State Senator Antonio D. Archuleta introduced the bill to create the county named for him in 1885. Most of this mountainous county is either in San Juan National Forest or part of the Southern Ute Reservation, which occupies its southwest quadrant. The Denver & Rio Grande reached Pagosa Springs in 1881 and began shipping out cattle, sheep, and timber. Forests of giant ponderosa pines and Englemann spruce made Archuleta County the state's largest lumber producer by 1900. The modern economy is supported by production of oil, sand, and gravel as well as by agriculture, lumbering, and recreation, with the last predominant. Vernacular architecture, Anglo and Hispanic, prevails.
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