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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service


[graphic text] Ascending to New Heights

Log house of the Trujillo Homestead
Photos by Thomas E. Simmons, Front Range Research Associates, Denver, courtesy of Colorado Historical Society

In October 1879, 13-year-old Pedro Trujillo settled on his 160-acre homestead in rural Alamosa County, Colorado. As a first generation Hispanic-American, Pedro grew up surrounded by tension created by the cultural clash between the movement of Anglo-Americans into the area and the traditional Hispanic lifestyles and agricultural practices already established here. Rather than building an adobe dwelling, typical of the first era of construction in the area by Hispanic-Americans, Trujillo erected a two-story log dwelling, more similar to Anglo-American dwellings in the area. By 1885 Pedro recorded that he had built a three-room house, a stable, a windmill, a corral and one-and-a-half miles of fence. Over time Pedro added more land to his holdings, eventually amassing more than 500 acres.


The landscape of the Trujillo Homestead, with the low house in the center and corral on the right
Photos by Thomas E. Simmons, Front Range Research Associates, Denver, courtesy of Colorado Historical Society
Pedro Trujillo's homestead represented the small-scale pioneer cattle enterprises typical of the first ranches established in the region. However, in 1902, conflict between cattle ranchers and sheepmen in the area directly impacted the Trujillo family. Teofilo Trujillo, Pedro's father, was one of the area's largest sheepraisers and became a target of violent intimidation by cattle operators. By February, Teofilo's house was burned to the ground. In response he sold his ranch and its water rights in March to cattlemen Loren B. Sylvester and Richard M. Hosford of the Medano Ranch and moved to the town of San Luis. In the same transaction Pedro Trujillo sold his ranch and moved to the Sargent area where he purchased 400 acres of land with water rights and later served as a deputy sheriff. Descendants of the Trujillo family believe that Pedro sold his holdings in 1902 because he also felt threatened, although he raised cattle and not sheep, he was Teofilo's son and faced the similar dangers.


Fencing of the corral
Photo by Thomas E. Simmons, Front Range Research Associates, Denver, courtesy of Colorado Historical Society

After being sold, the Trujillo homestead was occupied by Eulojio Martinez who worked on the Medano ranch until the mid-1930s. In the late 1930s and 1940s the log dwelling was used to house ranch hands but was considered less desirable due to its isolated location. Currently unoccupied, the Trujillo homestead, which includes the two-story log dwelling, a log stable and a large corral area is also the site of archeological components that illustrate the relationship between American Indians and the early Hispanic American residents. The Nature Conservancy acquired the homestead in 1999.

The homestead is currently vacant, but is pointed out on periodic tours offered of the area by the Conservancy.


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