Just to let you know how life is different when you move to a rural county, we had to take our puppy to Trinidad, about an hour away yesterday, to get some eye surgery done. We had tried this same surgery last year at the only vet in our county and he screwed it up, allowing the tumor to return. So we went to see Dr. Felduto in Trinidad. He guaranteed if Rasta’s eye tumor ever came back again, he would fix it for free.
What this meant logistically for us was that we had to find things to do in Trinidad for four hours while Rasta’s anesthesia wore off. First we hit Walmart, since we don’t have one in Walsenburg, and we needed a few things not available in our area.
Outside of Walmart we saw something neither one of us have ever witnessed. There, near the front door, was an old cowboy with his horse, a mule for cargo, and three dogs. He had ridden into Walmart to buy supplies. As he took off, it looked just like a scene from the 1880s.
Next we had a great lunch at the Mexican restaurant called Tequilasjust across I-25 from Walmart. It had been recommended to us, and they were right. Wonderful food, great service and nice atmosphere!
Then we took a random drive around downtown Trinidad, ending up at the Masonic Cemetery.
The Trinidad area was first visited by Spanish and Mexican traders, because of its proximity to the Santa Fe Trail. After coal was discovered in the region in 1862, the town experienced an influx of immigrants eager for jobs. In 1878 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached Trinidad, making it easier for goods to be shipped from distant locations. By 1900, the population of Trinidad had grown to 7,500, home to two English and one Spanish language newspaper.
Mike and I both enjoy old gravestones to gain a better sense of western history, so we took a walk in the cemetery. What struck us both was how rare it was for people in Trindad’s past to live past age 40, one hundred years ago. We kept seeing the graves of those who were born in the late 1800s, who only lived into the 1910s or 20s.
I knew from my research for my book about Boomers, how rare it was for those born in the early 1900s to make it past age 60, but there were so many gravestones for those who never made it to age five or ten or twenty in this cemetery!
The saddest were the graves of children. There were even a few double graves of siblings who only lived to age 3 or 4. These are all parts of history we know, but to see the actual gravestones is somehow more powerful. We also saw stones written in other languages like Greek and German. These were immigrants who risked everything to come out to Colorado to start a new life. Yes, we feel vulnerable today, but imagine how vulnerable those who went before us really were…
6 thoughts on “Sights and Sightings in Trinidad Colorado”
Very interesting post. I have always found old cemeteries intriguing. And, I especially enjoy your blog because your description of the area where you now live gives me a chance to feel like I am right there. Now if you could have only sneaked a shot of that cowboy with the pack mule………
I know! I can’t believe I forgot my camera!
My mother was raised in Trinidad, along with her siblings, for many years before they moved to California. I used to hear her stories about her early life (she was born in 1923) and you just brought it all back to me. Yes, you are definitely way out there. Glad to hear Rasta’s going to be all right. 🙂
COOL! Yes, Rasta is a little miserable today, but I’m sure he’ll be good soon.
I loved the image of your rural life. I have lived that life. While I will never go back I do sometimes yearn for the simplicity/difficulty of doing something as simple as going to the grocery.
But what always surprises me now is that the world is happening on the front steps of Walmart. Amazing!
Just experienced our first snow Barbara! It’s the rural life for me!