Five historic sites in Colorado were recently added to Colorado’s Most Endangered Places list by Colorado Preservation, Inc., each at risk due to environmental and natural factors. While inclusion on this list will likely help these spots gain resources and political allies, there’s still a possibility that they’ll soon be gone or further dilapidated.
1. The Adobe Cellars of the San Luis Valley
Potato farming dates back to the 19th century in the San Luis Valley, with these adobe potato cellars being one of the only remnants of these early days. Their design and the materials used in construction allowed for the long-term storage of potatoes. Though 100 still stand, they’re rapidly decaying and are expected to continue do so without additional help from Colorado Preservation, Inc.
2. Hose Company #3 Fire Museum in Pueblo County
In operation from 1895 to 1978, Hose Company No. 3 Fire Museum in Pueblo was once an operating fire station. It now provides an early look at what firefighting was like in Colorado prior to modern technology, housing items like a hand-pulled hose cart from 1882. Believe it or not, this tiny operation was the third to unionize with the International Association of Fire Fighters, after only Chicago and Pittsburgh. Currently, the building is showing signs of major stress indicating that it may soon crumble.
3. Iglesia de San Antonio–Tiffany Catholic Church in La Plata County
Near the New Mexican border, the Iglesia de San Antonio–Tiffany Catholic Church was built in 1928. It’s one of the few churches left that helps to tell the story of Hispano history in Colorado. It was in operation until 1972, with an annual mass occurring each year. Currently, the church is built of entirely original materials with renovation becoming increasing crucial for its future.
4. McIntire Ranch in Conejos County
Built on the Conejos River in 1880, McIntire Ranch already has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. However, this designation hasn’t done much to help the fact that it’s continually threatened by erosion. One of the most notable historical ranches in Colorado representing a unique style adobe construction, this spot will likely rapidly decay without additional help.
5. R&R Market in Costilla County
In operation since 1857, R&R Market is the oldest continually operating business in Colorado. It plays an important role of selling local produce, meats, and goods to a small, isolated community in Costilla County. According to Colorado Preservation, Inc., the store isn’t facing imminent danger. However, due to its age and crucial role, preemptive steps are being taken to preserve it. Here’s a fun fact – the current owners are descendants of the original owners that opened shop more than 150 years ago.
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