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Francisco Plaza

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1860s. 312 S. Main St. (NR)

This plaza is enclosed on three sides by one-story adobe buildings with 18-to-25-inchthick walls and on the fourth side by a fence. The small, dirt-floored rooms open inward on the plaza, with no windows or doors in the outward-facing walls. The chimneys survive, although the original flat roof has been replaced by a metal gable roof and porches have been added, along with other Territorial Style elements. John Francisco built this as his home, trading post, and granary. When the D&RG reached La Veta in 1876, the rooms were converted to a hotel, telegraph offices, and depot. In 1957 the fort became a museum. On the grounds are the Ritter School (1876), a one-room log schoolhouse moved here from its original site 5 miles east on the Cucharas River; a clapboard Presbyterian church (1893) used since 1973 for the summer theatricals of the Spoon River Players; and a tiny stone building that was once the town hall (1912). A saloon (1888), the Hiram Vasquez Blacksmith Shop (1863), and other buildings have been moved to this museum complex, which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Francisco Plaza", [La Veta, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 373-373.

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