Churches

Branson Community Church

Enjoy the view from this simple, prairie church founded in 1919 as the “Church of God.” The church housed the 7th and 8th grades from 1920-21 and later became an American Baptist Church. The first high school was held in the Rock Church, which no longer stands. Originally called “Wilson Switch” after the switch on the Denver, Texas & Fort Worth Railroad and later “Coloflats,” the area was first homesteaded by Lawrence Athey around 1916. Settler Josiah F. Branson platted the area in 1919. Branson was once a thriving community with 1,000 residents, grocery stores, a saloon, and other businesses.



3 Athey Ave (HWY 389)
Branson, CO 81027
(719) 946-5646

Hours of Operation
Open by appointment and for services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. The nearby historic jail at the top of the hill includes a small picnic area and offers great views of the surrounding mesas and prairie landscape.

Directions
From US Hwy 160 about 40 miles east of Trinidad take CO Hwy 389 about 10 miles south to Branson. Once you come into town, the highway is also called Athey Ave. After a few blocks you will see the large white church building on your right.

Visitor Services
Parking

Entrance Fees
Free





First Presbyterian Church

Take in the magnificent beauty of the 1907 First Presbyterian Church–now CommUNITY Presbyterian Church–in downtown Rocky Ford. The imposing Tudor Gothic architecture, glazed brick exterior, grand stained glass dome, and the many original features are breathtaking. Admire the elaborate stained glass windows, Gothic arched cloister corridors, the spectacular 1920 Kimball pipe organ, and the original craftsmanship that will immerse you in the church’s devotional spirit. You won’t want to miss the 1906 quilt embroidered with the names of some 292 church members and the fabulous story of how it returned to the church in 1999. The church museum/history room features a collection of early church photographs, manuscripts and war memorial items.
303 S 9th Street
Rocky Ford, CO 81067
(719) 384-2181

facebook.com/CommunityPresbyterianChurch

Hours of Operation
Office/open hours 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mon.-Fri., or by appointment in advance; 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship services.

Directions
From US Hwy 50 turn south onto North 9th Street and drive 3-4 blocks to Walnut Street. The church stands on the SW corner of North 9th and Walnut.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
ADA Availablity

Entrance Fees
Free. Donations for preservation and maintenance appreciated.





Kit Carson Memorial Chapel at Fort Lyon

Kit Carson, Army scout, trapper, brigadier general and one-time commanding officer at Fort Garland, Colorado, died here in May, 1868. Moved from a location within the correctional facility complex in 2002, this stone building was first used as quarters for the post surgeon, who in 1868 was Dr. H. W. Tilton. Carson had been in failing health and was brought to the doctor from his home in Boggsville (now a National Historic Landmark), about two miles south of Las Animas. Now within the grounds of a correctional facility, the chapel can be viewed on the way to the Fort Lyon National Cemetery.

At intersection of Gate Road and Cemetery Road
Fort Lyon, CO 81038
(719) 456-2948

santafetrailscenicandhistoricbyway.org/fortlyon

Hours of Operation
By appointment only, as chapel is on correctional facility grounds. Contact Kathleen Tomlin at 719-456-2948 or Wendy Grover (Fort Lyon Dept. of Corrections) at 719-456-3210. The cemetery is open daily to visitors.

Directions
Take US Hwy 50 five miles east of Las Animas. Turn south on CO Hwy 183. Follow 183 for a mile then enter the Fort Lyon gate. The chapel is located about a quarter mile from the gate on the right side. Fort Lyon National Cemetery is located at 15700 County Road HH, 1 mile east of the Chapel.

Visitor Services
Parking

Travel Tips
Also visit the Old Trail Art Gallery in Las Animas at the only stoplight, the Kit Carson Museum in Las Animas, the 1902 Jail Building near the Bent County Courthouse, Boggsville south of Las Animas and Old Bent’s Fort west of Las Animas. (Each also listed separately on this website.)

Entrance Fees
Free





Masonic Hall – First School Building in Springfield 1888

Built out of local sandstone in 1889, this structure was the first school building in Springfield. The schoolhouse served as a true community center for the fledgling town and was used to meet the educational, civic, and religious needs of the residents. When school was out of session, community dinners, spelling bees, music, drama, recitations, and interdenominational church services were held in the school. In 1920, a new school was built and the rock schoolhouse became a Masonic Hall. Today the building remains as a monument to the pioneering settlers who came West in the late 19th century.


281 West 7th Avenue
Springfield, CO 81064
(719) 523-6654


Hours of Operation
View from street. Not currently open to the public.

Directions
Entering Springfield on Hwy 385/287, turn west onto West 7th Ave., drive 3 blocks. The school building is located on 7th, between Tipton and Santa Fe Streets.

Visitor Services
None

Designations
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
Entrance Fees
None





St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rocky Ford (Christine’s Restaurant)

The church building that now houses Christine’s Restaurant was built in 1910 by a group of men “with a vision.” St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church held its first services in the building in 1911. From the day the doors opened until 1959, all services were conducted in German. In 1972, the final church service was held due to declining attendance and membership. Over the years the former church was used as an antique shop, a funeral home, and even as a weekend “get-away” for one local owner. Mike and Christine Laurent purchased the building in 2004 and began renovations. Christine’s opened for business in January 2005.


209 North 2nd Street
Rocky Ford, CO 81067
(719) 254-3833

ChristinesFineDining.com

Hours of Operation
Christine’s Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and Friday nights 5:30-8:00 p.m. for evening dining.



Directions
For east bounders on US Hwy 50, 2nd Street is the last city street on the west end of town. Turn left onto 2nd Street. Drive 2 blocks. The restaurant is located on the right (west) side of 2nd Street. For west bounders on US Hwy 50, 2nd Street is the first city street upon entering Rocky Ford from the west. Turn left onto 2nd Street, and drive 2 blocks. The restaurant is located on the left (west).



Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Parking
Restrooms
Restaurant
Espresso Cafe





St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sugar City

Experience the grace and beauty of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church–perhaps an unexpected treasure in the heart of Sugar City. Sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa, the church was established in 1901 with twenty-five families attending the first meeting. The congregation continued to meet at various locations until the townsite company donated two lots for a church site. Dedicated in May 1902, the church seated 100 and held services in German. With a significant growth in membership by 1918, the congregation decided to replace the old church with a new one–the current Gothic Revival style structure in which German services were held until 1953.



424 California Street
Sugar City, CO 81076
(719) 267-3897


Hours of Operation
Open by appointment. Services on Sundays.

Directions
From Manzanola on US Hwy 50 take Hwy 207 north 6 miles Hwy 96. Turn east onto CO Hwy 96 towards Crowley and drive 11 miles (past Ordway) to Sugar City. As you come into Sugar City, follow Hwy 96 as it bears south and continue three blocks onto Colorado Ave. to California Street. The church is located on the second block on the NW corner of California and West Buffalo Street.

Visitor Services
Parking


Travel Tips
If you’re hungry check out the Cafe on Colorado Avenue.

Entrance Fees
Free.




Star School

Built by homesteaders around 1898 the Star School is a stunning landmark on the rolling prairie and recalls the early settlement of the region. The land and most of the labor was donated by members of the small group. Apparently much of the stone for the building came from Bent’s Fort about a mile away, which had already been dismantled. In addition to its function as an early school, the schoolhouse served as a meeting hall for community groups and churches for many years. In 1952 the school was consolidated with McClave. Currently a local non-profit group is seeking to restore the building.


32423 US Hwy 50
McClave, CO 81057
(719) 931-4323


Hours of Operation
Outdoor site.

Directions
The schoolhouse is located on the north side of US Hwy 50, about 25 miles east of Las Animas and 3 miles west of US Hwy 287 North to Eads.

Visitor Services
Parking


Travel Tips
A selection of restaurants and lodging is located in Lamar about 10 miles east of the schoolhouse on US Hwy 50.

Entrance Fees
Free.




Stonington Methodist Episcopal Church

Step back in history in the lovely prairie village of historic Stonington. The Late Gothic Revival style of the 1917 white clapboard Methodist-Episcopal Church recalls New England design. Local craftsman W. S. Murray, a postmaster from a nearby small Kansas town, built the church and many of the small residences in town. It was the second church built–and the only identified example of this style–in Baca County. The original wood weathervane and bell are still functional. Stonington was established in 1887 and was named for the rocky stream near the original site. It was the hub for the surrounding community until Walsh was established in 1926.


48854 County Rd. X
Walsh, CO 81090
(719) 324-5331


Hours of Operation
The church, which was remodeled inside in the 1980s, has not been used or open to the public for many years.

Directions
From US Hwy 160 in Walsh take North Colorado Street (which become County Road 44) 6.4 miles south to County Rd X. Turn east (left) onto County Rd X and drive about 3.5 miles to Stonington. You will see the white clapboard church on the right. Stonington is an area of about 6 blocks.

Visitor Services
Parking


Designations
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
Be prepared for long distances and remote dirt roads. Bring water and snacks. The old schoolhouse and school/grange building are just south of the church.

Entrance Fees
Free.