Thursday, July 26

La Veta

Here is where we be. The Inn was built in 1876 (photo from the Inn)

History of the town

Colonel John M. Francisco (1820 – 1902) and Judge Henry Daigre (1832 – 1902) formed a partnership and purchased land under the Vigil-St. Vrain Land Grant in 1868. The land was located on a Native American trail used by the Ute tribe (and earlier the Comanches). They built a plaza known as Francisco Fort to supply the Denver mining camps with products from ranching and farming. Ranches and farms like that of the Bela and Fain families were located nearby.

In Spanish, La Veta, translates as “the mineral vein”, which is apropos, given the town's association with mining claims; like the abandoned mining camp of Ojo which is located a few miles from the town. The concrete foundations of the camp can still be seen upon close inspection. Hiram Vasquez said that the town was named by Mexican settlers from a vein of white mineral which they called “La Veta Tierra Blanca”.

By 1876 the Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company -- later theDenver & Rio Grande Western Railroad - built a narrow gauge railroad through a right-of-way to the plaza and 200 acres for a town site donated by Francisco and Daigre. The tracks continued over what is known today as “Old La Veta Pass”, completing a trek up to an elevation of 9582 feet to a depot built by1877 in a place known as “Uptop”.