Second city: Cortez put down roots in La Plata County

Cortez, the metropolis of the grand and vast valley of the Montezuma, is situated in the very center of the western half of La Plata County. Cortez is already a rapidly growing town and will be the...

DATE: Oct. 4, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Scraping out a living in the ditches of Montezuma County

Editor’s note: This is the second of two Looking Back columns about the Hammond brothers. Part 1 published on Aug. 3. By James Hammond James, Allen and Matthew Hammond came from Quebec to Colorado....

DATE: Sept. 4, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

The Hammond brothers’ journey west to Rico

Editor’s note: This is the first of two Looking Back columns about the Hammond brothers. Part 2 is scheduled to publish in The Journal on Sept. 7. By James Hammond I was born in the province of...

DATE: July 30, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

The coal mines of Montezuma Valley, from Mesa Verde to Mitchell Springs

Growing up in Cortez, we always had heat in the house. There was the cook stove – the Warm Morning – maybe the pot belly stove for heat, but I never asked where the coal came from. When a load of...

DATE: July 3, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Early Mesa Verde center included cabins, a shop and a bear

If you were to ask the man on the street, “Where is Hallarville?” You would get a blank stare. Old-timers know it was a 40-acre roadside business on the north side of U.S. Highway 160, opposite the...

DATE: May 30, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Families tell history of a Route 666 ghost town

By June Head Montezuma County Historical Society Ackmen was a dryland community that was bypassed by the construction of U.S. Route 666, now known as U.S. Highway 491. Ackmen’s residents moved to...

DATE: May 1, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

The Indian racetrack near Old McPhee

Editor’s Note: This is the last of three parts of Erastus Thompson’s recollections of life in Montezuma County in the late 1800s. The entire article is in the Montezuma County Historical Society...

DATE: April 3, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

The Nevada Colony of the Dolores River Valley in 1872

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three parts of Erastus Thompson’s recollections of life in Montezuma County in the late 1800s. The entire article is in the Montezuma County Historical Society...

DATE: Feb. 27, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Recollections of early Dolores by Erastus Thompson

Editor’s note: This column is the first of two parts about life in early Dolores, Colorado. Part 2 will continue in The Journal on March 2. By Erastus Thompson I was born in Iowa in March 1858, and...

DATE: Jan. 30, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Life in Big Bend and the young Cortez in 1885

I was born in Kansas in the Indian Territory in 1870. About five years of age, I came with my family to Colorado, where we lived for a short time. When I was fifteen years, old Dad got his wagon...

DATE: Jan. 2, 2018 | COLUMN: Looking back

Philip Runck and the spirit of Christmas

Some readers may remember when a fragrant, juicy orange in their Christmas stocking was a real treat, especially in the Montezuma Valley, where apples were plentiful and oranges were not. Philip...

DATE: Dec. 23, 2017 | COLUMN: Looking back

Emil Johnson and the start of hospital care in Cortez

Emil E. Johnson was born in the south of Sweden in 1882. In 1897, he came with his brother, Otto, to Minnesota but settled on a farm in South Dakota. He did farm work and went to school. He was...

DATE: Dec. 8, 2017 | COLUMN: Looking back