2012 saw its ups and downs
As a new year begins, it is usually time to reflect on the year prior.
2012 was a year of ups and downs and of course, the biggest down that many will remember for years and years to come is the Aug. 3 fire that destroyed a historic landmark.
The Hollywood Bar went up in flames early on in the morning of Aug. 3. In March, the very same business was named business of the year by the Dolores Chamber of Commerce.
A piece of history went up in smoke that day and the community was in shock. In the weeks following the fire that also destroyed Fusion Studios, people were drawn to the burned remains of this historic bar, many would tell stories, most entertaining and others would just shake their heads.
It was a sad time for Dolores.
Sadness turned to anger when the Montezuma County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation ruled the fire was arson. As of recently, no suspects have been arrested or named in the case.
As of today, the spot that once held so much history and memories sits empty.
The historic bar was built in 1900, it still had the original tin ceiling and pieces of history hung all over the wall, including the 2012 business of the year award.
The bullet holes in the ceiling, which told of the bar's rowdier days are gone; so is the tin ceiling, stained brown from the days past of a smoke-filled bar.
But not everything in Dolores in 2012 was band, there were many good things that happened in Dolores too. Dave Sanford was named citizen of the year this year. He was recognized for his volunteer work and dedication to the community.
The community of Dolores had reason to celebrate in November when the community voted overwhelmingly in favor of the BEST grant bond. Now 2013 will be the year new science classrooms will be built and the school district can once and for all start the process of getting rid of the current science building which was built poorly and is falling apart.
A funny crime story
One criminal in Dolores did not get away with anything after breaking into the Traditional Charm Antique Mall in February after a snow storm. Once the alarm was triggered and Montezuma County Sheriff's Deputies arrived, they followed the footprints in the fresh snow to a nearby apartment. There was also a hole in the alleged burglar's bag, and jewelry was strewn about along the footprints. Anthony McCleskey, 20, was later arrested.
Local businesses celebrated milestones in 2012. Deanna Truelsen celebrated 30 years of owning the Ponderosa Restaurant this year.
Dolores River Brewery celebrated 10 years. The Sideshow Emporium and Gallery celebrated five years.
In addition to anniversaries, Dolores saw some new businesses as well. Lizardhead Cyclery opened up shop in Dolores, in addition to Art Girl's Studio and Quilting shop and Tangles Salon.
A rafting company opened in Dolores. Soft Adventures Rafting, owned by Thomas Wolfe, set out to provide Dolores residents and visitors with a fun ride down the upper Dolores. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperated and the rafting season on the upper Dolores was very short. Let's hope that 2013 sees a better year for Wolfe.
Dolores also saw the opening of a new coffee shop, The Pony Expresso and a custom graphics store.
Also this year, Kris Muscari took over the Dolores Animal Hospital.
Everyone talked about the fate of Escalante Days this August with the fire that burned the Hollywood Bar and Fusion Studios fresh in their minds, but the event went on without a hitch and was a memorable one.
Tony Down hauled out his vintage 1964 English Triumph Tiger Cub motorcycle and competed in the vintage motorcycle trials, which he helped organize, and was held in Dolores for the first time this year during Escalante Days.
The year didn't get off to a great start in 2012 when residents learned there was a murder.
In January, the body of 27-year-old Jonathan Hayes was found outside Dolores. Hayes died of what appeared to be a wound to the throat. His body was found by hikers on Jan. 13 and later, Dolores resident Luther Hampson was arrested. Hampson is still in jail, awaiting a trial.