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Old 03-13-2011, 11:14 PM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,358 times
Reputation: 439


I haven't heard people talk about the Maxwell Land Grant in relation to Branson -- and I've never heard anything associated with the name St. Vrain down here. I'll check into it and see if I can dig up anything. It would be helpful to have the family name. If you want to maintain privacy, is there a way you can email that to me through this Forum? I'm such a newbie, as you well know...
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:11 PM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,358 times
Reputation: 439

Thanks for the messages. I'm on the trail and will keep you posted. Tomorrow night, just in time for St. Patrick's Day, live Rocky Mountain Celtic concert here in Branson with a great duo from LaVeta, for a $5 donation. Coffee and dessert bar hosted by the high-schoolers (all 6 of them). A two-block walk. What's not to love?
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:46 AM
331 posts, read 867,133 times
Reputation: 336
For as many posts as we get from people wanting a small, rural community with scenic views and little to no crime, I'm surprised this thread isn't getting more responses. This place sounds absolutely perfect for those with the dream of moving out to CO and being a true part of a local community! Maybe those people don't want the work / reality that comes along with living in a wicked small town like this? Hrm...
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:19 AM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,358 times
Reputation: 439
Thanks for the uplift, pyrotech!

You might have hit it on the head. After 15 yrs in Boulder (and Lakewood, N Denver, and Estes Park waaaay back in the time of the Big Thompson Flood * dating myself *), I never would have imagined myself in the Dust Bowl region, surrounded by canyons filled with volcanic geology and amazing history, in a teeny ranch town like this. Fact is, I was led here, "called" if you will, so didn't engage in much intellectual decisionmaking.

People say to me, "But there's nothing out there!" To which, I respond, "MMMMM, yeah, more space to create."

Some people are enamored with the "New West," and unfortunately miss out on those pockets that still reflect the "True West."
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:27 PM
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,194,257 times
Reputation: 5311
I've always wanted to explore that part of the state, especially the Picketwire & Vogel canyons. I love pinon pine/ juniper country.

If you really want to promote your town, you should create a website and create a photo album on it, load it up with great pictures of the area.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:44 PM
168 posts, read 323,789 times
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Bovine ~ ...if you can handle "sudden town syndrome" (when the campers roll in and make another whole town) and their needs (gas, water, propane) there's a few things set up like this around the USA that haven't been totally decimated by economy yet....like maybe a sanctioned BBQ contest, or one of the many motocross (or any other kind of off road vehicles) events/races......or something that would lure in the Silver Generation with their RVS.....or a one week class for *insert topic here* types of self sustainers (think, "how to" type things).......rodeos are kinda on the down-swing, but that's another possibility ~ I've seen people travel thousands of miles to go to horse shows, too......

It'd be temporary-non-permanent-town-changes, and it may take a couple of years to take off in size....but if it gets big, and if it goes smoothly enough to make people return again the next year, it's possible to make enough money for the town (and surroundings) to last the whole year (or until the next event).....locals could rent out property to park on, whomever owns any type of store space could also rent out short term space to the supporting companies who follow the others around......I'm not sure you'd like to see a Burning Man kind of event, but that's another example of how successful these "spring up" type things are......

Many of these types of events are already familiar with the BLM, if that's an issue....some of these types of events also help with promotion that benefits your area without using any of your town's money......some have built in memberships that can give you an idea of how many to expect....and most of what I mentioned are all pretty "self contained" and the need for motels or lodging wouldn't be a big issue.....

I've worked with some of these organizations in recent times....with the exceptions of anything kid related, most people who support these still make sure they can afford their fun and continue to go to events like this (it's the families who've cut back quite a bit).....if it's anything competition related, they are even more determined they'll make it there......

Just a few thoughts I thought I'd toss out there......

Last edited by naturegirll; 03-15-2011 at 11:55 PM..
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:59 AM
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,481,238 times
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Does you area look anything like the Trindad area. I am taking it is flat like the OK panhandle. I love the panhandle which I travel through every year to get to Trinidad. I'm in Eastern OK and I raise cattle too but we retire in a less than 2 years and I want space still but no animals is why I've been looking at the Trinidad area.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:42 AM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,358 times
Reputation: 439
Hi All, and thanks for your thoughtful posts!

We have a chicken-and-egg situation here-- in that we truly need to attract a few more goodhearted people/households before we can have the critical mass to do some of the larger events, etc., that would possibly attract more people who might be interested in settling down in our wonderful corner of the world.

As one poster mused above, it is a bit challenging to live here. Going food shopping (with a trip to the Wal-Mart, bank, etc., for some) can easily gobble up an entire day -- and that's just going to Trinidad, much less needing things that require a trip to Pueblo or C Springs, Amarillo, or Albluquerque.

Whenever we get together and talk about new offerings, new economics for the town, the school, it always comes around to the fact that we simply must grow a bit to survive -- and then we can head on to thriving.While some towns bemoan "The Same 10 People Syndrome," we've got "The Same 5 People Syndrome."

Our project at the Old Schoolhouse/Church & Library has incubated Summer Story Hour for kids; The Great Branson GiveAway, in which we offered up thousands and thousands of recycled clothes and household items free/or by donation; our Holiday Open House, which drew over 150 people for six hours, and enabled us to help support 14 artists/crafters/vendors from the area. Our Halloween/Autumn Harvest event drew in over 60 adults and children from surrounding areas for games, trick-or-treating, and community potluck.

Last night we had a turnout of nearly 100 people (ages 8 months to over 80!) for a rare, live concert with a wonderful Celtic duo from LaVeta. On a Tuesday night, no less! When you figure that some of those people drove 100 miles round trip after a long day of work, for a 6:30pm event, we were overjoyed and everyone had a ball singing together, dancing together, laughing together.

We've been trying to get our website up and going for about a year and a half, but there's always something that takes priority. People get wrapped up branding, or working on houses or vehicles, visiting family out of the area, traveling for doctor appointments, working tirelessly on the Pinon Canon Military Maneuver Site issue, helping neighbors, or being involved in school, church, or other pursuits.

Our fledging library (created and maintained entirely by volunteers) owns about 8,000 books in boxes that need to be organized and sorted. Shelves that need to be found or built. We're looking toward a Spring Open House/Open Town event that may bring in massage students from Trinidad State Jr College to do commuity service bodywork and let folks tour the town and explore what it's really like to live here. We've got a small group interested in giving a much-neded exterior paintjob to our beloved historic schoolhouse/former Catholic Church building. We still have loads of donated clothing and other thrift items that need sorting, too. Not complaining , just conveying that plenty of seeds have been planted and now need tending.

I do sincerely appreciate the kick in the butt, though: I'll try to get moving with some pix or links.

Being 50 miles southeast of Trinidad, people tend to think we are only flat, grassland plains when this is actually canyon country. Thing is, you can't tell unless you get off the road and travel some of the back byways. Most everything is privately owned out here - almost no BLM/USFS land -- but there are opportunities nonetheless.

The Folsom Museum over the line in NM sponsors events and field trips through the Dry Cimarron region that goes over to Kenton, Oklahoma. There's a group called Branson Hiking Club (which, as it ages, does more driving/walking than hiking), that organizes monthly excursions to explore area/regional cultural, historical, and geological sites and eat great food. We could set people up with private, guided tours by people who know this land like the back of their own hands. Mountain biking, dirt-biking, horseback, hikes, studying petroglyphs, are all possibilities.

Here's a Branson facebook page created by a local resisdent:

Branson colorado | Facebook

...and one created by the Town Clerk:

Town of Branson, CO | Facebook

As you'll see, neither site is wildly current, but you can get a great feel for things.

Thanks to all for your input.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:53 PM
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,481,238 times
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Well trying to get an idea of land/home prices was a little difficult. Couldn't find anything available to buy to get an idea of the area. Sounds neat though.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:11 PM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,358 times
Reputation: 439

You won't see a lot of For Sale signs around here, but there are properties in town that could be bought. Usually, deals are done off the radar. Town lots are long and narrow; most every house needs at least 6 lots in order to have room for septic/leach field.

Some examples: A small c.-1919 house(2 BR, one bath) on a good-sized corner lot with an oversized metal garage, giant apple tree, lots of mature bushes, and some unique landscaping inside a solid, cinder block privacy wall went not so long ago for low 60s. A brick house, also on a corner, with some good weatherization/insulation upgrades, 2BR , 1 bath, with a 3-vehicle WWII-era cinder block garage and also a smaller bunkhouse, plus some mature trees/lilacs/flowers, is now rented and about to sell for +/-70K very soon.

On the other end, a deal for a very large corner lot with a solid garage/shop, two smaller, funky outbuildings, and an historic "tar-paper shack" house needing serious upgrades yet still enough to keep out the rain and wind temporarily, went for under 15K. In another quiet local deal, a 3-BR, 2BA, modern, manufactured home went for about 20K.

Don't get me wrong: This is without question an economically-depressed area, which also offers opportunities for grant and loan programs through the USDA and other entities. These are generally one-story, ranch style houses needing insulation and ripe for renovation. In a few cases, there is little value in the structure itself, but the lots and existing utilities are worth the cost.

Branson also has a history of people bringing in and moving out trailer homes. Lots of potential for straw-bale construction, passive solar, and some wind generation. No marble countertops or home theatres or giant master bedroom suites -- but definitely one of those few places where 20 to 60 thousand dollars (or even less) could get somebody up and running while they dream the home fix-up dream. And you can be sure that nobody is going to bug you about dandelions in your yard or the stuff you've got piled up outside your garage...

There are some houses owned by the School District -- both older ones and also newer manufactured types -- that have gone empty as school enrollment and teacher needs have been falling. All in all, there are houses around here renting from $250 to $400/month, plus utility costs. I've never heard of anything going any higher.

Can't say too much about larger parcels of land away from town. Again, the best way is to visit, see if you could seriously live out here, and then we'll put out the word that someone is looking. No telling what might show up!
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