The Grand Statesmen of Pagosa Springs
Do you see them, the grand statesmen? Now, you may be looking for Ross Aragon and Darrell Cotton somewhere, they are certainly long term Pagosa statesmen, but I am using the term as a metaphor to describe the giant old trees that line Pagosa’s streets. These spruce trees have stood for generations of Pagosans and added stately beauty for all that time.
We don’t know who planted all of them, but I have a clue where some of them came from. Back in the 1980s I was printing The San Juan Adventure Guide, the paper magazine predecessor of this website. I was learning about Pagosa Springs at that time and sought out people who knew our history. Some of these were Worth Crouse, Diane Martinez, Dick Ray, Margaret Archuleta-Daugaard and Emmit Martinez. Emmit served medicine from Jackish Drug Store for many years and was closely connected to Saddleback Ranch. Emmit once told me the huge spruce trees were brought down to Pagosa Springs as infant trees by workers building Wolf Creek Pass. He never said if they were a gift to the town or if they were used as barter for items they may have wanted.
It is easy to note the oldest ones are about the same height and likely the same age. As spruce trees grow at about a foot a year, the timing would be about right as work on the pass road took several years ending in 1938 when the pass was opened.
Pagosa just would not be Pagosa without the great spruce trees. Visitors are seen all year photographing our streets and the trees are part of that charm.