Colorado Preservation is following its Purgatoire River Region survey with a subsequent project to further document and interpret the region’s homesteads. The project will include: National Register nominations, a publication interpreting the history of homesteading and associated historical themes for a general audience, oral history interviews to be shared via podcasts, and three driving tours following Hwy 350, Hwy 109, and Hwy 160.
A kick-off meeting and tour marked the official start of the homesteading project over the weekend. The day started with a productive meeting with the survey team, members of the local community, and the Architectural Survey Coordinator from History Colorado. The meeting then hit the road for a tour of historic sites in Otero County’s Higbee Valley. The final stop on the tour involved several hours of driving in and around the canyons of Las Animas County. With the final destination being the remote Villareal Homestead site. Having only been vacated in the mid-1980s, the stone, jacal, and adobe structures are in very good condition. This site is being looked at for a possible National Register nomination this fall.
Stay tuned for more photos and information about the Home on the Range project!