One of my favorite blogs to follow is “Please Turn Back the Years” by Pagosa Springs native Billy Willet who says he is “a displaced Pagosa Springs refugee. Left this little piece of heaven in the San Juan Mountains at the age of 17 to join the Navy. Honorably discharged after completed a so-called kiddie cruise just under four years. Retired from a major aerospace mfg. and now spend my days nursing aches and pains.”

From: “Then and Now

The Great Pagosa Hot Springs in the 1890s

The quote that runs along the top of his page says:  “Ever wonder why so much effort is put into growing up and achieving great wealth or stardom? If only we could turn back the years, maybe we would have treasured such simple things as a family at meal time saying a simple prayer of thanks for the biscuits and and gravy or a special thanks for a chicken leg from your father’s coup.”

Mr. Willet has been gracious enough to forward me an ongoing supply of Pagosa Springs photos he has from the 1950s and earlier.  Thanks again, Mr. Willet for allowing me to share your photos with my readers.

Via Facebook:

Wolf Creek Pass, Pagosa Springs, Photograph

Mr. Willet's step-granfather, Frank Brown standing at the overlook at Horseshoe Curve

From:  “Please Turn Back the Years

Pagosa Springs Liberty Theatre Photograph

An Outhouse In Front of Liberty Theatre

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The Old West Side Grocery in Pagosa Springs photograph

The Old West Side Grocery in Pagosa Springs

From “If We Make It Through December

Growing up in Pagosa Springs photo

Here is Mr. Willet before the aches & paines. "Being a kid in Colorado and the only thing to worry about was how to keep warm. I didn't even mind getting frost bite while searching for just the right tree to chop down or gathering pine cones to make wreaths to ship to sunny California folks."

From:  “Saving Yesterdays

Billy Willet and his brother in Pagosa Springs photo

Mr. Willet and his brothers trying to stay out of trouble.

From:  “Scrapbooking

A couple of old cowboys

The Orient Hotel Pagosa Springs photo

The Orient Hotel in Pagosa Springs

From:  “Looking Back

The Wayside Grocery Store in Pagosa Springs photo

Mr. Willet's grandparents owned the Wayside Grocery. "Many residents with limited income could come into the Wayside grocery and purchase their needs with only signature of good faith to pay whatever they could on the first of the month. Those who still fell short of funds could trade with goods grown on their farm."

West Side Grocery -- Must Not Be Hunting Season -- Downtown Pagosa Springs photos

Must not be hunting season!

From:  “Black N White (Photos)

Frank Brown in Pagosa Springs photo. Red Ryder

Frank Brown in 1936. Although Frank was the only grandfather I ever knew he was really a step grandfather but I followed him around and thought he was the greatest thing since Red Ryder.

Bull Elk in the Snow in Pagosa Springs photo

This bull elk was having trouble in the deep snow.

Bull Elk in the snow given hay in Pagosa Springs photo

"Thanks to some caring cowboys the poor thing was pulled out and given a bale of hay before sending him on his way."

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5 Responses to Please Turn Back the Years: Retro Pagosa Springs Photos

  1. Emma L. Serna says:

    Fantastic pictures! I thoroughly enjoyed perusing them!

  2. Patricia C. Davies says:

    Fun romp through Pagosa’s past!

  3. Molly Sitton says:

    This is wonderful…I grew up in Pagosa. Your pictures are Fantastic

  4. Lisa Macci says:

    Sure makes me miss Pagosa Springs, spent a lot of years there

  5. Thanks for commenting, Lisa. Tell all your friends about us. Feel free to “like” us on Facebook to see even more Pagosa Springs pictures and videos:

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