Manassa, Conejos and Antonito in San Luis Valley, Colorado with Zeb the Duck

Humans say this is our last day to explore the San Luis Valley.   After leaving the town of San Luis, we go to Manassa, Colorado.   Manassa is the birthplace of Jack Dempsey.

Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler

Jack Dempsey was born in Manassa June 24, 1895.  He became a boxer and was heavy weight champion from 1919-1926.   This was sculpted by Bob Booth.   Dempsey was often called the Manassa Mauler.   The small Jack Dempsey museum was closed for the season.

Jack Dempsey museum

We were there in late September.   I liked this old bell.

Old bell

I, Zeb the Duck, like old things that I can touch.   Our next stop was in Conejos, Colorado.   This street is dedicated to veterans.

Conejos, Colorado. Tribute to veterans

New trees were planted this year.   I hope they survive their first winter.   Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish is the oldest parish in Colorado.

Church for oldest parish in Colorado. Conejos, Colorado

This is the church they currently use.   The first church was built of pickets in 1863.   A larger church was built, but was destroyed by a fire in 1926.   This church has been in use since 1927.


The inside is beautiful.   Looking back toward the entrance.

Inside. Choir loft

The choir loft is in the back, but we could not climb to the loft when we visited.   Look at this window.


As I have mentioned, I, Zeb the Duck love stained glass windows.   Outside we admired the grotto.


Isn’t this nice and peaceful?  We are only a few miles north of Antonito, so we go into town.   There is a great train ride from Antonito.   Maybe next time?   We go to see Cano’s Castle.

Help mom

Hey mom.   I don’t know this dog.   This is not our Chloe.   Tom has rescued me.   Thanks Tom!

Cano’s castle

We learned about Cano’s Castle on   Cano, a Vietnam Veteran, is building this castle, using an assortment of materials.   I see many hubcaps and other materials.   There are thousands of aluminum cans.   The ends of the cans are cut off and nailed to the walls.   The middle of the cans are turned inside out and hammered to the walls to create aluminum siding.   Cano came out to talk with us.  He is building this for Jesus.

Cano’s castle

If you are near Antonito, Colorado, you should stop to see Cano’s Castle.   You can only look from the street.   There are no tours of this creation at this time.   It is interesting to see what people can and want to do.  We enjoyed our trip to Colorado’s San Luis Valley.   But like everywhere, there is still so much more to see.   Hope you visit soon.


Zeb the Duck heads to Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado

Today I, Zeb the Duck, am taking mom and a friend to Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek is an old mining town in Colorado.   And that is why we are here today.   Our friend’s grandfather left Illinois and came to Cripple Creek about 1900.   The family story says he had mine claims but did not become rich.   In fact, he lost most of his money here.   The family has a photo of him in Cripple Creek, wearing a bear skin coat, from a bear he shot.   We are here today, looking for any records about Grandpa.   First stop is the museum in Cripple Creek.

Cripple Creek Museum

They used to have records available to the public, but not now.   The very nice lady suggested we go the the nearby town of Victor to search for records.   On our way to Victor, we stopped at the outdoor mining exhibit.

Cripple Creek and Victor gold rush

Wow.   Did you read that?? The towns of Cripple Creek and Victor had a really huge amount of gold.   More gold here than in the California and Alaska gold fields, combined.   There were a few old gold mining machines here, but look at this huge tire.

Huge tire

You can hardly see me in this tire.   What do they do with these giant tires?

Tire information

Each tire weighs 3,270 pounds and costs $14,500.   We will never complain about buying new tires for our cars again.   There is now surface mining in this area.   In Victor, we see that things have not changed much.

Victor, Colorado

We love this sign.   Let’s see what was happening in Victor during the gold rush.

Victor, Colorado during the gold rush

Famous people here, Jack Dempsey, a famous fighter, Lowell Thomas, famous radio and TV commentator, and what??  Soapy Smith was here also.   Isn’t this exciting?  Soapy Smith was promoting bullfights.   And fire station.


Buildings look the same as when they were built over 100 years ago.   Here is the Lowell Thomas museum.

Lowell Thomas museum

There is an entire section dedicated to Lowell Thomas.   Also many interesting things from Victor and Cripple Creek.   Isn’t this a cute church?

Friends of St. Victor church

This is Friends of St. Victor Church.   Next to the church I, Zeb the Duck, loved this grotto.

Grotto next to church

Of course, while in Victor we inquired about records from the mining days.   They said they did not have any available, but to try Teller County Courthouse.   So, back to Cripple Creek to Teller County Courthouse.

Teller County Court House

We were sent to three different offices and each person we spoke with was so nice.   Everyone looked through the records in their office, but did not find anything we wanted.   But the staff was so helpful and showed us what they did have and let us also look at the records.   But, no records from Grandpa were to be found.   The humans will have to think and decide if they have any other ideas of places to look.   I would not be surprised if in the future we try again.   Leaving the courthouse and heading for our car, we encountered some of the local residents.

Local residents

They are descendants from the mining days and the working burros.

I think he likes me

I love this burro.   He is so relaxed and comfortable with humans and a rubber duck.   Well, time to leave Cripple Creek, but we make one last stop.   This is the famous, former brothel.   The gray building on the right.

Former brothel

Pearl DeVere was the madame and although shunned by the good people of Cripple Creek, she was very generous, helping the children and the poor.  During this time, miners earned about $3.00 per day.   Pearl’s ladies received $250 per night, which included dinner with Russian caviar, and French champaign, and the company of the lady.   And each gentlemen had to pass a personal and financial background check.  We learned about Pearl a few years ago when we were here for the cemetery tour.   Cripple Creek is a great town.   We think you would enjoy a visit here.