chaffee county scenic byways
salida and buena vista scenic byways downtown salida colorado
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arkansas valley
Early ranchland in Chaffee County

PONCHA SPRINGS COLORADO

Directions: Poncha Springs - Junction of US Hwy 50 and US Hwy 285

The first written description of this area was recorded by Spanish governor Juan Bautista de Anza, who led 600 soldiers from Santa Fé augmented by Ute Indian warriors over Poncha Pass in August 1779 on their way to the eastern plains and victory over Comanche Indians under Chief Cuerno Verde. The town on the South Arkansas River at the bottom of the pass, the gateway to the San Luis Valley, was platted as Poncho Springs in 1879. It grew as a railroad junction and popular resort because of its location and healthful hot springs. The historic Jackson Hotel records visits by notables of the time, both famous and infamous. Today it sustains Chaffee County’s third largest community and the flag flies proudly from the cupola on the prominent two-story Town Hall, which was completed in 1883 as a school in the Italianate style.

PONCHA SPRINGS SCHOOLHOUSE
330 Burnett St.
National Register 1/25/1990, 5CF.130
Completed in 1883, the T-plan building is a good local example of the Italianate style. The two-story red brick building has stone quoins and a cross-gabled roof that is topped with an open bell tower with a mansard roof. Two classrooms were on the first floor, and an auditorium occupied the second. The building remained in use as a school until 1957. In 1962, it was deeded to the town of Poncha Springs for use as a museum and community meeting place.
Currently serves as Town Hall for the Town of Poncha Springs.

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