Posts Tagged ‘Southern Colorado Ghost Towns’

Highway 12, known as “The Highway of Legends” heads west from Trinidad, Colorado along the Purgatoire River into the foothills. Along this strip of highway from Trinidad to the east base of the Sangre de Cristos are numerous plazas- small communities punctuated by their picturesque Catholic churches, tiny congregational cemeteries, and small clusters of homes. Many of these plazas date back to the 1860’s when thirteen families from Mora, New Mexico settled the area, although the Purgatoire valley had been frequented and populated intermittently long before that by Spanish and Mexican ranchers. The plazas took the name of the founding family such as “Cordova Plaza” and “Parras Plaza.”

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s coal mining revitalized some of these little communities, and evidence of the coal mining era can be seen along way as you wind westward through the valley. When the coal mines closed, and the plazas returned to their sleepy existence as ranching   communities. Some of the plazas that dot the road are still occupied, a few are abandoned. A trip down the Highway of Legends today gives you a chance to view the crumbling adobe of these early Colorado settlements.

leg1

Church at Tijeras Plaza

leg4

Tijeras Plaza Cemetery with Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance

leg7

Abandoned home along the Highway of Legends

leg5

A weathered headstone at one of the tiny cemeteries

leg15

Another of the abandoned catholic Churches along the way

leg8

Valdez

leg6

2016 Ghosts of Colorado Calendar by Jeff Eberle Only $14.99!

lulu3

leg10

Valdez

leg11

Abandoned cars at Valdez

leg12

Segundo

leg14

Segundo

medina1

leg3

Crown of a human skull exposed by time and the elements at one of the tiny cemeteries along the route.

leg19 - Copy

General Store at Weston

leg20 - Copy

Weston Elementary School

leg17

Unique House at Weston

leg23 - Copy

Vigil

leg21 - Copy

Church at Vigil

leg9

leg16

leg18 - Copy

leg13

leg22 - Copy

Vigil

leg25 - Copy

Parras Plaza

leg24 - Copy

Parras Plaza

leg26 - Copy

Parras Plaza

leg27

Parras Plaza

leg28

Parras Plaza

Advertisements