|The Mexirado Building in Cortez was constructed in the 1920s on the site of Perley Wasson's old stable.|
Located just down the road from Mesa Verde National Park, Cortez boasts its own fascinating history as a water town. It was created as part of a grand scheme in the 1880s to develop real estate by diverting water from another drainage to this arid region. While local cowboys and the Ute Indians explored the cliff dwellings that would eventually become part of Mesa Verde National Park, the little town of Cortez set down roots and started to grow.
There is a lot of interest in honoring the local history of Cortez. Residents of the Montezuma Avenue neighborhood are moving towards establishing a historic district. This would be the very first historic district in this town that has many hidden gems. I've just finished a survey of buildings within the original townsite, If all goes well, the commercial buildings on Main Street will be next.
Many thanks go out to KSJD Radio for their coverage of local Cortez history. If you want to know more about my work, scroll through this blog or check my site at Linked In.