Will Chaffee County still be renowned for wide open vistas, outdoor recreation and a great quality of life one hundred years from now? Those questions and more came to mind as Chaffee County Commissioners and staff posed following their Oct. 16 meeting for a remake of a 100-year-old photo that featured that era’s county leaders in what was then The Salida Mail. One hundred years ago their position on the front steps of what is now the Buena Vista Heritage Museum, was the front door of the Chaffee County Courthouse.
The county seat moved first from Granite, to Buena Vista, and in 1928 a vote of the people moved the county court house further south, to Salida. Commissioners and elected officials and county staff who stood for an official portrait on the steps of the historic building included from left to right, front row: Commissioner Keith Baker, Commissioner Greg Felt, County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell. Back row: Director of Finance and Personnel Dan Short, County Attorney Jenny Davis, Commissioner Dave Potts, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.
“The building was brought down from Granite and positioned on Main Street in Buena Vista,” said Suzy Kelly, who collects local history stories. “This building wasn’t built yet; the building they moved was placed where the Jail House Craft Beer Bar stands. The county seat was here until 1928 and then moved to Salida. The deed to this building says it can’t be used for anything commercial, so now that the school isn’t here, it’s our museum.”
The photo begs the question: what will be here, in Chaffee County, one hundred years from now, in 2118?