Looking to Volunteer?

PaleoCultural Research Group (PRCG) will be participating in a collaborative effort to investigate the Bunker site along the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. The site being investigated is the only known locality potentially associated directly with the use of the trail (1829-1848), so this is a unique opportunity to learn about a little-known period in the region’s history. If you are interested in participating in PRCG’s upcoming Old Spanish Trail project, visit their website for more information, and contact Mark Mitchell as soon as possible.

Here’s the fine print from PCRG:

The project will run from September 6 to September 12. We encourage you to join us for the duration, but I know that many of you can only devote a few days and so we have arranged two sequential sub-sessions. The first runs from September 6 through 9 and the second runs from September 9 to 12. The camp and site are located in an area closed to public vehicles: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ARRIVE OR DEPART ANYTIME OTHER THAN THE SCHEDULED TIMES. Here’s the summary schedule:

Session Arrive Depart
Full session Thursday, September 6, 4PM Tuesday, September 11, 4PM or Wednesday, September 12, 9AM
Sub-Session A Thursday, September 6, 4PM Sunday, September 9, 4PM
Sub-Session B Sunday, September 9, 4PM Tuesday, September 11, 4PM or Wednesday, September 12, 9AM


Only 4WD vehicles can access the camp area. If you don’t have one, we will transport your gear to the camp and arrange a secure location to park your car while you’re on the project. The group will meet near Crestone at the designated times; I’ll send maps and additional information about the meeting location and about parking in the next few weeks.

We will be camping at a place called Alpine Camp (see attached photo). There is a vault toilet but no running water and no electricity. Camper trailers cannot negotiate the road to the camp. PCRG will provide all meals while you’re on the project. Apart from the usual camping gear, you will need a day pack, water bottles, appropriate field clothing, and so forth. Field activities will include excavation, surveying, and metal detecting. The camp is located at about 7800 ft., so it may be cool in the evenings. Rain is a possibility. I will send a more detailed equipment list later this month.


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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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