The Settlement of Westcliffe, Colorado

The Settlement of Westcliffe, Colorado
By Irene Francis on February 4, 2014

The question: What were the names of the families that settled in Westcliffe and what year was that?

Rosita, Ula, Querida, Silver Cliff, were names of towns that were settled before Westcliffe.  Groups of people had gathered across the Wet Mountain Valley (WMV) for Ranching, Mining,  and Farming.  Railroad service was essential to the prosperity of any early community.  General Palmer and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroads were ready to meet those needs.   The construction of the D&RG Railroad into the WMV began in 1880 with narrow gauge tracks along Grape Creek.  Land was bought around the terminus by Dr. Bell, a partner of General Palmer then sold in lots that were incorporated into the  town named Westcliffe in 1887.  In 1901 the narrow gauge track railroad was replaced with the standard railroad entering the town, making it even more the center of  commerce.  As the ore gave out in the mines around the larger towns of Rosita, Querida and Silver Cliff, depleting their population,  folks who had first settled in those areas of Custer County moved into Westcliffe.

Families with the surname Falkenberg, Adams, Baker, Austin, Schoolfield, Koch, Knuth, Hartbauer, Kelling, Rankin, Menzel.  Even today some of those names can be heard spoken in the town.



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2 Responses to The Settlement of Westcliffe, Colorado

  1. Dave Taylor May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    This amazing Lady has always offered her heart her wisdom and her home to any curious person who was wise enough to partake.
    The wise will listen.
    A true Custer County Historian and a lover of people places and Heaven.

    • brushpub May 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

      Thank you David Taylor for your kind words. I hope you will visit this Website often to
      learn more about the history of the Wet Mountain Valley, and look to the Blog as the
      avenue for that information.

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