Southeast Colorado Schools

Branson School

Admire the brick stonework and enjoy the outdoor family amenities of this two-story school, built in 1923 to meet the needs of the booming Branson community. Two hundred grade and high school students attended this school in 1923-24, when the town’s population had peaked at about 1,000. Kids will enjoy burning off energy at the playground, and the public is welcome to use the tables, grills, and potable water available east of the basketball courts.



101 Saddlerock Drive
Branson, CO 81027
(719) 946-5531
Branson School Online

Hours of Operation
Outdoor grounds are open for public use, with first courtesy given to the students when school is in session.

Directions
From US Hwy 160 about 40 miles east of Trinidad take CO Hwy 389 about 10 miles south to Branson. Turn left (east) onto Saddlerock Drive, the first street in town. At the east end of the street, 2 blocks from the highway, you will see the two-story brick schoolhouse.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area


Travel Tips
A flyer “7 Things to Do While You’re Here in Branson,” ice cream, and refreshments are available at the historic schoolhouse (also a thrift/gift shop) just up the block on Saddlerock Drive, Fri.-Sun. in summer through September. Fuel up before leaving town for this remote area. Gas and food are 50 miles away in Trinidad or 45 miles away in Kim. Cell phone service is spotty.

Entrance Fees
No admission fee. Donations accepted





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





Glendale School House

Step back into early schooldays on the prairie inside the Glendale Schoolhouse. This restored 1929 woodframe schoolhouse has been carefully preserved with many of the original furnishings intact. Moved in 1976 some 25 miles from its original location to the fairgrounds, the schoolhouse continues to host quilts and other heritage displays during the fair in summer. The original coal burning stove, hardwood floors, glass lanterns, piano, water crock, teacher desk/stage area and later student desks are still in place. An original map of schools in Baca County and other historical documents are also on display.


Baca County Fairgrounds
28500 County Road 24.6
Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 523-6971


Hours of Operation
By appointment only (April-October) or during county fair in late July/early August.

Directions
Fairgrounds are located on the extreme western side of Springfield, north of the railroad tracks. From US Hwy 287 turn west on West 9th Ave. and drive about 6 blocks to the end of the street near the fairgrounds south entrance (on Road 24.6). The schoolhouse is located just inside the gate north of the driveway. The gate may be locked.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms

Travel Tips

Several steakhouses and other restaurants are located in downtown Springfield.

Entrance Fees
Free. Donations towards preservation appreciated.




Hartman Gymnasium

Perched on a hilltop, the Hartman Gymnasium was constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project c. 1938 by local workers as an addition to the existing two-story school. Though the school was torn down, the locally quarried limestone gym was saved and given to the town when the school district consolidated. The gym was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the only WPA construction in Hartman and for its local social significance in long service as a community center. The annex building, which was moved in 1947 from Camp Amache, the Granada Japanese-American internment camp, is historic in its own right.

100 School AVE
Hartman, CO 81043
(719) 739-4362
http://www.crowleyheritagecenter.com

Hours of Operation
By appointment

Directions
From US Hwy 50 turn north onto US Highway 385 at the center of Granada. Take Hwy 385 north a few miles over the Arkansas River to County Road KK. CR KK is the first main fork to the east off of 385. Bear east up the rise off of Hwy 385 and travel approximately 5 miles on CR KK to CR 29.5. Turn left (north), you will see the gym ahead on the right at the top of the hill.

Visitor Services
Parking

Designations
State Register of Historic Places


Travel Tips
Granada is located just a few miles away on US Hwy 50. The Granada Gymnasium at the east edge of town is another WPA landmark. The Amache Museum is located at the center of Granada and has interpretational materials and documentation on Camp Amache National Historic Landmark, located just west of town on Hwy 50. The museum is open by appt. through Town Hall, 719-734-5411.(See listing on this website.) Granada has some excellent restaurants.

Entrance Fees
No admission fee.





Holly Gymnasium

The gymnasium is constructed of Niobrara limestone and measures 125 x 77. The regularly course ashlar masonry has a sawed finish and rests on a raised concrete foundation. The building consists of three sections, a large gymnasium with two smaller extensions off its west (facade) and east (rear) ends. The facade extension contains a lobby and two classrooms; the rear extension has a raised stage and dressing rooms. The gymnasium is covered by a truncated gable roof sheathed with asphalt shingles. The upper portion of the gable ends are stuccoes. The flat-roof extensions have stepped parapet walls trimmed with coping.



201 N Main
Holly, CO 81041
(719) 537-6616
http://www.crowleyheritagecenter.com

Hours of Operation
By appointment

Directions
From US Hwy 50 turn north onto US Highway 385 at the center of Granada. Take Hwy 385 north a few miles over the Arkansas River to County Road KK. CR KK is the first main fork to the east off of 385. Bear east up the rise off of Hwy 385 and travel approximately 5 miles on CR KK to CR 29.5. Turn left (north), you will see the gym ahead on the right at the top of the hill.

Visitor Services
Parking

Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places


Travel Tips
Granada is located just a few miles away on US Hwy 50. The Granada Gymnasium at the east edge of town is another WPA landmark. The Amache Museum is located at the center of Granada and has interpretational materials and documentation on Camp Amache National Historic Landmark, located just west of town on Hwy 50. The museum is open by appt. through Town Hall, 719-734-5411.(See listing on this website.) Granada has some excellent restaurants.

Entrance Fees
No admission fee.





Kim Schools

The Kim School buildings are a spectacular example of New Deal era craftsmanship, evident especially in the exterior masonry work. A close look at some of the sandstone window and door surrounds reveal the workers’ creative touch; keen eyes will locate the forms of an eagle, a lyre, and other animals and emblems carved in the stone. Constructed over an eight year period, the three buildings provided much needed employment through the Great Depression/Dust Bowl years and provided the first substantial school buildings in Kim. The gymnasium (1933-35), elementary school (1937), and high school (1938-41) are excellent examples of New Deal Rustic design.

425 State Street Kim, CO 81049
(719) 643-5295
More Info

Hours of Operation
Check in at school office upon arrival. Summer office hours: 9am-2pm, Tues-Thurs.; School year office hours: 7:30am-5pm, Mon.-Thurs.

Directions
From US Hwy 160 E turn south onto Las Animas Ave. and drive two blocks to State St. Turn left (east); the school buildings are on the immediate left (north side of street).

Visitor Services
Parking

Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips
Kim is in an isolated area and has the only gas pump available for some 30-50 miles. Be sure to fuel up before driving out. The Kim Out Post and gas pump, 115 Las Animas Ave., are generally open for service on weekdays M-F, 7:30 am-5 pm, (719) 643-5265. Gas (diesel and unleaded) is also available by credit card at all hours and on weekends at a separate pump: Take Las Animas Ave to stop sign, turn right to pump. The Kim Out Post includes a small cafe/grill, open until 3:45 pm weekdays. Entrance Fees
No admission fee.





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





Kit Carson Museum

Constructed of adobe in 1940 and originally used to house German prisoners of war captured in South Africa, the Kit Carson Museum focuses on the history of Bent County from the time of Kit Carson through World War II. Additional buildings on view include an 1860 stage station, the original Bent County Jail, the first Las Animas city jail, a blacksmith shop, a carriage house and a one-room county school house–the Kreybill School. The Kit Carson Museum presents a collection of artifacts representing the development of Bent County from the days of Kit Carson through WWII.


9th & Bent Ave
Las Animas, CO 81054
(719) 456-6066
More Info

Hours of Operation
Memorial Day to Labor Day from 1pm to 5pm, seven days a week. Year round by appointment. Call 719-456-0506.

Directions
Take Highway 50 from either direction into Las Animas. Turn south on Highway 101 (by the Bent County Courthouse). Go one block across the railroad tracks, then turn left on the next street, which is 9th Street. It is one block down on the right side.

Travel Tips
Plan on stopping at the Old Trail Art Gallery in Las Animas (at the only stoplight, opposite from Dairy Queen), the Kit Carson Chapel at Fort Lyon (5 miles east of Las Animas), Boggsville south of Las Animas, and Bent’s Old Fort, west of Las Animas.

Entrance Fees

13 and older: $2.00 12 and under: Free




Otero Museum

Experience life in the lower Arkansas Valley during the pioneer days on this 12 acre site. Tour a 1890’s home filled with period furniture, a log cabin schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and a neighborhood grocery store which opened in 1903. The extensive collection includes a chuck wagon, surrey, a 1927 fire engine and a 1867 Stage Coach among other items.



218 Anderson
LaJunta, CO 81041
(719) 384-7500
Otero Museum

Hours of Operation
Summer hours(June-September) are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Winter hours are on call. Museum volunteers are always happy to open upon request, summer or winter, for out of town visitors. The phone number is 719-384-7500 or 719-384-9014

Directions
Coming from the west on US Highway 50 enter La Junta on 3rd street, just after going under the train overpass. Or, stay on Hwy 50 a few more blocks until you see a Otero Museum sign at the Sonic Burger corner, which is Anderson St. Turn right and go two blocks – corner of third and Anderson. Traveling from the East, take US Highway 50 to La Junta. You will go through the stop light at Colorado, which is Main (north/south) Street, continue another 1/2 mile to the Sonic Burger corner where you will see the Otero Museum sign. Turn left, go two blocks.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
ADA Compliant

Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips

Call ahead if you will be arriving during our closed hours. We will need to alert a volunteer docent that will fit your needs.

Entrance Fees

No admittance fee, but donations are always welcome.




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.




Savage Stadium

The stadium and stone wall complex was a WPA project that was not completed until 1942, making it one of the state’s last significant WPA projects to finish. Made of coursed quarry-faced ashlar stone, the stadium and stone wall are a beautiful site to see. Schedule your visit during Savage football or track season and support the local team while taking in this remarkable structure.





500 West Park Street
Lamar, CO 81052
(719) 336-3251



Hours of Operation
North gate is open at all times. Restrooms are only open during events.

Directions
Enter Lamar on Main Street (Hwy 50 East, Hwy 287 or Hwy 385 North OR left (south) off of Hwy 50 West, 385 South). Turn west on West Park Street. Drive a few blocks and the stadium will be on your right.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Snak Bar / Restaurant
ADA Compliant

Entrance Fees
Call ahead for events and prices.




Park School (now Fowler Town Hall)

When the first, 1901 school was destroyed by fire in 1905, the school was immediately rebuilt on the original site with a capacity for 250 students. The prominent stature and location of the school in the developing area indicates its priority for the community. Between 1905 and 1954, the school was constructed in four phases. The early phases of the Park School were constructed in a simple brick style with elements of Romanesque Revival at the main entries, original bell towers (removed in 1954), and minimal decoration. Though the red brick construction was maintained, modern windows were integrated in the later phase. The Park School is now being rehabilitated to house municipal services including the Town Hall, Police Department and Library. The project includes geo-thermal heating and cooling.


400 6th Street
Fowler, CO 81039
(719) 263-4461
More Info



Hours of Operation
Public Access

Directions
From US Hwy 50 in downtown Fowler, turn south onto 6th Street and drive 2 blocks. You will see the large two-story brick school building on the left. The school building is located near the intersection of 6th and Florence Streets (just one block east of Main).

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
ADA Compliant

Entrance Fees
None.




Ordway High School (now Crowley County High School)

Built in 1918 as Ordway High School, the magnificent brick Crowley County High School is the second oldest high school in continuous operation in Colorado. The Mediterranean Revival building stands out for its spectacular brickwork and expansive tile roof. The building cost $100,000 to construct in 1918. Many original interior features remain, and grant funding has assisted with the restoration of the windows and front balustrade. The auditorium has recently been renovated to provide the original seating with new upholstery and install matching carpet and stage curtain. Incorporated in 1900 Ordway is the county seat and named for George N. Ordway, an early pioneer.

602 Main
Ordway, CO 81063
(719) 267-3582
More Info



Hours of Operation
Call at least a day in advance to make an appointment to view interior. Check in at office upon arrival. Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Directions
From Crowley, CO drive 6 miles east on CO Hwy 96 to Ordway. Turn north (left) onto Colorado Ave. and take the first right onto 1st St. Continue one block and bear left onto Main Street. Go 5 blocks to the high school building, which is on the NW corner of the intersection of 6th and Main.

Visitor Services
Parking

Entrance Fees
None.




Konantz School

In 1935, the Konantz School District applied for a WPA project to construct a new stone school building with a full basement and stage, large enough to also serve as a community center. According to the project application: “The present school house is very much in need of repair, for it was badly damaged during the dust storm last spring. It does not provide enough room for classes, especially those of lower grades.” A WPA crew of 45 men began construction in late 1935 and completed work in 1938. Workers dug rock from a quarry about 200 yards from the school.

County Rd 55 and DD
Walsh, CO 81090
(719) 324-5411
More Info



Hours of Operation
Private property view from the road.

Directions
Take US Hwy 160 to Walsh. Turn south on North Colorado Street to enter the downtown and go 5 blocks to end of street. Turn left (east) onto East Maplewood Street, which becomes County Road DD. Take CR DD 11.2 miles to the Konantz School, visible on your left (north), near County Road 55.

Travel Tips
Fill up with fuel before leaving town. Walsh has a grocery store and several cafes. The Konantz School is part of the self-guided Dust Bowl Sites/WPA Driving Tour, also listed on this website. A downloadable map is available at http://www.santafetrailscenicandhistoricbyway.org/ArenaDustBowlTours.pdf. The Burchfield State Wildlife Area is located just east of the Konantz School, with entrance and parking south of the road. The wooded area includes walking trails for watching birds and wildlife. The Konantz School is just a few miles from the Kansas stateline. Visitor Services
Parking

Entrance Fees
None.




Edler School and Bus Garage

Consider the layers of history at the Edler school buildings, now a private residence. The Edler area was homesteaded around 1912-1913. Built in 1916, Edler’s first post office was in continual use through 1948. Around 1928, the small schools established by the settlers across the prairie were consolidated to Edler. A 24 x 24 frame building was moved from Horseshoe and placed over a one-room basement to accommodate elementary classes in the basement and high school classes upstairs. The WPA constructed the Edler School in 1937 and the bus garage in 1939. The WPA employed twenty-five men to construct the new sandstone, two-room building that replaced the frame school.

12743 County Rd 17
Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 523-0159
More Info



Hours of Operation
View from the road. The WPA buildings are a private residence and not open to the public.

Directions
From Springfield go south on 287 to County Road Q. Turn west and drive 9 miles to County Road 17. Go 1.2 miles south on CR 17. Edler is at the intersection of 17 and P. The school buildings are just past the church on the right side of the road.

Travel Tips
Fill up with fuel before leaving town. Walsh has a grocery store and several cafes. The Konantz School is part of the self-guided Dust Bowl Sites/WPA Driving Tour, also listed on this website. A downloadable map is available at http://www.santafetrailscenicandhistoricbyway.org/ArenaDustBowlTours.pdf. The Burchfield State Wildlife Area is located just east of the Konantz School, with entrance and parking south of the road. The wooded area includes walking trails for watching birds and wildlife. The Konantz School is just a few miles from the Kansas stateline. Travel Tips
Fuel up in Springfield or other larger towns before leaving to visit remote sites.






Two Buttes Gymnasium

Because the town had no public meeting or recreational spaces and the school was not large enough, the Two Buttes School District applied for a WPA project in 1935 to construct a new school with a gymnasium and additional classrooms. Construction began in early 1936 with a crew of 36. The gymnasium was constructed of local stone “taken from eight different quarries to assure high quality.” A letter appeared in the “WPA Worker” in August 1936, praising the WPA as the “most wonderful thing that ever happened in hard times.” The letter invited people to come see the remarkable Two Buttes Gymnasium, erected through the hard labor of amateurs without any construction machinery. A community supper and dance celebrated the gymnasium’s completion in May 1937.

5th Street and C Street
Two Buttes, CO 81084
(719) 523-6532
More Info

Hours of Operation
By appointment only.

Directions
From Springfield drive north on US Hwy 287 10 miles and then go 12.5 miles east on CO Hwy 116 to Two Buttes. Take 5th Street 1 block north to C Street.

Travel Tips
Fill up with fuel before leaving town. Visitor Services
Parking

Entrance Fees
None.




Wiley Rock School

Built in 1938 through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the historic Wiley Rock Schoolhouse, is a lasting monument to the local people and others whose lives were improved by the employment provided by this federal program. WPA projects focused on using local labor and inexpensive materials. Native sandstone slabs from grassland areas near the river cover the recycled concrete block that forms the interior walls. The curb and stairways were constructed of locally quarried sandstone. The project also included curbing and gutters for Wiley’s three main streets. Witness the success of this project in the creative masonry, craftsmanship, and enduring functionality of these structures.



603 Main Street
Wiley, CO 81092
(719) 829-4475

Hours of Operation
Open by appointment. Call Marilyn Weber, 719-829-4475.

Directions
From Lamar take US Hwy 50 to US Hwy 287. Drive approximately 2 miles north and turn east (right) onto 7th Street. Drive 2 blocks to Main (CO Hwy 196) and turn south. Wiley Rock Schoolhouse is located on the west side of Main, between 7th and 6th Streets.

Visitor Services
Parking


Designations
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
Lodging and larger restaurants are located in Lamar, some 10 miles southeast of Wiley.

Entrance Fees
Free.