La Veta Mercantile
Robinson Payne, is the owner and architect of this eclectic art studio on Main Street, in Walsenburg CO., a sleepy, beautiful and historic town in Southern Colorado.
To foster, promote, and increase public knowledge and appreciation of the Spanish Peaks region’s arts and cultural activities.
The building now known as the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts was originally a Presbyterian Church built in 1892 on land donated by Colonel John Francisco and Mrs. P.Q. McComb. The Church, a stately white wooden building on Francisco Street, was built by William H. Adamson at a cost of $1,200. Initially it contained two rooms, a 38′ x 40′ audience room and a second 16′ by 22′ room. In 1893, the Church boasted a membership of 35 souls.
In the early 1970’s the Presbyterians signed the structure over to the town of La Veta for use by the Francisco Fort Museum. Today it is managed by the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts. Over the years, several talented troupes of actors and entertainers have called this stage home, beginning in 1975 with the formation of the Spoon River Players, which later became the Fort Francisco Players and, currently, the Spanish Peaks Players. The Spoon River Players, a community theater group, was started by La Veta High School’s drama teacher Robert W. Johnson and debuted with the production of Edgar Lee Master’s The Spoon River Anthology.
On July 31 and August 1, 1976, the Spoon River Players performed its first play, The Silver Whistle, in what would become the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts. Between 1976 and 1981 the Players used the old church for plays with little modification to the facility. In fact, during the first five years or so, the theater was heated with a couple of wood stoves to allow for winter productions. A 1981 lease agreement between the Fort Francisco Museum and the Players formed the Fort Francisco Center for the Performing Arts.
The Spoon River Players continued to produce from three to six plays a years until the mid-1990s, including melodramas, musicals, comedies, mysteries and tragedies. Productions included, to name but a few, Oklahoma, Wait Until Dark, Mousetrap, A Star-Spangled Girl, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blithe Spirit, The Rainmaker, Steel Magnolias, Man of LaMancha, The Night of January 16th, and The Importance of Begin Earnest. La Veta High School’s drama program also staged some productions at the Francisco Center over the years including A Thurber Carnival in 1981 and The High School Zone in 1998. Today, the LVHS Senior Class play at the theater is an annual springtime event.
In 1985 the Players once again produced Edgar Lee Master’s The Spoon River Anthology to honor the 10th anniversary of the theater. Over 25 cast members were on stage, and it was noted then that well over 200 residents of the area had been involved in productions at the theater during its first decade. By now that number has most likely doubled, if not tripled.
In the mid-1990s a new acting troupe, the Fort Francisco Players, was formed to pick up where the Spoon River Players left off. To be continued . .
.The FCPA says THANK YOU to Nancy Christofferson, “La Veta: The First 40 Years” and to Robert W. Johnson for their contributions to our little history and to Dick Anderson, La Veta, for his sketch of the FCPA theater.
The Museum Of Friends (MoF) is a contemporary art museum that opened in October, 2006 in the Southern Colorado rural community of Walsenburg. Brendt Berger’s and Maria Cocchiarelli’s shared vision for the new museum was to create a place where everyone feels welcomed and the art created by all people valued. The initial collection of 600 works given by their friends became the core of the collection. Over the last 15 years it has grown to over 1600 works that includes paintings, sculptures, fine art prints, drawings, photographs and digital media. MoF occupies 10,000 square feet of museum display space, with classroom areas, a gift shop and a lower level. MoF is known for it’s inclusive and egalitarian open door policy with intention to uplift the community through discussions of creativity, inclusion and developing opportunities. Many public and educational programs and exhibitions explore how cross cultural understanding and tolerance can make for a just and peaceful society.
MoF’s grand opening in October, 2007 encouraged the community to explore the building with tours on the 2nd floor that included: the permanent collection, the administrative offices, an art resource library, a visiting artist apartment and two galleries devoted to the Pacific. These explore pre-Columbian Mexican, Australian, Japanese, Southeast Asian and focus on Aboriginal Polynesian artifacts. The works on display are greatly treasured by Brendt Berger as they have been passed down to him from his Native Hawaiian ancestors.
In 2010, MoF began to occupy the entire building including the first and lower level establishing the changing exhibition and educational programs, and gift shop Made in Walsenburg.
La Veta Country Store is in beautiful La Veta Colorado in the shadow of the majestic Spanish Peaks, conveniently located along the Highway of Legends and Trans America Trail. You can find us at 200 N. Main just as you come into La Veta.
We are a Convenience Store and Valero gas station.
We offer familiar brand name groceries and beverages, the largest selection of domestic and craft beers in the area, a wide selection of local gifts and souvenirs. We have a nice selection of sporting goods for fishing, hunting, backpacking and camping. We are licensed by the State of Colorado to sell Hunting and Fishing licenses as well as state park passes.
Stop by any morning for one, or two, of our awesome fresh handmade breakfast burritos. Then around 10’ish, we switch up the grill and Derek starts cooking up juicy hamburgers. On the weekends you will find Billy serving up pulled pork and brisket sandwiches in the afternoon. The folks around here and our friends on the dusty trail rave about our grub.
For those returning on the trail from the mountains in their covered wagons, we offer an RV Dump Station to lighten the load before heading on down the trail.
There’s always an open invitation for y’all to come on back and visit.
The Spanish Peaks Arts Council (SPACe) promotes and encourages educational events in the arts in the Spanish Peaks region of southern Colorado.
Full Service Grocery Store with Full Service Deli and Full Service Meat Counter (We cut to your specifications). Charlie’s has been locally owned and operated in La Veta Colorado since 1937. Ice Cream parlor/soda fountain attracts tourist from all over.
Locally handmade jewelry, Indian-made jewelry, home décor, hoodies, fleece jackets, t-shirts, knives, furniture, wall art, yard art, leather, CBD products.
Color and light are always significant in my paintings. I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful, best kept secrets in Colorado. No matter whether my painting is of the magnificent Spanish Peaks, or of a lowly rock in the snow, my hope is to connect with others who share my love of the natural world.
As we experience the world around us, we often hold onto fleeting moments we remember more as feelings than how things really looked. In my work, I strive to capture these moments, enhancing the feelings with expressive colors, yet retaining the reality of the scene.
2018 cabin on 6 acres with 4 bedrooms & 3 baths. A 30×40 game room/bunk house next to the cabin for recreation. All next to a private fishing pond. Conveniently located to lakes, trails, restaurants, and much more. TEST
**The “accommodates 8 guests” does not include children. One queen bed is equipped with a trundle. Also 2 rollout twins and air mattresses available.
Formerly the location of Cuchara Valley Lodge. The Lodge was torn down and the old swimming pool building converted into a cabin.
The cabin is less than a mile to Bear & Blue lakes turnoff of highway 12.