RIDGWAY – Many of the roads and jeep trails we travel today throughout the San Juan Mountains are historic wagon routes. A Montrose archaeologist will explain the history and reasons for construction of those wagon roads on Tuesday, July 29, at an upcoming ‘Evening of History’ lecture at Ridgway’s Sherbino Theater.
Jon Horn’s illustrated talk, “Westward Ho! Historic Wagon Roads in Our Part of Western Colorado,” begins at 7:30 p.m. Horn will trace the history of wagon road development from the early 1870s when the discovery of precious minerals in the San Juan Mountains made southwestern Colorado a destination. Suddenly, wagon roads were a necessity. Over the next ten years, a network of wagon roads was built to bring supplies to the mines and carry the minerals out.
Horn is an archaeologist and historian with over 35 years of experience on historic and prehistoric investigations in the western United States. A co-founder of Alpine Archaeological Consultants in Montrose, he holds an M. A. in Anthropology from the University of Idaho at Moscow. His specialty is historic site evaluation and excavation. He is the lead author of Colorado History: A Context for Historical Archaeology, published in 2007, and has prepared 16 National Register nominations and more than 350 cultural resource reports and papers.
Horn has recorded portions of the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, the Mormon Trail, Overland Trail, and Santa Fe Trail and many other local wagon roads. Most recently, he was in charge of inventorying nearly 300 miles of the Old Spanish Trail on select Bureau of Land Management lands in Colorado and Utah as part of the National Historic Trails Project.
The “Evenings of History” lecture series is presented each summer by the Ouray County Historical Society, offering weekly lectures on different topics every Tuesday night from June through early August. Admission is free for OCHS members and $5 for non-members.
Both this presentation and the Aug. 5 “Evening of History” lecture will be held at the Sherbino Theater. Jon Horn’s presentation is sponsored by Kevin and Joan Chismire.