How to Plan an Anniversary Trip–Part Three: The Ghosts of San Acacio

On the road to San Acacio.

On the road to San Acacio.

I consider San Acacio a ghost town. It has far more structures than people, not counting the number of ghosts! Approximately 40 people live out there. Actually, there are two San Acacios–Old San Acacio (Viejo San Acacio) dating back to 1853–and New San Acacio (Nuevo San Acacio). Nuevo came later, of course.

According to the Wikipedia article titled San Acacio:

Viejo San Acacio, the original San Acacio, was founded in 1853. The first settlers fought the Indians in the name of San Acacio (Saint Acacius). Viejo San Acacio is located 4 miles (6 km) east of present-day San Acacio, which was laid out 56 years later by the Costilla Estate Development Company in 1909. It was the most promising of the company’s towns. Offices of the development company and a ditch and reservoir company were there, as well as a post office, a hotel, and a vegetable warehouse. The San Luis Southern Railroad arrived in 1910 and built a two-story depot there.

The present-day San Acacio CDP encompasses the community laid out in 1909 but not Viejo San Acacio.

A link to information about the old mission church in San Acacio follows: http://www.slvheritage.com/heritage-attractions/san-acacio-mission-church/index.html@show_more=1

We first visited the village in December 2007 when we were on our expedition to San Luis. Our last visit there was in 2010 when we were again enroute to San Luis. Of course, we wanted to go out there this trip to see what had taken place since our last visit. And while we originally planned to do that the following day, a weather forecast caused us to change plans. After checking into the motel in San Luis, we drove on out of town in the direction of the village. And since it is such a small village, it would be difficult getting lost there, right? Easy to do when some of the street signs are missing or are only partially present–a good excuse, I suppose.

Old hotel or train depot in San Acacio

Old hotel or train depot in San Acacio

We knew we had arrived when we passed the old hotel/depot. The train once ran through the area. After the train stopped running, the village died.

House for sale, San Acacio, Colorado

House for sale, San Acacio, Colorado

We discovered a home for sale in the village and stopped to take a picture of it. I don’t know whether or not anyone still lives in the house. But it is a fine adobe structure.

Then came the ghosts!

Shell of an old ghost in San Acacio. It started to rain.

Shell of an old structure in San Acacio. It started to rain.

Rain started falling as we drove around the village. The wind velocity there is terrific! Ever watch a western film where the gunfight is about to take place and the wind is really strong? Those depictions are fairly accurate! I don’t know what this old building was in its day. Howard was once told that many of the structures were bars or taverns.

The remains of two old ghosts.

The remains of two old ghosts.

And some of these old ghosts must date back to the Civil War!

Ruins of an old adobe ghost.

Ruins of an old adobe ghost.

This ghost probably dates back to that period of time. I braced against the wind while standing in the road, taking this picture. As I took it, I wondered about the people who once lived there.

Old 1890s bar, San Acacio, Colorado.

Old 1890s bar, San Acacio, Colorado.

My favorite ghost in San Acacio is this old wooden tavern that operated in full swing in the 1890s. It is probably the only structure I can identify. We were in the courthouse in 2007 during our first visit to the area, and I saw a picture of this place hanging on the wall. As I recall, it was built about 1891. Given the wind velocity and the severity of the winters, I am surprised the old place still stands.

The road back to San Luis

The road back to San Luis

Our visit completed, we headed back to San Luis for the evening, anticipating more adventures the following day.

To Be Continued in Part Four

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