Our town, in our children's eyes

Dolores third-graders learn about who and what make our community work. In the process, they connect to their hometown.

The Dolores Elementary third-graders in front of the Exon Mercantile in Dolores.


By Mrs. Neeley
Dolores Elementary
Again this spring, the community of Dolores witnessed Mrs. Neeley and Mrs. Elder tromping 50 clipboard-toting third-graders around town as they learned about the town's history and services.

They began with a historical walking tour, observing and taking notes on important structures. Next, they visited municipality sites, listening to community members explain all about each place. The students wrapped up their experience with a historical tea and interviews with relatives and community members about growing up in Dolores. All the while, they were writing paragraphs to document what they'd learned about the community and the people who live here. This ongoing community study helps to teach history, civics, and writing, and build connections between the students and their town. It also teaches students' about how small towns function and introduces them to occupations.

We are very proud of our community, and we are proud of our Dolores students.  



The Ginger Jar
By Kianna Smith
When I went to the Ginger Jar, I learned a lot of things. Before the Ginger Jar started, in 1902 it was a warehouse for the train. They stored apples, wool, and wheat there. In the 1950's Curt Carlson opened Curt's Trading Post in that building. He sold old and new stuff at his trading post. Now the Ginger Jar is there. It is owned by Ginger Black, Curt Carlson's granddaughter. There is 100 year old writing on the wall. It was fun learning about the Ginger Jar.
 
K-9 Search and Rescue "Dog House"
By Chris Eastin
Did you know that we in Dolores have a K-9 Search and Rescue? My class went there and learned a lot. The presenters were Chuck, Dennis, Vanessa, and Camden. All the dogs are ready for action when they work. We were told that there are 3 different kinds of dogs: the trackers, the trailers, and the air scent dogs. The dog's reward for finding someone is either praise or time with their favorite toy! There are 21 or 22 members in the group. What they do is very important to our area. Come to the Escalante Days Pancake Breakfast at the Dog House to help raise money for their missions. I hope you learned something about the K-9 Search and Rescue. I sure did!
 
Dolores Post Office
By Craigin Benevidez
Have you ever been in the back of the post office in Dolores? I have and it is amazing. The new post office in Dolores was built in 2001. It sorts mail to people's mailboxes and delivers mail to houses too. There are 3 mail carriers. The post office has names on shelves and mailboxes. They sell stamps that cost $0.47. At the post office, they offer: passports, registered mail, stamps, mailing packages, certified mail, and mailboxes. The workers help you when you are buying stamps or mailing packages and even give you change when you need it back. It was fun to see all of the mailboxes in the back!
 
Dolores Town Hall
By David Crumpacker
I was just visiting the Dolores Town Hall learning about the town of Dolores. The town hall used to be one room. The rest of it was a library, jail, and a firehouse. Now, I'm going to tell a couple of important dates. On July 7, 1900 the town of Dolores was incorporated. Then on July 31, 1900 the first meeting was held in Dolores. Another bit of information I'd like to tell you is about the duties of the town hall and some important facts. One duty of the town hall is to keep the town organized. Some things they manage are our water, sewers, roads, parks, trees, mowing, and dog tags. The mayor now is Val Truelson and there are 932 citizens in the town limits. The town hall has 2 meetings per month and we don't have another election until 2016. Now you see that there are a bunch of important facts to know about our town's town hall.
 
The Dolores Post Office
By Jacob Orris
Hello, I'd like to tell a lot of special things about our post office in Dolores, Colorado. On our walking field trip we took there, our presenter was Jeff Daniel A.K.A. Man Candy (that's what he told us, ha, ha). If you want to know what happens to the incoming mail, here's what happens. Someone puts mail in a mail box which is picked up by a carrier and is brought to our post office. Then, it is put into a cart in the back. Next, it is sorted by mail carriers for their routes. Mail is sorted by name and address. After, it is put into sorting boxes. Mail then gets delivered by one of our three mail carriers. One of them is Tina! Mail gets deliverd by car, truck, or plane. I would like to tell you some other facts. Did you know that Ben Franklin made the very first post office? Another fact is that one letter stamp costs $0.49. The post office is important to our town because how would se get important messages sent without it? 
 
The Dolores State Bank
By Jaiden Smith Sabido
In 1959, the original Dolores State Bank was made. Now it is a parking lot for the new one. In 2001 the Dolores State Bank in Cortez was made. In 2011 the new Dolores State Bank was made in Dolores. The bank has many services. They have ATM cards, debit cards, loans, accounts, and they make loans. Lots of people work at the bank. There are security guards, bank managers, tellers, and loan officers. Mrs. Valdez told us that money has been around for 2,500 years! The Dolores State Bank was a very fun field trip. 
 
The Dolores Public Library
By Kaleb Grider
Do you like free stuff? The Dolores Public Library has all sorts of thing to borrow for free like books! You can use them until it's time to turn them in. At the library there are tons of books. They are having a lego club this summer and many reading clubs for kids. There's a children's book reading room. I like the relaxing reading area by the river with big windows. Many of the books are in stacks. There are computers we can use too to look online, at the book catalog, and take AR tests. I found books on culture and food also. Can you believe that there are more that 20 shelves of books? Taxes help run the library. I love the Dolores Public Library, it is an important part of our town.
 
Dolores Fire Department and EMT
By Katalina Moran
Help! Fire! Call 911! We visited the Dolores Firehouse. At the firehouse there are mostly volunteers. They don't get paid. When jobs are too big and they might need help, other area fire stations come and help. Ours does this too! Did I mention that most of the calls that they get are actually medical emergencies? They have medical bags to help them carry stuff with them. They also get called for house and building fires. Dolores wouldn't be the same without our fire department! 
 
Rio Grand Southern
By Michel Millard
My class visited the Rio Grand Southern in April so that we could learn about it. It was built in 1893 and it was a restaurant and hotel. It had really good food and still does. This place is the longest continually running business in Montezuma County ever. It was not just a restaurant, but a hotel as well. President Roosevelt even stayed here once! E.I. Wilber built it. It was built to house the railroad workers. There used to be a barber right next door. I hope you enjoyed reading this because the Rio Grand Southern is an amazing place to visit.
 
The Del Rio
By Sagii Green
I like the Del Rio. It is in Dolores, Colorado. The Del Rio was opened as a hotel in 1906. It had three floors. The floors were pretty and it had a dance floor. Over the years people have thrown rocks and the glass windows are broken. There is nothing inside now. Some people think the Del Rio is haunted. But, I do not. To this day the Del Rio is a mystery to me.
 
Ginger Jar
By Sharma Jean Chaffee
Here are some facts about the Ginger Jar. The original building was built in 1909. Its true name back then was Curt's Trading Post. The man that opened it was named Curt Carlson. Now it is the Ginger Jar. This building is about 105 years old. There is even 100 year-old writing on one of the walls inside still! Some facts about the Ginger Jar are: It had stables and corrals behind it, the train used to come right beside it to help ship things to and from Dolores like apples, honey, and livestock. Now it is a gift shop and beauty salon. It always has been a great place in Dolores.
 
Waste Water Treatment Plant
By Madi Ritter
The whole third grade went on some field trips and one of the places we went was the wastewater treatment plant. It is run by Randy McGuire. There are three ponds there to help the water. In pond one the bugs eat bacteria. There is oxygen put in there to help the bugs to their work. Pond two there is less bacteria and also less sewage. The ponds are 14 feet deep. Pond number three is called the polishing pond. This is the smallest pond. After the polishing pond there is a gravel filter that the water goes through. Last, there is chlorine added to the water before it goes back out to the river. It was amazing getting to see what happens at this plant. This place is very important to our town.
 
Helen Edwards
By Akima Edwards
There is someone in my life that I love. It's my Grandma Helen. Did you know that she has lived in Dolores for 68 years? She lived on 4th Street and also County Road R when she was little of course. She has 5 brothers and 6 sisters. My grandma liked to play ball, swim, ride bikes, and that's mostly all when she was a girl. The chores she has were dishes, mopping, and sweeping the house. Her parents built fences for their job. Also her mom was a housewife and did gardens. That's what her parents did. The kids of businesses she remembers here in Dolores from back then are restaurants, a malt shop, and a grocery store. My grandma told me that she even rode the Galloping Goose Escalante Days once. Her favorite subject in school was math. Some exciting memories for her were that when she was 16 she got her driver's license and she even got married when she was 15! I think you need to finish school first before you get married. That's her advice and mine. She loved third grade. I learned a lot when I interviewed my Grandma Helen.
 
Waste Water Treatment Center
By Alex Sanders
I have some wicked cool amazing facts about the Dolores Waste Water Treatment Plant. First, I will tell you who works there. His name is Randy. Next, I will tell you how they get rid of bacteria there. Special bugs eat most of the bacteria out of three ponds. Now, I will tell you how deep the ponds are. They are all 14 feet deep. The sand filter is 10 feet deep. It takes 24 days to treat water here. Before the water goes back out to the river where the fish live, chlorine is added. If the water isn't cleaned, it could make people and fish sick if it goes back out to the river. The water they treat here is the nasty water that comes from our houses from toilets, sinks, and bathtubs that we don't drink. Randy works at both this plant and the water treatment plant (drinking water). This place is very amazing. You should go visit it sometime!
 
Dolores State Bank
By Jacelyn Daffern
My class and I went to the Dolores Sate Bank and this is what I learned. The first Dolores Stare Bank was built in 1959. That bank was torn down to build the new one. The Dolores State Bank in Dolores has heated sidewalks so the ice and snow will melt so customers will not fall. Shawna told us people who made coins decided to put "In God We Trust" on them because most people trust in God. Those are some of the facts my class and I learned at the Dolores Stare Bank. If you go you might learn more about it.
 
Catholic Church
By Laynie Davis
After writing notes we learned about the Catholic Church. This church was built in 1902. There are three churches in our town. The bricks I the foundation came from Taylor Mesa. They lasted more than a hundred years. The fellowship hall was added in the 1970's. They use it to gather to eat meals. That was a fun field trip for the class and me.
 
Dolores Post Office
By Noble Traweek
Wow, the post office is a very fun to learn about! First, the mail is loaded for the truck. Next, they sort out the mail. After that, enjoy your mail! The post office sometimes gets geese and other animals, even bugs. One time it got worms in the middle of winter! The new post office building is 14 years old. It's a little young still. When you do not get mail when you are expecting it that means it got lost when they did not know. I had lots of fun learning about the post office.
 
Dolores State Bank
By Alexis Lalonde
Before I went to the Dolores State Bank, I did not know much about it. First, the first bank was built in 1959, in Dolores. The bank in Cortez was built in 2001 and then, in 2011 the old Dolores bank was torn down and rebuilt. The bank was old so they thought about building a new bank so they did. They built the new bank at the same place as the old bank. The Dolores State Bank gives its customers many things. People can have a checking account, a savings account, and a loan. Also people can get jobs at the bank like a teller, officer of new accounts, loan officer, or a clerk. I learned a lot about the Dolores State Bank and I had fun learning about it.
 
The Rio Grande Southern
By Katie Ashmore
When my class went to see the Rio Grande Southern it was like going back in time. E.I Wilber built the Rio Grande in 1893. He built it to be a hotel. The Rio Grande is the oldest running business in Montezuma County. It used to be called the Southern Hotel. E.I. Wilber's name was Edwin Wilber and his wife's name was Lenda. He had a child named Callie Wilber. Now I hope you see, it is like going back in time.
 
The Methodist Church
By Pat Spelbring
If I went back in time to the early 1900's, I would go to the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church was built in 1906 with a time capsule. It has old newspapers and things from the 1900's in it. If you go into the Methodist Church you can look at stain glass window. The Johnson's raised money for the church and the stain glass windows. There are a lot of memories in the town of Dolores.
 
Dolores Public Library
By Carter Galloway
The library was built in 2004. Before it was in the spot it is in now, it was part of the town hall. If a book breaks they can fix the book. People can use the computers whenever they want to, for free! If people don't have computer at home they can come to the library. Also, people can borrow books. It was fun learning about the Dolores Public Library.
 
Dolores Search and Rescue
By Evan LaMunyon
Have you wondered how you get found in the wild? Well dogs find you! They come and look for you. Luke and Quid are search dogs trained to look for lost people. On long trips the dogs rest in the truck in cages. The use a camera in the truck that makes sure the dogs are behaving. The latest search was in December. Once Quid finds a person he gets to play ball. If lost, think positive! Dolores Search and Rescue is on their way.
 
The Del Rio
By Micheal Brafford
If I could go back in the past to the 1930's, the first thing I'd do is look at a fancy hotel called the Del Rio. On the bottom floor there was a dance floor. You could dance all night. The address of the Del Rio is 401 Central Avenue, Dolores, Co. People are trying to fix it because it looks haunted. People say it's haunted because there is a dark alley, the glass is broken, and the paint is coming off. Now it is 2014 and it is clean on the inside but needs fixed up on the outside.
 
Colleen Smith
By Chandler Smith
I want to tell you some amazing things about my grandmother, Colleen Smith. She was lived in Dolores for 50 years! My grandma grew up in Texas, but moved to Dolores around 1964, when my dad was in 2nd grade. Now, she lives at 30830 County Road U.5 up the mountain by the football field. It is the 2nd to last house with a swing set. Colleen has three brothers and three sisters. There were some weird games that used to play when they were kids like: kick the bucket, king of the mountain, hide and go seek, hop scotch, jacks, and playing with goats. My grandma did most of the chores like milking 99 cows! One cow kicked her in the hip, so they sold that cow. She always did laundry and you can believe she did it by hand! Her parents ran a café and a dairy farm. The businesses that were in Dolores back then were a doctor's office, a café, and the Koenig Brother's Gas Station. Next Colleen told me about her best friend Erlene. She got her in trouble, but they are still friends now. I found out her favorite subject in school.it was sports. She loved to compete in sports. She said, "I'll tell you some exciting things I did. I won state in tennis and won the fire department challenge." I then asked, "What was 3rd grade like," and she said, "It was wonderful." She never rode on the Galloping Goose train. This next part was fun to hear about. I got to know what happened when she got in trouble in school. If she acted up in class, she had to sit on an imaginary line. She skipped school sometimes, it was called playing "hooky." It sure was fun interviewing and learning about my grandma! I hope you enjoyed hearing about it too.
 
Exon Mercantile
By Colten Gallegos
My class took a walking field trip around Dolores to learn about our town. I am writing about the Exon Mercantile. It was built in 1906. There were many past uses for this building like it was the newspaper and a store. It sold dry goods, wool, shoes, and groceries. There was a sausage seller behind it too. That place sold the best sausage in the county! It is now an antique store. An old Line-A-Type machine is out front now that they used to print the newspaper with. The stones that the building is mostly made out of were quarried from Taylor Mesa. The Exon Mercantile is a great place and you should visit it.
 
Dolores State Bank
By Sarah Spore
Dolores State Bank is our town's local bank. They also have a branch in Cortez. Dolores State Bank opened in 1959. Back then the bank was one story so there was no elevator in it. When the town did its remodel in 2001 they added an elevator. The bank has a safe that was built in 1915. There was a lady named Mrs. Christina that showed us a video of how coins are made. Did you know that the Liberty nickel is worth $1,400.00? I got to see a sheet of money at the bank. It was four ten dollar bills. I enjoyed the field trip.
 
Ina Cline
By Katie Crites
I met Ina Cline at the Dolores Public Library when my class and I were at the Historical Tea. Ina has lived in Dolores for 86 years. When Ina was growing up she lived just three miles east of the town of Dolores. Now she lives one mile east of town. Velma is her younger sister and Gordon is her younger brother. Velma has past away but Gordon is still alive. Ina played with her siblings by the river so they could have fun. Believe it or not, she had to do chores when she was little. Like milking the cows, cleaning the garden and feeding the chickens. That's hard work! Ina Cline is a nice woman. I was very happy to learn about her life.
 
Galloping Goose
By Braden Boyd
Even though the Galloping Goose is old it is amazing. First, the Dolores Rio Grande Southern was a steam train. It was replaced by the Galloping Goose. The Galloping Goose was easier and cheaper to drive than the Rio Grande Southern. Durango was the southern most town that the Goose went to. The Galloping Goose went to Ridgway, too. It was the northern most town. The Galloping Goose had to travel 163 miles to get from Durango to Ridgway. I wish the Galloping Goose would still be running around today.
 
Dolores Post Office
By Daniel Stepp
There are many buildings in Dolores, Co and the Dolores Post Office is and important one. First, the post office was built in 2000. That was only 14 years ago. Next, the post office sends many things like bees, chicks, ducklings, goslings, and swans. Those are weird things they send. Finally, I learned that the first postmaster was Ben Franklin. So mail sending started long ago. Those are a few facts about the Dolores Post Office.
 
Chuck Melvin
By Alana Nowlin
My class held a Historic Tea party at the library. I interviewed Chuck Melvin. He lived in Dolores for 67 years. He now lives in Arriola which is outside of Dolores. His favorite subject in school was math and science. Then, he became a science teacher at Dolores High School. He judged a science fair contest at state level. He had no brothers or sister so for fun he played with the 4-H animals. His mom was a farmer in Dolores and his dad was a welder at Groundhog. His mom grew food for the family in her garden. Well this is what I learned about Chuck Melvin.
 
Kathy Ragland
By Aubree Alcon
My class had a Historical Tea on a field trip once. I interviewed Kathy Ragland. She is my cousin's aunt. Kathy had lived here for 62 years. She lived in Dolores on First Street. Now Kathy lives on Sixth Street. Kathy remembers the Rainbow Pharmacy that used to be in Dolores. She had one older sister and one younger. They use to play basketball and go fishing all the time. They loved shooting at targets too! I had fun listening about Kathy's life.
 
Dolores Search and Rescue
By Keegan Heaton
My class and I had an awesome time leaning about the search and rescue dogs. Each dog has a name. Luke and Quid are the dogs we met at the search and rescue. Each dog has its own kennel in the trailer. The search and rescue volunteers make sure the dogs are comfortable in their kennels. Dogs are trained to smell the air to find people in forests. A student in my class hid and Quid quickly found her by smelling her out. I learned a lot about the search and rescue dogs.
 
Galloping Goose
By Chris Grubb
If the Galloping Goose still ran these are the things it would do. It was built in the early 1930's. The reason they built the Goose was because the Rio Grande Southern was too expensive. The Galloper traveled from Durango to Ridgway. The track was 163 miles long. It carried apples, beans, butter, and animals. It carried all this from Dolores to Mancos, Durango, Rico, and other towns. The Galloper was helpful to the farmers of Dolores.