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Backcountry Film Festival – The 12th annual Backcountry Film Festival is coming to the San Luis Valley on February 11th, 2017 to celebrate winter recreation! Join us at Carson Auditorium on Adams State University’s campus between 6:30pm and 7:00pm for the film starts at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online or at the door. For more information and ticket sales visit or call us at 513-600-8053.


Summitville – Del Norte will be the place to be on April 22, 2017.  There will be something for everyone to make a day enjoying the town and all we have to offer. Shopping, dining, seeing the Denver Broncos at the High Valley Community Center, being part of the El Pomar presentation and attending a program at the Rio Grande County Museum of “Summitville –Then and Now” would make a great Saturday. A visit through the newly remodeled High Valley Community Center will be a rewarding experience to see what is being done for our community’s children. A walk with the Historic Del Norte Walking Tour would show the history of the old buildings and the businesses presently in them.

The reception at the Museum will start at 10:00 and continue through the afternoon with a “round table discussion” from those who lived and worked in Summitville.  Steve Crawford and Konnie Kennen from Wildwood Sounds will provide music prior to the discussion.  Crawford was a baby at Summitville with his parents living and working there.  Others scheduled to be part of the afternoon are Bill Ellithorpe, who mined at Summitville, Lee Roy Fuchs who worked at the mines and Floyd and Glen Getz, who as children, worked with their parents with grazing sheep in the area.

For more information, please call Rio Grande County Museum at (719) 657-2847 or High Valley Community Center at (719) 657-2172.  The Museum email is



“Veterans of the Valley, Part I:  The Civil War”

The story of the Civil War will be presented with a different point of view at the Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte on May 20th.  Mikayla Baird, Museum Assistant and Researcher, has approached this major part of American history by  telling the family stories of the veterans who helped to build Del Norte, Monte Vista, South Fork and the surrounding farming communities in Rio Grande County.  She will also give a talk on the Civil War with the politics and other historic events.

This research project was started by museum volunteer, Shirley Kernen, who compiled a list of names and grave markers in the Del Norte Cemetery.  The next step was conducted last Veterans’ Day with Steve Nicolais, Alex Colville, Louise Colville when Mikayla took them to the Del Norte Cemetery where they searched out and photographed the markers of the veterans that Mrs. Kernen had found in her research.

To date, Mikayla has researched approximately sixty to seventy veterans from Rio Grande County.  It has shown that Rio Grande County has a mixture of Union and Confederates and how once the War was over and the movement west had started, these men and their families came together and built our county.   She has found that we had at least two black soldiers who lived and worked in Del Norte and one was an original “Buffalo Soldier.”  These two men are buried in the Homelake Cemetery. This project will be ongoing as more veterans are found.  Hopefully, the next step in our Veterans Project will be the Spanish-American War and World War I.  This phase of the project has been researched for the last six months and will continue.

The result of this research has led to families coming into the Museum with their family stories of their ancestors.  It is hope and desire of the Museum staff to have more families want to share their important stories.  A benefit from this work is now the Museum can expand our ability to help with genealogy research.

The Homelake Veterans’ History Center Museum has also contributed to the work with the information that is provided on their website database.  The Find A Grave website listings for Monte Vista, Del Norte, Homelake has given dates and other information that has been very important in the project.  Polly Cox and Rosalind Weaver have worked hard to keep good information on the Del Norte site and are providing information from their files.

The program, Veterans of the Valley, Part I, The Civil War, will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 with the reception starting at 10:00 a.m. to provide time to visit the exhibits, read the stories and enjoy the other artifacts. Members of the Fort Garland Memorial Regiment will be on hand during the day.  Suzanne Bothell arranged with her sister and brother-in-law to provide re-enactment items to show the uniform and personal items from the period.  Quotes and recipes of the time will be included in the exhibit.  For the experience, “hard tack”may be available for sampling.

The exhibit “Summitville – Then and Now is still open and runs until the end of June.

For more information, please contact the Rio Grande County Museum at (719)657-2847 or by email at Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Admission is $2 per person and $1 for children from 6 to 16.  Admission is waived on event days, but donations are accepted to help with fundraising for museum projects.  Rio Grande County Museum is a Blue Star Museum which gives free admission to veterans and active military members and their families.



Veterans in the Valley – On May 20th at the Rio Grande County Museum – “The Civil War Part I”, will be presented by Museum Assistant, Mikala Baird, who will explore the Civil War through stories, maps and music, its historical impact on the nation and how this relates to the veterans who settled in the San Luis Valley and those buried in cemeteries in our county. The overall program “Veterans of the Valley” will be a continuing exhibit in the museum.  Follow us on Facebook.






The Saguache County Museum is “Back in the Saddle” again planning the 59th Opening Day Celebration for Sunday, May 28th.  In addition, it will indeed be a day of celebration as Saguache County will be 150 years old.

The Pancake Breakfast kicks off the day in the Otto Mears Park Pavilion 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  Come hungry for pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee – all for only $5.00 a person.

At 8:00 A.M., Gaylon Myers will conduct a Cowboy Prayer Service in Otto Mears Park.

At 9:00 A.M., the Museum opens for its 59th year.  New to the Museum this year is a display of Gotthelf furniture in the Virginia Sutherland Room, a renovated Mineral Room with a new blue light, and a Memorial Case honoring Jim Coleman.  The new Images book, #7 in the series, will be on sale; plus other historical books will be on sale for $5.00 each.

Admission to the Museum is $7.00 for adults and $1.00 for each child 12 and under.  The Museum will be open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM through mid-September.

Visit the vendors in Otto Mears Park and in the Saguache Community Building, beginning at 9:00 AM.  If you would like to be a vendor, please contact Jeannie Ewing at 719-480-2920.

The Happy 150th Birthday Parade honoring Saguache County starts at 11:00 AM on 4th Street.  Larry Ward, long time Saguache County rancher, will serve as the Parade Marshall.  The parade line-up begins at 10:00 AM in front of Mountain Valley School.  Any businesses, farmers, ranchers, and residents of Saguache County are invited to participate in the parade.  Please contact Lynn Sutherland at 719-256-4279 for further information.

Enjoy a hot dog lunch at the Otto Mears Park Pavilion from Noon to 2 PM for $5.00 a plate.

The kids will have fun at the Fish Pond in the park.

At the Museum, Margaret Mizushima will be signing copies of her latest book, Stalking Ground, published by Crooked Lane.  It was named a finalist in the 2017 Colorado Book Awards mystery category. This is the second in the series of her Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

Friends of the Library will be serving their famous Root Beer floats in the Museum yard.  And, Larry Ward will be available to sign T-shirts with his picture – be sure to get yours while they last.

Everyone is invited to Saguache County’s 150th Birthday on Sunday afternoon, May 28th, at 2:00 PM in the Community Building.  Enjoy cake, cupcakes, and brownies, along with lemonade and iced tea.  Elvie Samora, and others, will provide the entertainment.

For further information about the day’s events on May 28th or to participate in the 59th Opening celebration of the Saguache County Museum, or for information about Saguache County’s 150th Birthday Celebration, contact Dorraine Gasseling at 719-256-4281.


Alamosa ArtScape – “The City of Alamosa will celebrate 17 sculptures created by artists from near and far on June 2nd at 5:30pm at the Alamosa Welcome Center (SE corner of State and 6th St). The community is encouraged to join the celebration.”

Ride the Rockies – Kicks off in Alamosa to Salida on June 10th –


Wade Collins Exhibit – On July 15 the Rio Grande County Museum will host an exhibit of Wade Collins, western artist and storyteller from Saguache will open his art show that will run into August and be part of the exhibit for Covered Wagon Days.  You can contact us at:

Ride The Cosmic Highway 2017 Conference – Beginning Friday, July 28 and ending July 30. Go to for the list of speakers, activities, fees and registration.

Saguache’s Hollyhock Festival – We also actively support other events and produce a Community Calendar which is available on the Chamber website


Rhythms on the Rio – August 4-6th – More info coming…

Hayride into History – On August 5th the Rio Grande County Museum will be partnering with the Covered Wagon Days and the Old Spanish Trail’s La Vereda del Norte Chapter.  “Hayride into History” will be researched by the Museum staff and will be featured with hay wagon rides through town.  This may be a two-day event if there is enough interest.  Stop in and enjoy a serving of ice cream.  Follow us on Facebook.

Old Spanish Trail – On August 5th during the Covered Wagon Days the Old Spanish Trail’s La Vereda del Norte Chapter will host outdoor events on the patios of the Rio Grande County Museum and will be coordinating with exhibits inside the Museum that will feature the Rio Grande blankets that traders on the trail would have taken from Santa Fe to Los Angeles.

Saguache’s Art Festival – We also actively support other events and produce a Community Calendar which is available on the Chamber website


Saguache’s Fall Festival & Quilt Show – We also actively support other events and produce a Community Calendar which is available on the Chamber website