Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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Ann Orr

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 out.

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.

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