San Luis Valley Museum

San Luis Valley Museum Telling the tales of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Thank you to our members and partnering organizations the National Endowment for the Humanities, Colorado Humanities, and the Alamosa County Local Marketing District.

Operating as usual

Bone appétit: The story of Alferd Packer, Colorado’s most infamous, yet beloved, cannibal
10/31/2020
Bone appétit: The story of Alferd Packer, Colorado’s most infamous, yet beloved, cannibal

Bone appétit: The story of Alferd Packer, Colorado’s most infamous, yet beloved, cannibal

As the first fingers of spring started to peel back winter’s hold in 1874, a man staggered out of the mountains and into Lake City, ready to spill a story — or two, or three — that few would believe. On the eve of a Halloween unlike any other, meet Alferd Packer, the Colorado Cannibal.

Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin
10/28/2020

Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin

Halloween is this week, so what better way to celebrate than to tell the story of the infamous “Colorado Cannibal”.
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Alfred, or "Alferd", Packer was hired in the winter of 1874 to lead a group of five prospectors with “gold fever” through the San Juan Mountains. Packer’s group first stayed in Chief Ouray’s winter camp near Montrose, CO, and during that time, Ouray warned the group to postpone the journey until spring, but the group ignored him and continued into the mountains.
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Six men entered the mountains, bound for the Los Pinos Agency, but only one man reached the agency... and that was Alfred Packer.
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When Packer stumbled to Saguache, CO, he shared the tale of how his fellow miners perished in a snowstorm. Many, however, were weary of this tale, since Packer appeared fed and was freely spending money from multiple wallets. Their suspicions were confirmed in August 1874 when human remains were reported and a search party found the murdered and cannibalized remains of the missing men.

Packer escaped and for nine years he lived at large until he was caught in Wyoming in 1883. He was returned to Colorado, where he was tried in Lake City and found guilty of murder.

Packer is now a legend on Colorado popular culture, but the mystery remains whether Packer truly did murder each companion or if he only cannibalized them to survive...

📸: Alfred Packer in prison. Colorado State Archives. Wikimedia

#coloradocannibal #colorado #history #sanjuanmountains

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area
10/28/2020

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

Tune into “Acequia Landscapes: Ancient Water Systems in a Modern Context” by Arnold Valdez
Wed. November 4, 2020
12-1 pm MST
Co-hosted by the
Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center
Kindred Spirits: A CIELO Series • Fall 2020
Community for Inclusion, Equity, Leadership, and Opportunity

Join Zoom Meeting
https://adams-edu.zoom.us/j/96423439348

10/26/2020

The museum will be closed Tuesday the 27th.

The museum has some scholarly works available now.  The Other Slavery is really great information on a topic that has be...
10/23/2020

The museum has some scholarly works available now. The Other Slavery is really great information on a topic that has been swept under the rug for centuries. We also have Season of Terror about the Espinosa brothers, Blood and Thunder, about Kit Carson, and Pleas and Petitions, about the legal battles over land grants and rights in Colorado.

This app makes for a nice drive with all the snippets along the way.
10/23/2020

This app makes for a nice drive with all the snippets along the way.

Come and join in on Colorado's Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway FREE self-guided audio tour!

Download the app here: http://travelstorys.com/download/

Since Halloween is right around the corner I thought I would post a couple of our spooky items.  The Elk Jerky is from G...
10/20/2020

Since Halloween is right around the corner I thought I would post a couple of our spooky items. The Elk Jerky is from Grand Premium meats in Del Norte. The Alfred Packer water bottle sticker is included. Normally $5.99 but only $4.99 through Halloween.
Haunted Hotels of Southern Colorado is normally $21.99 but it is on sale for 17.99 through Halloween.

Wow!
10/18/2020

Wow!

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” – Elizabeth Lawrence

Photo from Lars Leber Photography

10/17/2020

Please share this post detailing our capabilities and new programs. The Valley Courier should publish this next week but the more people that see it the better!

The San Luis Valley Museum in Alamosa would like to update our area residents on our ability to serve residents of the SLV. This year has been challenging for us but there are bright spots we would like to highlight too.
In December 2019 we hired Steve Corn as the director of the museum. Steve brings enthusiasm, leadership, and experience that are showing results. Steve has BAs in history and sociology. He is currently completing his master’s thesis at Adams State University in cultural resource management. Steve also worked in the Luther Bean Museum while studying at Adams State and he is retired military officer.
The museum closed on March 17th and reopened on August 20th. This caused us to cancel the 19th annual All Valley Art Show, Thursday coffee meetups for our veterans, school visits, and history and art programs for the public. The closure also affected our entry fees, gift sales and donations. Due to many people’s financial uncertainty we did not organize a membership drive yet this year.
The good news is that during the hiatus we were able to process and catalog over 500 photos, 200 objects, and 75 books. The museum is currently updating our software. The new system has a research window that allows scholars, students, teachers, and the public to access our collection records and photographs remotely. The window will be ready for use by November 1st. We were also able to complete a lot of maintenance and reconfiguring of our exhibits. The bookshop, gift shop and souvenir racks are all fully stocked and reasonably priced. We also have a good selection of hard to find SLV themed postcards and notecards in stock. The museum is accepting credit and debit cards for purchases, donations, and memberships starting on October 23rd.
We are currently allowing groups of 10 or less to enter without prior notification. If a school, home school group, scouts, 4-H, or other youth group would like a larger tour just give Steve a heads up so he can have help available and tailor a program that meets your goals for the visit. We are not renting out the conference room or the courtyard until the covid risk is fully controlled. Students K-16, teachers, veterans, and active duty service members are always free, while we charge $5 for all others. If you mention this article you will receive free admission until November 15th.
If you are a person who is computer literate and enjoys working with old photographs, opening, and cataloging treasure boxes, or helping with our social media outreach we have volunteer opportunities. The more we get cataloged the more we can share through our new software and community outreach program. Call or email Steve at 719-587-0667, [email protected] , for more information on volunteering.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
10/15/2020

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Continuing our celebration of #HispanicHeritageMonth, we feature Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve’s partner, Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.

A National Heritage Area is designated by Congress for its unique, nationally significant qualities and resources. It is a place where a combination of natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources have shaped a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape.

The San Luis Valley has been a place of convergence for diverse cultures for thousands of years: Native American, Dutch, German, Amish, Japanese, Mormon, and Hispano settlement are all part of the valley’s heritage, along with Fort Garland, a 19th century US military post. The Heritage Area preserves and interprets these histories, with a special focus on Hispano settlement and culture. After Spanish expeditions in preceding centuries, Hispano families began building small settlements in the region during the mid-19th century. By 1867, there were about 30 ‘placitas’ established in the southern San Luis Valley.

Learn more on the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area website: https://www.sangreheritage.org/ethnic-setttlements/

Photo: The Lucero family in front of an adobe home, San Luis Valley, date unknown. From the Latino History Project, Collection Denver Public Library.

September 15 to October 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. During this month and throughout the year, we, and our partners, share history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of past and present.

#HispanicHeritage #LatinoHeritage #SanLuisValley #ElValledeSanLuis #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center
10/13/2020

Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center

In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, we want to share the story of Chipeta, “White Singing Bird,” who was born into the Kiowa Apache tribe, but adopted and raised by the Uncompahgre Utes after the death of her parents.

Chipeta married Ute Chief Ouray and served as his advisor and confidant. She is known for her activism and diplomacy, working toward bettering conditions for the Ute people and achieving peace with white settlers. In addition, Chipeta was skilled in beadwork and tanning hides, playing guitar, and could sing in three languages.

Chipeta also helped negotiate several government treaties alongside Ouray. Her diplomacy took her as far as Washington D.C., where she testified before Congress about reservation resettlement and the Meeker Incident.

When her tribe was forced to leave their homes in Colorado and were removed to northeastern Utah, Chipeta continued as tribal leader. She dedicated her life to her people, and always shared what little provisions she had with others.

As just one testament to the legacy she left behind, Chipeta was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985.

📷: A hand-colored photograph of Chipeta taken on the Unitah Reservation. She stands in front of a tent and wears a dress and blanket shawl. Photograph by Frank Dean (1905). History Colorado, 91.315.42

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area
10/08/2020

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

SdCNHA welcomes you to participate in our annual photo contest. *Photos must be taken in Conejos, Costilla, or Alamosa County!

3 winners! FIRST PRIZE gets $250 and SdCNHA swag!!

Follow this link below to enter and upload your shots.
https://goo.gl/8yFTVH
Last day to enter is November 1,2020

10/07/2020
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

A great video from Eric at Fort Garland about the Espinosa brothers. The SLV Museum in Alamosa has the outfit given to Tom Tobin as part of his reward for killing the brothers.

Murders or righteous vigilantes? That’s a good question.

Felipe and Vivian Espinosa were Hispano brothers who lived in the
village of San Judas de Tadeo. Just a few years after Fort Garland was established, the brothers were accused in a robbery. A unit of soldiers from the Fort was sent to arrest them, which caused a major shootout.

To learn more about the Espinosa brothers watch here!

For more information on historic people, places, or events, visit: https://www.sangreheritage.org/historic-peoples-and-places/

Mary and I have been working on this collection for a while.  There are over 70 photos of canal construction circa 1910'...
10/03/2020

Mary and I have been working on this collection for a while. There are over 70 photos of canal construction circa 1910's. Some are by O.T. Davis. One of the machines says Sargent Ditch Company on it.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
10/02/2020

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

#ThrowbackThursday - In celebration of #HispanicHeritageMonth we honor the Trujillo family, who persistently homesteaded west of Great Sand Dunes in the 1860s despite conflict with neighboring ranchers. Pedro and Teofilo Trujillo's homesteads, located within the boundaries of two federally designated areas - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Baca National Wildlife Refuge - are now a National Historic Landmark.

The Trujillo story is one of tragic antagonism that eventually had a positive, healing ending. Learn more about the Trujillo family on this Great Sand Dunes' web page:
https://www.nps.gov/grsa/learn/historyculture/trujillo-homesteads.htm

Historic photos of Pedro Trujillo on horseback, Sofia Trujillo, and Teofilo Trujillo courtesy Maria Causby

September 15 to October 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.

#GreatSandDunes #HispanicHeritage #Trujillo #TeofiloTrujillo #SofiaTrujillo #PedroTrujillo #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

Visit Colorado
10/02/2020

Visit Colorado

Happy Friday! Your #PHOTOFRIDAY theme is "Autumn Views in Colorado" - so share your best CO fall views with us.

Photo from Lars Leber Photography

Denver7
09/30/2020

Denver7

"Part two Fire and Ice
A different angle of the same reflection scene that took place on a lake near our house last year just as the snow finished falling and the fog began to lift."
📸 Zach Vogel Photography

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org
09/29/2020

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org

The Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway driving tour app is ready for your enjoyment and just in time for some leaf peeping! There's a Story Here!

Download the app:
https://www.travelstorys.com/download/

Thanks to the partnership with the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and their funding; as well as funding from the Colorado Tourism Office @ Visit Colorado, San Luis Valley Federal Bank, and the SLV Tourism Association @ Visit San Luis Valley, Colorado

#loscaminosantiguosscenicbyway #sanluisvalley #travelstorys #mysticsanluisvalley #sangreheritage

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org
09/29/2020

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org

The Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway driving tour app is ready for your enjoyment and just in time for some leaf peeping! There's a Story Here!

Download the app:
https://www.travelstorys.com/download/

Thanks to the partnership with the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and their funding; as well as funding from the Colorado Tourism Office @ Visit Colorado, San Luis Valley Federal Bank, and the SLV Tourism Association @ Visit San Luis Valley, Colorado

#loscaminosantiguosscenicbyway #sanluisvalley #travelstorys #mysticsanluisvalley #sangreheritage

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org
09/25/2020

San Luis Valley - MuseumTrail.org

The Rio Grande County Museum has reopened:
Tuesday - Friday 10-4pm
Saturday 1--3pm
Masks required. No masks provided.

The Museum offers visitors a look into the cultural history of the area from the Native Americans, to the mountain men, fur trappers, Spanish land grants, settlers from New Mexico, to the gold seekers, the farmers, ranchers and merchants who came for land, freedom and a better way of life.

Photo by W.A Tracht of Manitou, Colorado circa 1890.  Note on back says, Nell with bycycle friends in Colorado.
09/24/2020

Photo by W.A Tracht of Manitou, Colorado circa 1890. Note on back says, Nell with bycycle friends in Colorado.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is #2 in the 10 Darkest Places in the U.S. for Incredible Stargazing!! T...
09/18/2020
10 Darkest Places in the U.S. for Incredible Stargazing

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
is #2 in the 10 Darkest Places in the U.S. for Incredible Stargazing!! Travel + Leisure
Right here in the Mystic San Luis Valley
#coloradostargazing #greatsanddunes #mysticslv #sanluisvalley #darkskies #stargazing
https://www.travelandleisure.com/.../darkest-places-in...

The darkest skies in the U.S. provide the best stargazing opportunities. Here are 10 of the darkest places in the U.S. for incredible views of the night sky, according to the International Dark-Sky Association.

This is a photocopy of original photograph.  Front Street Alamosa 1875.
09/15/2020

This is a photocopy of original photograph. Front Street Alamosa 1875.

09/15/2020
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

"Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway will take you through the heart of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, where the old west spirit of honesty, adventure, and small town hospitality is still very much alive."

Thank you Anna Lee Vargas!

Learn more about Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway at https://www.sangreheritage.org/los-caminos/

ASC Teams 1928-1930
09/12/2020

ASC Teams 1928-1930

Our new flags really POP!
09/12/2020

Our new flags really POP!

These are postcards from the 1910's and early 1920's around the Cumbres Station. Richard Roderick was a conductor at the...
09/03/2020

These are postcards from the 1910's and early 1920's around the Cumbres Station. Richard Roderick was a conductor at the time and is in several of these photos.

Francisco Fort Museum
08/28/2020

Francisco Fort Museum

Chocolate’s ancient path leads to Chaco Canyon.

http://ed.gr/b5jtz via @TheDurangoHerald

Late 1910's or early 1920's.  Photo taken in Monte Vista.
08/28/2020

Late 1910's or early 1920's. Photo taken in Monte Vista.

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area
08/26/2020

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

HEY! IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Join SdCNHA in the 2020 Photo Contest!

First Prize includes $250 and SdCNHA Swag!!!

Click the link and upload your photos
https://goo.gl/8yFTVH

📸Kat Olance

First Methodist Church of Del Norte: Historical Women’s Suffrage Site
08/26/2020
First Methodist Church of Del Norte: Historical Women’s Suffrage Site

First Methodist Church of Del Norte: Historical Women’s Suffrage Site

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated Wednesday, Aug. 26, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. In honor of this momentous occasion, the Colorado Historical Foundation has been curating research identifying histo...

Address

401 Hunt Avenue/PO Box 1593
Alamosa, CO
81101

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(719) 587-0667

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The San Luis Valley Museum

Mission: Enrich human lives and to educate San Luis Valley citizens to respect and value cultural diversity, the local heritage of the San Luis Valley, as well as local and international wildlife and the arts.

The San Luis Valley is one of the largest alpine valleys in the world. It was originally home to Ute, Apache, and Pueblo Native Americans. Famous explorers like Conquistador Juan de Bautista, Zebulon Pike, and John Freemont all led expedition through the valley. The oldest town in Colorado is San Luis. It was founded in 1852 by Hispanic settlers from Taos New Mexico. Forts Massachusetts and Ft. Garland guarded the valley beginning in 1852. Kit Carson was the Commandant of Ft. Garland for two years. The San Luis Valley Museum displays photos, artifacts, and artworks covering the long history of the SLV Region. There is a series of murals on the north side of the building depicting, famous people, landscapes, towns, and attractions related to the SLV. The museum operates a small gift shop stocked with SLV themed post cards and greeting cards, Colorado souvenirs, regional history books, and children's toys.


Comments

A new roof and steeple cross for St. John the Baptist Church in La Garita was celebrated on July 28. Read the story about the San Juan #Catholic Spiritual Center's historic preservation efforts for this historic structure located in the #SanLuisValley, over on the Saguache Today website:
It is time for the Annual Art Walk. For several years Laura Lunsford has been the artist here at the Museum with her soft dolls. At the beginning of the year, a fire burned Laura Lunsford's home to the ground and the Lunsfords lost everything from tables to spices. She lost all of her soft dolls, including all of her supplies. JUNE 3RD, 2017 FROM 10 AM TO 4 PM LAURA WILL BE AT THE MUSEUM! Bring the dolls you have purchased from her for a one day reunion. Also bring a surprise of pins, pieces of material, nuts and bolts for her "steam Punk Dolls" anything you have that you would like to give to Miss Laura to get her back to creating her wonderful dolls. REMEMBER, JUNE 3RD, 2017, 10 AM TO 4 PM AT THE MUSEUM! Bring your smiles, gifts and your dolls! WE WILL SEE YOU SATURDAY!