Del Norte Historical Tour

#8. Industrial Area of Del Norte


This entire area that is now Centennial Park includes the town parks, a Fishing is Fun Pier, and River Walk were part of the “industrial area” of Del Norte.  The Town Hall is the former Denver and Rio Grande Depot, built in 1911 and dedicated in February of 1912.  It replaced the old depot that was built in 1882.  At that time, the telegraph office was also located here.

The packing sheds for the lettuce industry of the 1920s to 1940s were located along the railroad tracks to the west.  Companies included Gerrard and Company, Burton Seed, and Fort-Tidwell.  This photo is of the lettuce sheds on Hanna Lane, but the sheds along the railroad probably would have been similar.

In the park on the west side on Spruce Street is the Barlow and Sanderson building that was moved from its location at the west end of Del Norte.  It was possibly the office for the stables.  The first office was noted by the San Juan Prospector newspaper to be close to the Whitsett House which is now the Windsor Hotel.

Also standing near the railroad tracks and Highway 112 is the Pickens and Wiley Storehouse made of locally quarried stone.  Coal was stored here prior to becoming the central storage house for the gold ore shipments coming from the Pickens-Wiley strike at the Little Annie Mine in Summitville.  Fred Kernen from Pinos Creek hauled freight into Summitville for Pickens and Wiley and then hauled the gold ore into Del Norte.  He used both a wagon and his Model T truck.  It would be a week for one trip.

Across the highway along the Rio Grande the Del Norte Creamery and the Del Norte Cheese factory were located.  The power plant and the Del Norte Flouring Mill were also in this location.  At the location of the Del Norte Potato Co-op were the livestock yards for shipping livestock by rail.

Other businesses that would have been in the area would include Nettie Olmquist cabins for the migrant lettuce workers.  Also, W. D. Gallagher had a general blacksmithing and wagon works business across from the depot.

Turn and return to Grand Avenue.