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Thread: Valdez, CO

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    Super Moderator RR-Guy's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Centralia, WA

    Valdez, CO

    Valdez, CO

    This topic was created to provide a link to the "History of Las Animas County" topic.

    If you have additional history, Website links, or images to add you are invited to reply. Otherwise please DO NOT reply. Thank you.


    (Not shown on the above map, Valdez is located approximately 1 mile east of Segundo.)
    Map image ca. 1925. The mine site of Cuatro is spelled as "Quatro" on the above map
    as Cuatro was also known as Quatro.)

    Composite image above is from a 1951 topography map. Note the use of both Purgatoire and Picketwire.

    Information on Valdez

    Location of Colorado Fuel & Iron Company's Fredrick Mine.

    The Frederick Mine was opened in 1907, and Valdez was established 3 years later in 1910. It was named for a local homesteader, Gabriel Valdez.

    Initially most of the coal mined was converted to coke at nearby Segundo coke ovens, and later at CF&I's steel plant located in Pueblo.

    An excellent photo of the Frederick Mine tipple, and a drawing of the mine facilities can be found on page 47 of reference 1.

    Links for Valdez

    Front of Frederick School in Valdez, showing children, and teacher. Also a 1968 online interview with Issac Williams who, like his father, worked in the coal mines. Issac states that he started working in the coal mines when he was 10 years old.
    (The below link is broken. RR-Guy - 2/07/11)

    Denver Library Online Images of Valdez

    "View of a barn, coal mining buildings, and Colorado and Wyoming Railway tracks in Segundo (Las Animas County), Colorado. Horses are in a fenced yard beside a barn. Shows smoke above a coal processing plant, identical one-story frame houses in a row, piles of coal, and houses in Segundo in the distance." Date [between 1901 and 1910?] (DPL call number is X4734.)
    (This is an early view of the Frederick Mine at Valdez. Segundo can be seen in the distance. RR-Guy)

    "View of company houses at the Frederick Mine operated by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company at Valdez (Las Animas County), Colorado. The buildings are four-room square structures with low pitched, hipped roofs." Date [between 1907 and 1930?] (DPL call number is X4998.)

    "View of Valdez, Las Animas County, Colorado; shows dwellings, outhouses, gondola cars, the coal dump, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains." Date 1960. (DPL call number is X-13925.) ( The "Ingoldsby" dump gondolas shown in the image is a rare sight for 1960. RR-Guy)

    Additional Images of Valdez

    Early 1950's postcard image of Valdez, CO (Believed to be Aultman Studios photo - RR-Guy Collection)


    Railroad History of Valdez

    The Frederick Mine tipple tracks were laid in 1907, and connected to the existing Colorado & Wyoming Railway tracks through Valdez.

    The mine which employed 673 people in the late 1940's, began to phase out it's operations after the Allen Mine was opened and began to gear up toward full operation. In 1960 it closed, and Valdez joined the growing numbers of coal mine ghost towns in the Purgatoire River Valley. [Ref. 1]


    (1.) Mountain To Mill, by William H. McKenzie, 1982 (The Colorado & Wyoming Railway)
    (2.) Colorado Railroads; Chronological Development, by Tivis "Tiv" Wilkins, 1974.
    (3.) Las Animas County Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, by F. Dean Sneed, 101 pages.
    (4.) Internet resources.

    Last edited by RR-Guy; 10-05-2012 at 11:58 AM.

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