Sunday, 19 October 2014

La Junta, Colorado

We stayed in La Junta for a few days and while we were there we visited a couple of interesting places.
Koshare Indian Museum
In 1933 a group of boy scouts created an organisation to study Indian Culture, the lady in the museum told us that the word Koshare means clown.
Koshare Dancers are members of Boy Scout Troop 232 and Crew 230 of the Rocky Mountain Council, the dancers make their own outfits and interpret songs and dances of American Indians taught to them by Indian friends.

The dances take place in a specially built giant Kiva, it’s beautifully made and has the largest self-supporting roof of its kind in the USA it has over 600 logs and weighs nearly 40 tons.   Unfortunately there were no dances scheduled when we were in La Junta.   The dancers also take their show on the road.

Along with some of the dancer’s costumes the museum has some very interesting artefacts.  

Otero Museum 

The museum is very well done, on our visit two very helpful volunteers showed us around.   The museum show cases the history of the town and its inhabitants. 

There is a replica of La Junta’s 1876 log cabin school house,

a stage coach

A replica of the inside an old ‘Mom and Pop’ store

La Junta has the oldest chartered volunteer fire department in Colorado and the museum has two vintage fire engines in its collection.

For a small town the museum is fabulous, we really enjoyed our visit.

Have fun, we are!

Boggsville Historic Site, Colorado

Boggsville Historic Site is about 16 miles east of Bent’s Old Fort, on our first attempt to find it we got lost, driving along quiet two lane roads past farms and fields before we realised we were halfway to Kansas!
On our second attempt we realised we’d gone left when we should’ve gone right, just goes to prove we should’ve read the directions properly!   Oh well we found it in the end.
There is a lot of history here, Zebulon Pike passed this way in 1806 as he followed a Spanish trail.   Traders from Taos held trade fairs near here in 1819, the same year that the treaty was signed that made the Arkansas River the boundary between the Spain and the USA. 

In 1825, a grizzly bear attacked a party of trappers; a few days later one trapper died of his injuries and was buried on the banks of the Purgatoire River.   Thank goodness there are no grizzly bears today! 

Travellers on the Santa Fe Trail passed through Boggsville, arriving through an avenue of trees, the avenue of trees is still there, but I don’t think either of us thought to take a photograph, this is the one on the information board.

Kit Carson and his wife Josefa lived and died here, their original grave site was marked, although they’re no longer buried here as they were moved but I can’t remember where to.  The adobe house they lived in, is no longer there as it was washed away in a flood some years ago.

In the Boggs house there are the plans of the old town and it was much larger than we expected.   The volunteer opened both the Boggs House

and the Prowers house for us, the Prowers house was originally much larger and had 3 wings.

Even though it looks like brick, it’s actually adobe and is painted to look like brick.  Farm fields behind the Prowers house were also once part of the settlement.

It’s an interesting site with a lot more history than we realised so we were glad we actually found it!

Have fun, we are!