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Francisco Plaza

  • Francisco Plaza

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    John M. Francisco and his trading partner, Henry Daigre, built Francisco Plaza in 1862 at the site of present-day La Veta. In 1876 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reached the plaza, which housed the railroad depot and related operations for several years.
    Francisco Plaza
  • Francisco Plaza, 1890

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    By the 1890s the railroad tracks next to Francisco Plaza were removed and the property returned to its earlier use as a residence and farm. John Francisco rented rooms to families and businesses.
    Francisco Plaza, 1890
  • Francisco Plaza, North Entry

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    The plaza was designed as a U-shaped building around a central courtyard, with all the doors and windows facing the courtyard to make the building harder to attack. It originally had a fence on the east side as well as a small entrance to the courtyard on the north side, pictured here.
    Francisco Plaza, North Entry
  • Francisco Plaza Courtyard

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    The town of La Veta acquired the plaza and in 1958 opened it to the public as a museum. Today the Huerfano County Historical Society operates the Francisco Fort Museum, which is open during the summer.
    Francisco Plaza Courtyard
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References: 

Mike Butler, Around the Spanish Peaks (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2012).

Nancy Hirleman Christofferson, “Francisco Plaza,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form, ed. Sally Pearce (August 10, 1985).

Virginia McConnell Simmons, The San Luis Valley: Land of the Six-Armed Cross (Boulder: Pruett Publishing, 1979).

Additional Information: 

Robert A. Murray, Las Animas, Huerfano and Custer: Three Colorado Counties on a Cultural Frontier: A History of the Raton Basin (Denver: Colorado State Office of the Bureau of Land Management, 1979).

Map: