Huerfano Butte Historical

Huerfano Butte Historical (HM1UBG)

Location: Walsenburg, CO 81089 Huerfano County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 44.931', W 104° 50.024'

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Beacon to Settlement

Here, in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks and the Wet Mountains, stands El Huerfano - "the orphan." This stark and lonely volcanic outcrop, named in the late 1700s by an unknown Spanish trader, had for centuries guided earlier Hispanos and Indian peoples passing through this country. After 1821 when this land became part of Mexico, Huerfano Butte served as a beacon to settlement. Northern migrating New Mexicans established plazas and placitas - small agricultural communities - along the Huerfano River and on nearby streams. The 450-year Hispano presence in Southern Colorado can be seen in the names of the region's rivers and mountains, towns and villages and in the face of its people.

Graphic: Drawing of Fremont's Expedition
In 1853 Colonel John C. Fremont's fifth and last western expedition - a railroad survey - passed Huerfano Butte on its way to California. The expedition's photographer, Solomon Carvalho, stopped to take a picture of the butte, which he thought looked like a "mammoth sugar loaf." This drawing of Fremont's expedition is taken from Carvalho's photograph.
Colorado Historical Society

Graphic: Map of Mexican Land Grants in Colorado
Eager to settle its far northern frontier, the Mexican government granted to a few favored individuals vast tracts of land in present Southern Colorado.
Here on the sprawling Vigil-St. Vrain Grant (over 4 million acres), Huerfano Butte and its rich surrounding grasslands attracted many hopeful settlers, including at least one Frenchman - a man names Beaubois, who in 1858 established a ranch and later built a fort one-half mile north of this point.
Colorado Historical Society

Graphic: Map of Plazas and Placitas
In the 1830s and 1840s plazas and placitas dotted the river valleys here in Huerfano Butte County.

Reverse side map: Huerfano Butte Country
Year Placed1996
Placed ByColorado Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 12th, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 514647 N 4177963
Decimal Degrees37.74885000, -104.83373333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 44.931', W 104° 50.024'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 44' 55.86" N, 104° 50' 1.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)719
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near I-25, Walsenburg CO 81089, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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