Built in 1928–30, Capilla de San Antonio de Padua is a Catholic church in Lasauses in the San Luis Valley. Constructed in the Territorial Adobe style, the church incorporated one wall of an earlier church on the same site, which was built in 1880 but destroyed by fire in 1926. Today, the church is the only public building remaining in Lasauses and is still used for Mass once a month.
When Colorado Territory was organized in 1861, the new government granted three permits for ferries across the Rio Grande. One of those ferries was established at Stewart’s Crossing, which lay on a roughly diagonal road connecting Fort Garland and Conejos. The town of Lasauses (from the Spanish los sauces, “willows”) developed just south of the ferry and was settled in 1863 by Hispanos from San Antonio de Mora, New Mexico.
By 1870 the town had twenty-three families but no church, requiring residents to travel to Conejos for services. In 1880 the community built a flat-roofed adobe chapel in the Hispanic Adobe style on land donated by Juan N. Trujillo. Dedicated to San Antonio de Padua (St. Anthony of Padua), the chapel served the Lasauses community for nearly fifty years before it was mostly destroyed by fire in 1926. The east wall was still standing, and in 1928 the community used that as the starting point for a new adobe church building, which was consecrated in 1930.
Built in the Territorial Adobe style, Capilla de San Antonio de Padua had adobe walls covered in white stucco, a gabled roof, and a cupola. It was designed in an L-shaped plan, with the nave in the longer central portion of the building and the sacristy in the smaller side wing. Inside, the church featured a marbleized-wood altar, and the east wall had a balcony above the entrance.
Capilla de San Antonio de Padua has seen relatively few changes over the years. In the 1970s, the church received a set of wooden pews from the church in Los Cerritos, which closed in 1969. In 1997 it received a new metal roof and had two of its stained-glass windows restored. That year the church was listed on the State Register of Historic Properties.
In 1934, not long after Capilla de San Antonio de Padua was built, Lasauses had nearly 300 residents, all of whom were Catholic. After World War II, however, the town steadily lost population as people moved to larger cities. Today the area still has a handful of residences and adobe commercial buildings along County Road 28. Capilla de San Antonio de Padua is now a mission church of St. Joseph Parish, based in Capulin, and Mass is celebrated by a visiting priest on the last Saturday of each month.