Boggsville honored with National Park Service grant of $523,000

LAS ANIMAS – The National Park Service recently awarded $5 million to eight projects in six states as part of the Historic Preservation Fund’s History of Equal Rights (HER) grant program, which focuses on the preservation of sites directly associated with the struggle for all Americans to gain equal rights. As one of the awardees, Boggsville, located in rural southeast Colorado, will receive $523,000 to complete the final phase of over five years of restoration efforts. Matching funds are being provided by the History Colorado State Historical Fund.

This year’s HER grants were given to sites significant to the equal rights of women; Hispanic and African Americans; laborers; and the LGBTQ+ community.  “In our American experiment to create a more perfect union, we’ve struggled to meet our core principle of equal rights for all, but we continue moving forward in order to achieve a better future,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The National Park Service is proud to help States, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofit organizations invest in locally-led preservation of historic structures which tell hidden stories of our nation’s history.”

This year’s grant to the Bent County Historical Society will support the preservation of Boggsville, one of the region’s earliest agricultural and trade centers, founded in 1866. Boggsville embodies the important role that inter-ethnic marriage and women’s land rights played in the transition from Santa Fe Trail trade-related to agriculture-related settlement in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado. A particularly important aspect of history represented at Boggsville is women’s property rights. The site was settled largely by the families of related women from an influential Hispanic family. But it was not only Hispanic women who shaped the site – Amache Ochinee Prowers and her female kin were given 640-acre U.S. land grants in the Arkansas Valley as reparations to the Cheyenne people after the Sand Creek massacre, making the site attractive to the Prowers family for settlement.

Taken as a whole, Boggsville is a rare site in which the largely untold story of women’s land rights and influence on America’s trade and agricultural settlements can be told. Work in this final phase will complete the restoration of the Territorial style adobe houses on site. This project is the capstone of several earnest years of fundraising and restoration work at the site, allowing Bent County Historical Society to move forward with renewed energy for the site’s expanded historical interpretation, management, and economic viability.

To learn more about this exciting project, please visit this historic site, which is located south of Las Animas on SH 101 and open to the public 11am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday, or contact the Bent County Historical Society at (719) 456-6066,

The Bent County Historical Society (BHS) preserves the history and heritage of Bent County through the facilitation of the Bent County Chronicle, Art Guild, programs and activities that interpret the culture and architectural history of the region, the operation and preservation of the John W. Rawlings Heritage Center and Museum, and stewardship of the Boggsville Historical Site. For more information visit


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