San Rafael Church

Year Listed: 2001
County: Conejos County
Construction Date: 1895
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
Status: SAVE

Traditional Hispanic Catholism collided with conventional Anglo Protestantism in southern Colorado and resulted in construction of the unusual San Rafael Church. Located in the San Luis National Historic District, the church represents the clash and subsequent merger between Protestant Anglo and Hispanic Catholic missionaries.

A State Historical Fund grant funded asbestos abatement, a new wood shingle roof, restoration of the bell tower, indoor plumbing, and reinforcement of one adobe wall.  The efforts from supporters have resulted in the full restoration of the church.  In addition to restoring the church building, the community is working to revitalize the surrounding land via irrigation water rights.

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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

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