WPA Projects

Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds Adobe Stalls

Learn about adobe brick construction by viewing the fairgrounds’ adobe stalls, which were built as a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project in 1938. The best surviving example of WPA work in Rocky Ford, this impressive project encompassed some 85 stalls and was one of a series of WPA improvement projects at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds that provided a significant source of employment. Adobe was an inexpensive yet labor intensive building material–a good fit for WPA projects in eastern Colorado that ensured most of the money went to labor rather than materials. Some stalls are still in use, and many are being restored by volunteers.



Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds
Enter at North Main or Ninth Street
Rocky Ford, CO 81067
(719) 254-7414
More Info

Hours of Operation
Check website for latest information on Arkansas Valley Fair dates and times.

Directions
Traveling on US Hwy 50, turn north on 9th Street in Rocky Ford. Continue 4-5 blocks to the end of 9th Street, where the fairgrounds is located. The adobe stalls are located at the eastern edge of the fairgrounds not far from the race track. The North Main Street entrance, also 4-5 blocks from US Hwy 50, is in close proximity to the stall area.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Snack Bar / Restaurant



Designations
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
Held in mid-August, the Arkansas Valley Fair offers nearly a week of family oriented events including: horse shows, rodeo, barrel-racing, a carnival, arts & crafts exhibits, bike races, horse races, demolition derby, and watermelon themed contests. You won’t want to miss the open watermelon pile!

Entrance Fees
No admission charge to see the stalls. See fair website for range of ticketed event fees.





Baca County Courthouse

The current courthouse was built in 1916 after a fire destroyed the first Baca County Courthouse in 1910. The elegant brick addition, which presents the Main Street facade, was designed by the Denver firm Mountjoy and Frewen and constructed in 1929-30. In 1935, WPA workers began construction of a second addition. This two-story, stone building served initially as a jail and sheriff’s quarters, which remained at this site until 1972 when a new jail was built. The WPA plans by E.C. Measel included landscaping and a stone wall around the grounds. The lovely stone building behind the courthouse was built as a wellhouse and library by the WPA in 1935.


741 Main Street
Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 523-6532

www.santafetrailscenicandhistoricbyway.org

Hours of Operation
Daily from 8am-4:30pm.

Directions
From Lamar drive south on HWY 287 to Springfield. The courthouse is on the west side of Main St. in the middle of town.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms


Travel Tips
Make sure to fill with fuel before leaving town. Expect long distances, dirt or gravel roads and remote locations. Bring water as there is no drinking water available at the site. Summer time temps can range in the upper 90’s to 100’s, spring and fall provide milder options. Watch for snakes. For more information on Carrizo Canyon or if you want to explore the canyon on your own stop by the Forest Service Office immediately south of Springfield, CO on the east side of the road or call 719-523-6591. There you will find brochures, directions and a small gift shop.

Entrance Fees
Tours from Heritage Journey range from $25/pp to $150/pp. It is free to explore the canyon on your own.





Canyon Journey Tours

Tours offered in the Comanche National Grassland and on private ranch property in Baca County and the surrounding area. Tours range from interpretive tours of Picture Canyon to driving tours. All tours interpret local history, legends, natural resources, historic and pre-historic sites. Tours of local historical and heritage sites include: Picture Canyon, Carrizo Canyon, WPA sites, homestead, cemeteries, birding, county and local history. Tours can include lodging, horseback riding, trail rides, wagon rides, backpacking and hiking trips, and can be customized to fit individual needs and interests.
10754 County RD 3.1
Pritchett, CO 81064
(719) 643-5414
http://www.www.canyon-journeys.com

Hours of Operation
Any day of the week by reservation.

Directions
From Lamar take Hwy 287 to Springfield and turn west on Hwy 160 at Springfield for 15 miles until you come to Pritchett. From LaJunta take Hwy 109 south to Hwy 160. Turn east on Hwy 160 for 30 miles to the town of Pritchett. From Trinidad take Hwy 160 east to the town of Pritchett.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
ADA Accessibility

Travel Tips
Make sure to have enough fuel to make the trip to remote regions. Long distances are traveled.

Entrance Fees
Tours range from $25/pp to $150/pp





Douglas Crossing Bridge

Admire the craftsmanship and pristine condition of this WPA-era masonry bridge that features six fourteen-foot arches of locally quarried stone. The Douglas Crossing Bridge over Two Buttes Creek is one of the most substantial and handsome of Colorado’s relief-agency bridges and continues to provide an important crossing for the agricultural community. The bridge was constructed with a crew of only eight men, at a cost of $20,000. The stone was hauled by teams from a quarry located about one mile up the creek. The WPA was particularly active in Colorado’s southeastern corner, where high unemployment was endemic during the Depression.


11350 County Road 28
Granada, CO 81041
(719) 734-5411


Hours of Operation
Outdoor Site

Directions
From US Highway 50, about 2 miles east of Granada, turn south onto County Road 27 and drive 15 miles, where it bends to the left and becomes Road N. Drive about 1/2 mile and turn south (right) onto County Road 28. Continue about 1 1/2 miles–over a rise, past Road M, and down to the creek–to the bridge. You will cross a WPA stone culvert and arrive at the stone bridge, which has a low profile from above.

Visitor Services
None


Travel Tips
The arches of the bridge cannot be seen from above or from the road. Take a moment to peer over the fencing to see the marvelous masonry construction. Early morning or late afternoon may be the best for photography as the bridge runs due north-south. Wildlife is abundant in the area. You may glimpse various birds, antelope, burrowing owls, or fox. Bring plenty of water and fuel up before leaving town; there are no amenities in the bridge area.

Entrance Fees
No admission fees.





Dust Bowl/WPA Sites Self-Guided Driving Tour

This self-guided tour takes you back through time to the 1930s depression era and the Works Progress Administration’s building projects that employed so many jobless people. Devastating dust storms and extreme economic depression rendered Baca County one of the worst hit areas. The masterful craftsmanship and use of native materials created lasting monuments to the local people who built them and the WPA federal relief program that was so significant in the region. The tour guides you to six communities and beyond to visit the masterpieces of stonework that took years to build. The tour sites may be viewed in any order. The WPA tour includes: Baca County Courthouse, Campo School, Pritchett School Bus Barn, Springfield/Baca County Shop Building, Two Buttes Gymnasium, Vilas School, Springfield City Park, Konantz School, and the Edler School and Bus Garage.

Tipton Street
Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 643-5414
More Info

Hours of Operation
Year Round

Directions
Download a brochure from the website listed or pick one up at a local business in Baca County or the US Forest Service office (27204 US Highway 287 in Springfield). You can also email: laneha.everett@hotmail.com for the brochure. The brochure includes maps and directions for all of the sites.

Visitor Services
None


Travel Tips
Fill up before leaving town and expect long distances, dirt or gravel roads and remote locations. Take water and snacks!

Entrance Fees
None.





Eads Town Hall

On October 7, 1938 the Town of Eads held a huge celebration around the dedication of three buildings completed by WPA workers: the town hall, hospital, and the American Legion fairgrounds pavilion. To build the town hall native stone was hauled by truck from the Bristol/Granada area, some 50 miles away. Originally the building held both the town hall and library, with the upstairs rented to the Masons and Oddfellows lodges. The craftsmanship and sheer volume of stone used to construct the town hall and hospital is impressive, especially considering that generally all use of machinery was eschewed and stone was moved and worked by hand. The local workers were previously untrained.


110 West 13th Street
Eads, CO 81036
(719) 438-5590

Hours of Operation
8 am-noon, 1-5pm, M-F. The interior has been remodeled; the distinguishing WPA features are on the exterior.

Directions
From US Hwy 50 7 miles west of Lamar take US Hwy 287 28 miles north to Eads. Turn right onto Maine Street and go .1 mile to West 13th Street. Turn left. The town hall is on the right.

Visitor Services
Parking


Travel Tips
For local historical information visit the Kiowa County Historical Museum just a block away at 1313 Maine Street. See also the museum’s listing on this website. The Kiowa County Fairgrounds, where the WPA American Legion pavilion is located, is on US Hwy 287/96 just west of Eads’ downtown. Restaurant/cafes in that area.

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.






Granada Gymnasium

The Granada Gymnasium was constructed as a WPA project, to be an “elaborate and commodius structure.” Among other reasons, such as over-crowding, the gym was justified because “this project is located in the dust bowl area of Southeastern Colorado. It is also that area which was flooded by the Arkansas River about a year ago. A large number of residents are on relief rolls and are greatly in need of work”. This relatively simple building stands as a testament to the federal government’s concern for the people of Southeast Colorado during such a hard time, and the uncommonly high contribution of the local populace illustrates the ongoing committment of the area residents to their youth.


Hoisington and E. Goff (US Hwy 50)
Granada, CO 81041
(719) 734-5492

Directions
The Granada Gymnasium is located just south of the intersection of US Hwy 50 and Hoisington Street at the east edge of town.

Visitor Services
Parking


Entrance Fees
None.





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

Hours of Operation
Open by appointment only.

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
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.




La Junta City Park

Take a stroll through La Junta’s shady city park and enjoy the craftsmanship of its many rustic stone structures constructed by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers in the 1930s. Traditional construction methods, use of native stone, and simple functional design are characteristic traits of the WPA Rustic style stone walls, benches, and buildings that shape the park. Site improvements began in the underutilized park in 1933 under the Civil Works Administration and continued under the WPA until 1941. The lake, trees, and drives were part of the extensive landscaping for the WPA project, which provided much needed employment during the Great Depression.



Colorado Ave. and 10th Street
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-5991
More Info

Directions
From US Hwy 50 turn south onto Colorado Ave. to enter the heart of La Junta’s downtown and go ten blocks to 10th Street. The city park (now called Blaine Park) extends along Colorado Ave. between 10th and 14th Streets.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Picnic Area
ADA Accessibility

Designations
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
The park includes a playground, restrooms, a small lake, pleasant drives and walking paths. While in La Junta, check out the many heritage attractions including the nearby Koshare Indian Museum and the Otero Museum, or take in a show at the Picketwire Center for Performing and Visual Arts or the historic Fox Theater. Entrance Fees
No admission fee.





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.




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.




Willow Creek Park

Take a stroll in shady Willow Creek Park and enjoy the fine craftsmanship of Colorado’s first Civil Works Administration (CWA) project and Lamar’s first planned park. Begun in 1933, work on the park continued under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and completed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. The project provided employment to hundreds of local men. Explore the various hand-crafted stone structures in the 28-acre park including the Boy Scout Kiva, caretaker’s house, outdoor fireplace, small bridge, gates, walls, and “Pike’s Tower” located at the mouth of Willow Creek and named for explorer Zebulon Pike, who stopped in the area.




Parkview Avenue & Parkway Drive
Lamar, CO 81052
(719) 336-2774

Hours of Operation
Outdoor Site

Directions
From US Hwy 50/385 (aka E. Olive Street in Lamar) head south on 4th Street 10 blocks to the end of the street at East Parkway Drive. Turn east (left) and go one block to Parkview Avenue. You are at the north end of the park, near the swimming pool. The park stretches along the east side of Parkview Ave. south to Memorial Drive.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Picnic Area

Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips
Located near the southeast edge of Lamar, Willow Creek Park is bordered by Parkview Avenue to the west, Willow Valley Road to the east, and the Willow Creek Bridge to the south. The Lamar Swimming Pool is located at the north end of Willow Creek Park. Pike’s Tower is located at the south end of the park.

Entrance Fees
Free.




Springfield City Park

In 1939, the Springfield City Council applied for a WPA project to improve Springfield’s City Park. The total project cost was around $10,000. The city provided the stone and the WPA provided the project labor. The project included the construction of stone walls, stone benches and tables, stone ovens, a stone wading pool, flower beds, and toilets.





Tipton St. and 4th Ave
Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 523-6524

Hours of Operation
Open all day. Closed 10 p.m.-6 a.m.

Directions
The park is located west of Main St. along Tipton St. in Springfield.

Visitor Services
Parking
Pet Area
Picnic Area
Restrooms

Travel Tips
Nice place for picnic, playgrounds and lots of shade.





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


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.