In the late 1860s, directly across the street stood the Colorado Hotel, a two-
story adobe building fronted by a wooden arcade. It was the station for the Denver Santa Fe Stage Line and, for several days, the refuge of some 60 Anglo town residents besieged by about 300 armed and angry Hispanics.
The trouble began with a challenge wrestling match here in the street on
Christmas day, 1867. The match got rough; the mood turned ugly; shots were fired; an Anglo mortally wounded a Hispanic and fled. Arrested, he escaped to the hotel where most Anglos in town gathered to protect him while most Hispanics volunteered for Sheriff Gutierrez's posse.
Though sensible men on both sides attempted to negotiate peacefully, it took two troops of U.S. cavalry to quell this so-called "Trinidad War."
Just 13 years after the U.S. conquered this area from Mexico, a clash of cultures developed when Anglos and Hispanics settled here about the same time in 1861. They literally did not understand each other. Almost no Hispanics spoke English; few Anglos spoke any Spanish.
Racial prejudice was later compounded by immigrant coal miners from many nations in Europe, most of whom spoke neither language. Decades of education, good will, and intermarriage melded today's Trinidadians.