Durango Telegraph - Pioneers, Prospectors and Trout
Pioneers, Prospectors and Trout

While one La Plata County project is looking to the future, another is digging into the past. “Pioneers, Prospectors and Trout: La Plata County’s Rural Legacy,” a newly completed historical survey, will be presented to the public next Tuesday.

Ruth Lambert, of the San Juan Mountains Association, and Jill Seyfarth, of Cultural Resource Planning, recently helped complete the cultural survey. The result is a way for local residents to have an insider’s look at La Plata County’s past. “Pioneers, Prospectors and Trout” reveals La Plata County’s rural heritage through glimpses of its homes, barns, mining and railroad structures, schools, fishing tales and stories of pioneer families. The two will present the survey at 10 a.m. on Dec. 8 in the La Plata County Courthouse.

During this project, Lambert and Seyfarth photographed, recorded and documented 100 important historic sites across the county, and produced a historical overview of the greater Durango area.

“We have photographed and recorded the sites, but it is the stories that bring these places to life,” Lambert said. “We have a new appreciation for the hard work, courage and tenacity it took to settle and survive here. Above all, we have come to understand how fortunate we are that descendants of these early pioneers still are among us and how important it is to collect their stories and histories for our children.”

The La Plata County Commissioners established a Historic Preservation Review Commission in 2004 to designate local historic sites. In 2007, that commission kicked off the current project by identifying the need for to catalog local sites of historical significance.

For additional information, contact 382-6264.

– Will Sands

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