Walsenburg, Co. was originally settled as La Plaza de los Leones in 1852 but is named after Fred Walsen, a businessman who settled here about 1870. It was Fred who opened the first coal mine in the county just west of town in 1876. Walsen Mine was the largest and most productive coal mine in Huerfano County. During the latter half of the 1800's and early 1900's, this area produced over 500 million tons of Black Diamonds from various mines in the county. According to some historic references, the population of the county reached as high as 20,000. The mines became "nonproductive" when Colorado began to enforce the state's mining safety regulations and with the development of oil and natural gas as the fuels of choice.
The natural beauty of the area begins with the majestic Spanish Peaks, a national landmark and named one of Colorado's Seven Wonders. . The Highway of The Legends, connecting Walsenburg with La Veta, other historic mining towns, and Trinidad, is a National Scenic and Historic Byway. Lathrop State Park, located just 2 miles west of the city limits of Walsenburg, is the State of Colorado's first State Park and is over 1,600 acres in size. Two lakes, Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake offer gold medal fishing, stocked by the State of Colorado (Division of Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources), water skiing, boating, jet skiing, hiking, camping and is the only State Park in Colorado with a golf course.
Region: Southeast Regional Information
Proximity to other towns: Located 45.7 miles from Pueblo, 85.5 miles from Colorado Springs, 17.5 miles from La Veta, 22.4 miles from Colorado City, 22.8 miles from Rye, 31.9 miles from Weston
Elevation: 6182 feet
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