Located south of Cortez, Mitchell Springs once provided area residents and travelers with water. The site will be commemorated on Saturday.
Near the intersection of South Oak Street and County Road H, Mitchell Springs will be marked with a plaque at an 11 a.m. dedication ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 26. The event is sponsored by area Clampers.
“We try to add notoriety to some of the old western historical sites,” said event organizer John Harting. “We’re always scouting for places that we think deserve to be dedicated.”
Mitchell Springs was first homesteaded in 1882. At its heyday, the small settlement boasted a few homes, a bank, a saloon, a store and a post office.
Officials with the Montezuma County Historical Society claim that Mitchell Springs was a welcome rest stop for weary wagon freighters traveling between Durango and Aneth. At the time, round trips between the two cities could take six weeks or more.
Water from Mitchell Springs was also transported to Cortez where it was reportedly sold to consumers for “a quarter a bucket.”
Formed in the mid-1880s to help orphans and widows, the Clampers are currently some 80,000 strong across the western United States.In addition to Mitchell Springs, area Clampers have also placed historical plaques at the Columbine Bar in Mancos, the Galloping Goose Museum in Dolores, the Ridgway Railroad Museum and the Mine Shaft Inn in Rico.