorado, if, we don't appreciate and, teach to our children, our, history, and our our. Heritage, then we lose, a big, part. Of who we are and, so. I want to have this be part of that it's still a long road ahead but, with a renewed, interest and community, support people, are hopeful that Doyle's, legacy, will continue to, stand proud on the eastern plains our, history, is still standing, so come take a look at it. When, we come back we'll head to South Park and look at a unique piece of ranching, history, and 19th. Century underground, malls how, these underground, tunnels kept downtown, shopping districts, active. Welcome. Back to Colorado's, most endangered places, we're now in the Keota exhibit, and this is a place that gives visitors a taste of what it was like in Colorado's, rural farming towns surviving. In early Colorado, wasn't, easy it took grit and perseverance. Our, next site is a monument, to one of our early settlers I. Think. You just fit in he was one of those guys it's just you. Know a pillar. In the community I guess you'd say you, know kind of a go-to guide that, go-to guy was Samuel Schaeffer he had. Come into the West in, McCook, Nebraska and. He had a implement. Store and mercantile business there. In McCook Tori, and Dean Schaefer Sam was great granddad, he brought his wife and 11, children to Jefferson, County in 1902, to, start a ranch at a crossroads, along Elk Creek they built three buildings when they moved here in 1902, one. Was the they called it the community hall dance. Hall the. Other was the, dis, large barn and the, other was the store he'd, always really. Enjoyed, the, store. Keeping, in he, really liked people it didn't take long before Schafer's, friendly, demeanor made, a name for him and the town it had been named several different things through the years I guess he just put out a sign and the name stuck. Today. The crossroads, still carries Schafer's name but there's very little left of the ranch the, store is long gone leaving.
Only The barn in the community, hall known, as the octagon to tell Schafer's story my, grandfather, called it a dance hall and a community, center so they accounts, the Schafer accounts talk about the wild answers they had in there well I've been in there and you, couldn't kick to white or jump too high, it's. Not that big in here I guess you could have danced around the pole quite a bit Samuel, Shafer died in 1915. And the ranch sold the new owners the, little oddly shaped building, carried, on the family legacy of bringing, together the community they. Would have. Family dinners they would have. Social. Events it, was a Grange building, there until probably the, early. 40s. Donna Beck's family, has lived in this area for nearly a hundred and, fifty years I went, very connected, to the history of the area and to. Preserve these buildings, as about. Most importance, to me the two buildings, captured, the imagination. Of new residents, as well bonny Scudder, and her husband moved here just 24, years ago it was always just a very curious building. Out there in the middle of nowhere it, is made, of logs but, on the outside the white that you can see on it is actually. Painted tin, inside, the Octagon clues. To its former, glory hang faded, from the ceiling, there's, beaver. Board, sort. Of pie-shaped beaver board and somebody. Has hand-painted, beautiful. Little scenes the, part that you see jutting, out in the back on the south side, is. A stage, and it's elevated a little bit it served as a church when the Methodist Church that was part of this community burned, down time. And decades. Of non-use, have taken, their toll on the structures, it's just deteriorating. Very rapidly, at this point from the weather plans, for new construction have, brought a renewed interest, in the future of these buildings, the, Archdiocese. Of Denver recently. Purchased the property and plans, to build a retreat center in the valley their main. Focus, right now is building, their retreat center and getting. All. The permissions that they need to proceed, with their construction the historic, buildings aren't in danger of demolition but, the archdiocese. Has no plans to use them or restore. Them either they, thought that they could probably use. The barn, as a storage, area so, they could make use of that they, weren't really sure what to do with the octagon house those, close to the buildings would like to work with the archdiocese. To at least stabilize. The structures, it's a building that I think a lot of people had a lot of happiness and a lot of very wonderful, memories they, view the proposed development as, an opportunity, to teach visitors, to the area about, the local history as the archdiocese. Develops, their retreat center that will bring more people to the the, more the buildings we can preserve, the. More. It shows the importance, of the area to those people who just travel, through it gives context.
To Where we stand in history, Ray Schafer sees the buildings as a reminder, of what community is, all about today, everything's, handed. To us and. That wasn't the way it was you built, your community, with those old days and, we look back we really appreciate, coming to this area and seeing well. There. Was roots here I think that's important, while we save it this is this is our roots. Mining. Is an essential, piece of Colorado's, history, and the riches, pulled from Colorado's, mountains fed the state's economy for, years but. What fed the miners our next site is really the industry behind, the industry, the, ranches in park County supplied, meat and produce to all the mountain towns just, east of Como stands, a ranch house its, owner had a flair for style. You. Know you drive up and down 285 and it's always like kind of that strange building off of a half of 285 and what the heck is that that would, be the headquarters, for the climb Theriot ranch and for residents of Park County this, represents. The core of their history, as an association with high altitude ranching's. 1859. Gold, discovered. In Colorado the, gold rush was one of the building blocks to Colorado's, development, but there's always more to the story, thousands. And thousands of miners are coming and they need to eat that's. Where Park County's ranching, Heritage comes, in for people with enough foresight to say like we're gonna go and we're gonna try and make a living not. Chasing gold but raising sheep and cattle to feed these guys maybe one of the most important, things in. Colorado's. Historical, development, emblematic. Of that development, this, pueblo style ranch house just east of the town of como a ranch, house itself was built in 1928. By. That Klein family foster Klein was a prominent, Denver, attorney with a flair, for style, building, itself is also relatively, significant, for its architectural, style so this is kind, of what we would call a vernacular, representation. Of Pueblo. Revival definitely, more common in the southwest so. You see the style of building in, a high altitude, montane, valley is is a real, unique thing disease the Klein family rarely, stayed here instead, leasing, the ranch to tenants, really. Typical, of ranges, across the West that you had investors. And owners who, then had. Managers, live on site and operated, bears families operated, over time the, most prominent is dan and doris hamilton who. Operated. The. Range from 1946. Until, 2001. The, building saw a few changes over the years the, porch it's, believed to have been constructed and not much longer after the. Building it is pretty, apparent that it uses different stone, the roof was added sometime in the, 1980s. To help, with, the snow load and rain. And drainage they put on for practical, reasons but unfortunately. It also dramatically, changes, the appearance of the building the, ranch ceased operations, in 2001. That's, when Park County became interested, in preserving, Park, County has a long track, record of success and, historic. Preservation and, a really robust preservation. Community because of its location, and where. It sits uh. Also. In that view, shet that is very, beautiful. Dynamic. It also gives. Folks the opportunity to. Look at a ranch, house in its ranch house setting, the, county purchased the property in 2011.
With The intention, of preserving, and restoring the. Buildings we have the main ranch house we have a barn that's predates. The house I'm pretty sure and then also a little a bunkhouse and when we looked at it having. That building, it was like okay we we really need to do something to preserve that the county has big plans, rehabilitate. The property back to its original appearance. Research. Or educational, center artists. Retreat we've, considered, a, rental, ranch program. Something. Related to outfitter. For people, who enjoy the state. Wildlife area, it's, got. Sixteen hundred acres around it that people can come up and they can walk they could wander and they, can see this really I think it's a magnificent, old structure, time has become a critical, factor it's, unique. It. Has a lot of history to it the wind has, hold, those. 2x4. Or the the sheets of plywood off the South Park side stewards keep an eye on the structures, for the counting we come, out about once a month and just. Take a look at it we take photos, each. Time we come and visit the site and. Keep. Track of where, the areas, of neglect. Are it's in a really wide open area so. It gets hit. Very, strong by the intense, weather up here that. Harsh climate, doe brings, people in park County together, to live at 10,000, feet and. With. 20 30 mile an hour winds sometimes, when it's ten below you just kind of get this connection, with. People that have lived here before that, connection, to history perhaps, the project's, biggest, asset, once you get started on a project in Park County it's amazing, how much volunteer. Help how many people you can get involved. When. We return we'll look at history hidden beneath our feet we. Head to Trinidad, Florence, and Pueblo, to seat underground. Treasures. Welcome. Back to Colorado's, most endangered places we're in the restoration. Room here at the history Colorado center, and this is where workers conserve. The artifacts, and get them ready for public, display we're, joined now with Steve Turner the executive, director of the history Colorado center how, do you decide what. Goes on display, here you know that's a great question we, look at a number of factors but Rob probably, the most important, is we really look at our collection what, do we have that tells a unique story that we want to be sure the. Public knows about and we think would make a great story that the public is interested in so, it's pretty much what, do we have in our collection what. Are important stories out there that we need to tell and, really. I think also what's the public interest in those stories what, is the difference for people who come here and see something under a glass case to what, they might see out, in their community, or in other locations across the state but people have an opportunity here, to see really.
Kind Of unique, once-in-a-lifetime. Kind of things that they just might not be able to see anywhere else how, important, is it to your mission to continue to fill, in those blank spots those holes that we might have in the state's history right no that's extremely, important, really we're focusing, on trying to tell a broad story, of Colorado history but also those stories that people don't necessarily hear. So history Colorado also funds, the Colorado preservation, incorporated. How, important, is what, they do to, the rest of the state what we do is actually it's a grants program called the State Historical, fund we've. Made grants, in every single County in Colorado. Over, three hundred million dollars in grants since we first started that but when we go to a town like Alamosa, or Rico, Colorado or one of these smaller communities. $200,000. Can make a huge difference to that town and to how they perceive, their history, and how imported it is to Colorado that's incredible you do see them in every corner of this absolutely, all 64, counties now, this is where most of the artifacts, at history Colorado spend, most of their time in this climate controlled environment, and locked, away in storage drawers, and shelves the. Last sight on this year's list is similarly, hidden, behind the scenes or more accurately, hidden, beneath your feet we. Head to three Colorado towns, Trinidad. Pueblo, and, Oren's to take a look at how underground, retail, stores help build their downtown, communities. Visitors. To downtown Trinidad. Catch a glimpse into Colorado's. Past when, that urban renewal sort. Of took over the United States Trinidad. Wasn't, one, of the places that you would immediately think, to start renovating and we sort of got skipped over as, a result, many of Trinidad's, historic, storefronts, remain, unchanged. From their turn-of-the-century, appearance. Something. Residents, now take, pride in now, in the 2000s. That's been a huge blessing, for us because we have all these true treasure, gems, stone. Buildings, adobe, buildings all those sort of really great things. That we kind of lost in the 70s and some tables and chairs over here and there's four developer, penny Sayyidi one, building in particular caught her attention we walked out in I said, that. Building, is adorable. Building. You're gonna refurbish, it we're gonna be, putting it in a nice restaurant here, and luxury. Apartments, upstairs but penny the real term lies below the ground here's our garden, level you can just see people sitting. There having a cup of tea you know visiting, their neighbors, it's just it's so, cozy. And, hometown. Feel these, below-ground jobs were once common, features in towns across Colorado. I was in love I just thought it was just the coolest thing I've ever seen historian. Tracey Beach has researched these hidden storefronts, around the state this is Old West, and you have to really think of all the people 100 years ago they were walking right over this to, go into these stores as the generations, have gone on people, have forgotten what, these things are with the pavement lights you know they would have them on sidewalks, or in manhole covers or like this a big, huge section.
Of The floor covered in pavement lights which would light up the entire underground. Area as picturesque, as these features may seem form, followed, function, the, architects, built down for, a reason, space, was a luxury and you had these tiny little main, streets and you had a lot of people that want to open up stores so, they would have below-ground, shops at basement level then, you'd also have your first the second floor this allowed them to rent out more it's sunken, entrances, are only part of the hidden treasures beneath our feet we're, looking at what. Was under. Our sidewalk, here Lee Newhart owns the Great Divide bicycle, shop in Pueblo he, knew he had something special in his basement, you've got the header there and you have the open, space here where there was a grid so they could provide light these. Windows, looked out into a network, of tunnels all, leading. To the train depot I have gone up and down Union Avenue and all the buildings have. This there's. Doors and windows all through, downtown, a lot of stories from way back when when prohibition, came about there. Was a lot of liquor moving down through the tunnels here ins a lot of times the ones down below would be maybe, a laundromat, or a meat, market or barber shop we kind of like a below ground mall, it may sound futuristic. For its time but it was an idea born, out of necessity this, is back in the Old West we didn't have paved, streets we didn't have sidewalks, we had mud and, horses. And, things. That horses do when they have to go the. Women had those big huge flowy dresses and everything it's a lot easier to go shopping, below ground away, from all the mud and the horses, Pablo's tunnel Network met an abrupt, end in 1921. When the Arkansas River flooded. Much of downtown it got up to 11 feet high the water and so. The silt just flooded, these tunnels, too much silt to dig out and so most the tunnels they, just sealed them up those, that remain faced new dangers, a road, and sidewalk repair, project, in front, of Lee Newhart's, store filled, in half, of the historic, tunnel space surrounding. His property, some places the sidewalk, was in pretty bad shape that it was going to possibly collapse, eventually anyway, in, Florence. One owner sealed up his for, supernatural. Reasons, the owner explained, to me that he felt that the vault underneath the street was haunted, so, he wanted to keep the ghosts in by dry stacking, the door shut. Tracey. Beach believes these sunken treasures, can play a huge role, in revitalizing downtown, tourism. They are pretty much in almost every single town you can open up these tunnels and you can bring in tourism the, first step in that process. Educating. The bill the owners so, people come to Colorado now they want to experience history they want to experience the Old West so you have a town that has something like this you're gonna get the tourists, over. The last 21, years a hundred and seventeen, sites have been named a Colorado preservations. Most endangered places, list of those, forty-one. Had been saved and only seven have been lost it's. Through their work and the tireless efforts, of preservationist. That our history can be seen not just in a museum but anywhere, across the state I'm, Stan, Bush and thanks, for watching. You.