Mancos Valley's Spanish-American heritage

Ever wonder why the hot days in July and August are called the Dog Days? Its because during that period the Dog Star rises and sets with the sun.

I will write about some Spanish-American families who have lived in the Mancos Valley. Bobby Martinez retired in California and graduated in 1955 with Anne Bauer McGregor, Ellen Burnham Paquin, Moeita Ramsey Bauer, Lloyd McNeil, Jede Ellis, Sophie and Madeline Archibeque and 15 others who will get mentioned as I begin recalling the years of the fives - 1915-1995.

Paulita Gonzales was born in 1870 and came to Mancos in 1910. Two weeks after she died, her brother Isadore was knocked unconscious by a lightning bolt. Many of us know and remember Julio Archuleta, a past Mancos Schools superintendent. He gets mentioned here because he was a brother to Margarita Velasquez, who died in 1967. She also had two daughters, Lela Martinez and Bertha Sena, and a son, Kelly.

Let's take a look at 1995. The master plan for the proposed River Walk was the topic of discussion at a meeting held on Jan. 18.

In February, Florence Lister spoke to the Mancos Historical Society on the archaeology of Glen Canyon before Lake Powell.

In March, local author Beth Wheeler was featured at a book signing for her Mother Nature's Mercantile. It was hosted by the Dolores Bookstore and Coffeehouse. Also in March was a Mancos Times feature on Lester Goff: A life Lived in Mancos.

In May 1995, Kitty Black became the new manager at the Mancos Visitors Center Museum. Also in May, Mancos had a new river. It came compliments of US West drilling a hole through a water main for a utility pole on Menefee. The river ran uncontrolled down the street and alley.

And I will close with the notice that two outstanding residents of Mancos celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 17. They were Ellen and Jim Holston.

Darrel Ellis is a longtime historian of the Mancos Valley and can be reached at