WALSENBURG/TRINIDAD/RATON — During this time of year, you can be certain that temperatures drop, leaves fall, days get shorter, and The First National Bank in Trinidad, along with its branch facilities, are busy making final preparations for its 30th annual open house reception and calendar distribution. The 2016 Historic Collector’s Series Calendar will be available on a first come, first served basis at the open house reception set for Thursday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. As in past years, separate receptions will be held in Trinidad, Walsenburg and Raton, New Mexico. The 2016 calendar is distributed as a free gift to the community; all residents are encouraged to attend the open house and receive a complimentary calendar.
The 2016 calendar entitled “Pioneering Industries” represents The First National Bank in Trinidad’s 30th Annual Historic Collector’s Series Calendar and provides a retrospective look at early businesses and the vital role they played in the growth and development of the community. These industries brought dramatic changes to the lives of settlers. Imagine life without electricity! It was the La Veta Flour Mill that first supplied power to the town of La Veta. It opened in the early 1880s to address the milling needs of regional farmers in Huerfano County, but beginning in 1910, the mill served two purposes, operating during the day as usual, but after dark the water wheel turned to generate electricity. The Trinidad Electric Transmission & Railway and Gas Company began operating electric cable cars in Trinidad from 1911 to 1923. Soon electricity began to power street lights and electric light bulbs in homes. Early businesses provided lumber and bricks to build more comfortable dwellings. Hughes Brothers Lumber Company operated tree cutting operations in both Huerfano and Las Animas Counties and hauled lumber throughout Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Others focused more on the everyday consumer. Remember the Mason Candy Company? They sold candies for roughly 70 years in downtown Trinidad. Or the award-winning saddle maker who received high praise throughout the West? Do you recall the beer brewery in Trinidad? It started due to a chance conversation in Kansas City during 1877. Or Hausman Drug Company, which opened its doors at the corner of Main and Commercial Streets in 1905 and served the public for decades? It was A.R.F. Industries who first brought cable television into homes of the residents of Raton, making it only the second town in America to have cable TV. All of these companies were started by people who traveled great distances to settle in an unknown place. They shared a common entrepreneurial spirit that began to shape the community as western expansion progressed.
Many of the black and white photographs featured in the 2016 calendar are over 100 years old and come from private collections. These photographs were digitally enhanced using a colorization process, allowing the viewer to enjoy these old images in a new way. Trinidad historian Cosette Henritze authored the text, and artist Emily Williamson created several fine acrylic paintings to complement the colorization process. Both ladies will be in Trinidad to autograph calendars during the open house. Sherron Mason Hudson, a LaVeta resident and direct descendent of the Mason Candy Company family, contributed to the 2016 calendar. She and her husband, John Hudson, will be in Walsenburg to autograph calendars during the open house; and Roger Sanchez, calendar contributor and director of the Raton Museum, will be on hand to sign calendars at the Raton open house.
The First National Bank in Trinidad cordially invites all area residents and guests to attend the open house. “The annual event has turned into a wonderful tradition for area residents,” remarks Virginia Cusimano, Sr. Vice President and Huerfano County Branch Manager. “People come for calendars and refreshments but often stay to reminisce with old friends or meet new ones.” The event is planned for Thursday, December 3rd, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all three locations: The Huerfano County Branch, 135 W. 6th Street in Walsenburg; The First National Bank in Trinidad, 100 E. Main Street in Trinidad; and The First National Loan Production Office at 1247 S. Second Street in Raton. Come join the celebration of our “Pioneering Industries.”