La Veta (1862, 7,013 feet) stands against the backdrop of the Spanish Peaks, which soar 6,000 feet above the surrounding plains. John Francisco, a Virginian, and John Diagre, a French Canadian, purchased the town-site from owners of the Vigil and St. Vrain Mexican land grant. Their adobe trading post, Fort Francisco, became the nucleus of a settlement first known as Francisco Plaza. Prospectors renamed it La Veta (Spanish for vein), for a gold vein on nearby Spanish Peaks. This scenic village is graced by twenty-seven vernacular buildings constructed by local masons of sandstone from the nearby Piñon Hills Quarry. Even outbuildings were made of this soft yellow stone, including such notable examples as the stone barn at the northwest corner of 4th and Oak streets (1895, E. R. Coleman, builder). One of the few frame buildings in town is the false-fronted general store (1905), now an art gallery, at 220 South Main Street.
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