Colorado was the first state in the country to allow women to vote through a popular referendum in 1893, over 25 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Baca County, located in the southeastern part of Colorado, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Plains Indians, who hunted bison and lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to reach the area in the 16th century, but it wasn't until the 19th century that permanent settlement began.

In the late 1800s, the wave of westward expansion brought settlers to Baca County, attracted by the promise of abundant land for farming and cattle ranching. The county was officially established in 1889 and named after Felipe Baca, an early pioneer and influential figure in the region. Towns like Springfield and Campo began to flourish as they served as trading centers and hubs of community life.

However, like many other agricultural areas, Baca County faced challenges in the early 20th century. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s brought severe drought, combined with unsustainable farming practices, leading to widespread soil erosion and economic hardship. Many families were forced to abandon their farms and seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Despite these challenges, Baca County has endured and evolved over the years. Today, it is primarily known for its agricultural industries, including cattle ranching and dryland farming. It also attracts visitors with its natural beauty, including the Comanche National Grassland and the picturesque mountains and plains. Baca County's history serves as a testament to the resilience and determination of its settlers and residents, who have overcome adversity to build a thriving community in the southeastern corner of Colorado.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Baca County, Colorado.

  • 1887: Baca County is established on April 16th as a result of a break off from Las Animas County.
  • 1890s: The county's population starts to grow due to the expansion of railroads and agricultural opportunities.
  • 1930s: The Dust Bowl hits Baca County hard, leading to severe droughts and massive dust storms.
  • 1948: The Lyme School in Baca County becomes the first rural school in the United States to have electricity.
  • 1960s: The county experiences a decline in population due to the mechanization of agriculture, resulting in fewer job opportunities.
  • 1990s: Baca National Wildlife Refuge is established to protect and preserve the area's natural habitat.
  • 2002: The county sees a devastating wildfire known as the "Kerrick Fire," which burned nearly 35,000 acres.
  • 2010s: Baca County's economy diversifies, with an emphasis on renewable energy, including wind power.
  • 2020s: Baca County continues to be known for its agricultural heritage and wide-open spaces.