NOTICE All data and photos on this website are Copyrighted by Karen Mitchell. Duplication of this data or photos is strictly forbidden without legal written permission by the Copyright holder.
Contributed by Karen Mitchell Interviewed by Casey C. Ann Orr, born 1-12-1909 See interview of sister, Vinzie Scarafotti
I grew up in Walsenburg. It was a bustling, clean town. I remember a
sweeper truck that kept the streets cleaned off and wetted down to keep the
dust from blowing around. Both sides of Main Street and Seventh Street were
lined with grocery stores, furniture stores, apparel shops, drug stores and
bakery shops. We even had a confectionery store on Main Street where you
could stop to refresh yourself after shopping. I miss the leisure and close
comradeship we had with neighbors and friends at that time.
I left Walsenburg in 1941 to accept a Civil Service position with the
Department of the Navy in Washington, D. C. While in Washington I met my
husband Harold Birchard Orr, who was a Master Sergeant with the U. S. Army.
We were married in Baltimore, Maryland in 1952.
We made several visits to
Colorado on vacations. Harold liked the fresh air and less hectic pace of
Colorado, so in 1956 we made our way back to Colorado to try our hand at a
business of our own. We bought the old Ed Krier Jewelry Store on Main Street.
The jewelry business wasn't to our liking, however, so we rented the building
Things weren't really too good in Walsenburg even at that time. Coal
mines were shut down and there was a feeling of defeatism and depression. In
1959 Harold and I moved to Denver where he obtained a position with the Sel-Lo
Discount Stores as Manager of their 5 stores and I went to work at Fitzsimmons
General Hospital as a Secretary-Stenographer. Later I went to work for Federal
Housing Administration as a Receptionist-Secretary as it was closer to my
home. I retired from Civil Service in 1971.
I returned to Walsenburg to be
closer to my family also especially because my husband who passed away in 1964
is buried here. In 1977 I had my present home on Russell Avenue built.
I am a little disappointed in the way Walsenburg looks today. There are
too many vacant boarded up buildings on Main Street. The sidewalks are cracked
and uneven and no one seems to care whether or not they are kept clean. I
look forward to the day when our coal mines will reopen and Walsenburg will
again be a hustling thriving little town with a great future. Lets hope so anyway.