Schools in Las Animas: Columbian Elementary School

Year listed: 2004

County: Bent County

Status: LOST

Context: Education

Date Constructed: 1916

Significance:

Columbian Elementary School is associated with significant individuals including U.S. Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson and Ken Curtis, “Festus” of Gunsmoke, both of whom also attended Bent County High School. The school’s inner courtyard is reminiscent of a time when forts were necessary to protect early settlers, a reminder of the significant historic landmarks of the area, namely the Santa Fe Trail, Boggsville, and Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. Constructed in 1916 to replace the first Columbian School of 1887, the abandoned elementary school sits two blocks away from the also-empty high school and neighbors the newly constructed Las Animas Elementary School.

Threat When Listed:

Demolition.

Since Listing:

Despite Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s efforts with the local school board to prevent demolition, the Columbian School was demolished in February 2006.

Last Update: April 2006

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