Antonito Depot-Volunteer Preservation Weekend Workshop Wrap-up

 

This year’s Most Endangered Places Program annual Volunteer Preservation Weekend Workshop took place at the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Station, or more commonly known as the Antonito Depot.

The Antonito Depot was constructed in c.1890 out of locally quarried ashlar volcanic stone, and served the Town of Antonito and the surrounding communities until 1951. The depot was the center of the town; so much so that all of Antonito’s original town buildings were constructed facing the depot. For over sixty years, the depot was the junction point for the “Chili Line” to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the railroad’s San Juan Extension connecting Alamosa to Durango and Silverton. As the western-most station accommodating both narrow and standard Gauge Trains on the San Juan Extension, the depot was an important terminal for freight, passenger, and package services. Vacant for 50 years, neglect and deterioration are taking a toll on the structure; causing it to be listed onto the Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List in 2007.

Volunteers had the opportunity to get involved in the emergency stabilization of the depot’s roof, as well as to clean out the debris that had built up in the depot’s interior. In just two days we were able to completely stabilize the roof, an incredible feat, and clean out the entire interior! We would like to offer our gratitude to all of our volunteers that showed up including: Rachel Parris, Endangered Places Program Coordinator at Preservation, Inc.; Dick Beardmore, ae Design Associates; Patrice Berglund, ae Design Associates; Ashley Bushey, Colorado Department of Transportation; Michelle Chichester, Survey Coordinator at Colorado Preservation, Inc.; Daniel Chichester, Littleton, Colorado; Jonathan George, Antonito Community Member; Steve Harris, Cloud City Builders, LLC.; Mike Perschbacher, Older Than Dirt Construction; Andrew Redman, Denver, Colorado; Jay Warner, Town of Antonito.

We also wanted to give a special thanks to Jay Warner, who allowed us to do this work on the Town’s building; Steve Harris, who served as the Workshop Consultant, and Mike Perschbacher, who donated some materials and allowed us to use some tools.

We couldn’t have has such a great success without ANY of the volunteers who came out! Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities with the Colorado’s Most Endangered Places Program!

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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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