Presentation highlights Juan Rivera's travel through this area

By Press Release


Plan to attend a special presentation on Thursday, Nov. 3, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta, sponsored by the Delta County Historical Society. The presenter, Steven G. Baker, is an ethnohistorian and archaeologist in the western Colorado prehistoric and historic contexts. His program is titled "Through West-Central Colorado on the Trail to Teguayo with Juan Rivera in 1765." A synopsis of his presentation follows:

In 1765 Juan Rivera, a Spaniard, and his company traveled through western Colorado while prospecting for silver and seeking strange bearded men who looked like Europeans and were reported to be living far to the northwest of New Mexico beyond the Colorado River which by then had not yet been explored by Spaniards. The Rivera company traveled from Abiquiu, N.M., as far as the Gunnison River near Delta. On the way they documented a major aboriginal trail through western Colorado which later became known as the "Navajo-Uncompahgre Trail. " Rivera and his men were the first Spaniards to travel through and document this trail and the remote territories of the Paiutes, Tabeguache Utes, Moache Utes, and Sabuagana (aka "Uncompahgre") Utes. Rivera was the pathfinder for the later epic trip of Fathers Domínguez and Vélez de Escalante who fulfilled his failed mission in 1776.

In this heavily illustrated program Rivera's route to the Gunnison and major highlights of his travels will be discussed. A summary of the author's many years of searching for the location and an accurate description of Antoine Robidoux's trading post on the Gunnison near Delta will also be given. The program will be drawn from this author's newly released major tome, "Juan Rivera's Colorado-1765: The First Spaniards Among the Ute and Paiute Indians on the Trails to Teguayo."

This program is free and refreshments will be available.