Rio Grande County begins plans for 150th anniversary

RIO GRANDE COUNTY — Next year will mark 150 years since the incorporation of Rio Grande County and an entire year of celebrations are in the works. As of Feb. 10, 2024, Rio Grande County will be turning 150 after severing from Conejos County in 1874. During that time, Hinsdale, La Plata, and Rio Grande County were established.

Rio Grande County Commissioners, with the help of several department heads, are preparing for the year ahead and are seeking input and partnerships with local towns and organizations to celebrate the anniversary in style.

“We want to include the entire county. We have some really great things planned but we would like to reach out to the communities and get their input as well,” said Rio Grande County Administrator Skip Schoen.

The year will kick off with a celebration at the end of February at the Rio Grande County Museum with details and dates coming soon. Each month will feature a different department within Rio Grande County that will include a historical spotlight on 150 years of elected officials including county commissioners, sheriffs and more.

Plans also include raising funds to help preserve the Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach and office, both of which are in dire need of repair.

“We have a very short period of time left to save the stagecoach office that is located by the Del Norte Town Hall. The roof is caving in, and the integrity of the entire structure is in jeopardy. We need to save this significant piece of history before it is too late,” said Rio Grande County Museum Director Lyndsie Ferrell.

The year will also feature historical figures of note displayed at the museum and along Grande Avenue in Del Norte.

Rio Grande County has a long rich history, and the county is hoping to capture as much of the past 150 years as possible. Now, they are seeking the help of the City of Monte Vista, Town of Del Norte, and South Fork to ensure that the event is representative of all the wonderful communities that make up Rio Grande County.

Plans for the event will be announced as they become available. To participate, email Schoen at [email protected].