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 The chimneys survive, although the original flat roof has been replaced by a metal gable roof and porches have been added, along with other Territorial Style elements.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.
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