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St. Joseph Catholic Church

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1912, Justo Duran, builder. 14 Church Rd.

Capulin (c. 1867, 7,810 feet) named for the native chokecherries, is a relatively prosperous hub for surrounding ranches and farms. Townsfolk used horse teams to haul buff-colored sandstone from Hot Creek Quarry 12 miles to the west for stonemason Justo Duran of Monte Vista. He constructed this house of God with rough-hewn blocks and corner pilasters extending through the gable roof and topped by carved stone crosses. A wooden cross tops the closed bell tower. The wooden altar, acquired in 1924, is intricate in detail and elaborately painted to resemble several colors of marble. Stained glass windows fill Gothic-arched openings, and a small Gothic window lights the wooden choir loft above the entrance.

The former cloister (1928) of the Benedictine sisters who taught in the parish school has become the rectory. Its two stories of gray cast stone blocks join the church at the northwest corner. This rectory has round-arched windows on the first floor. The two-story stone parish office meets the church at the southwest corner, creating a complex footprint and an interesting intersection of walls around the apse. The preceding church (1878), of adobe, stood on the west side of the church cemetery.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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