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Fort Garland

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The army post of Fort Garland (1858, 7,936 feet) replaced Fort Massachusetts (1852–1858), 8 miles north on Ute Creek. Initially built to provide protection from the Utes, the fort attracted settlers and merchants. The D&RG arrived in 1878, and “Garland City” briefly flourished as an end-of-track town. It was described by settler John Morgan, whose account was published almost a century later in Colorado Magazine (November 1948). “Garland is emphatically a railroad town,” he wrote in 1878. When the railroad pushed on to Alamosa, he explained: “Garland begins to move forward, and on every hand we see men tearing down the frail wooden structures with which it is built, and starting westward with them. Soon Garland will be a thing of the past and only battered oyster cans, cast-off clothing, old shoes, and debris will mark the site of where once stood a flourishing city, with its hotels, its stores, its théatre comique, etc.”

The original adobe Holy Family Church (c. 1894) sits beside its 1950 replacement of stuccoed cinderblock with a curvilinear parapet and twin front bell towers. The adobe Hoaglund Store (1880s), on the north side of the fort, with its Victorian storefront and stepped, capped parapets on the side walls, exemplifies the Territorial Style.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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