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Blanca (1908, 7,746 feet) was named for nearby Mount Blanca, a huge, snowcapped massif soaring to 14,345 feet with four lower shoulders over 14,000 feet high. Blanca became the northernmost terminus and home base of the San Luis Southern Railway (1910–1959), which joined the D&RG here. This standard-gauge road ran 31 miles south through Ojito, San Acacio, Mesita, and Jaroso in Costilla County but never reached its projected terminus, which was Taos, New Mexico. The town well pavilion, made of rubblestone, remains at the northeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Main Street (Colorado 160). St. James the Less Catholic Church (1938), northeast corner of 9th Street and Broadway, is adobe with Gothic-arched windows and a blind rose window. The diminutive model next to the church, which is carried in processions to represent the community, is typical of those found beside the mission churches of the San Luis Valley.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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