SAGUACHE — When Saguache Chamber of Commerce President Barry Van Sant purchased the old Orchard House 10 years ago on the curve where Highway 285 turns into Highway 114, the gas station on the property had existed there since 1935.
In fact, Van Sant said, there were several gas stations off and on at that location and he bought the property, divided into about 12 town lots, for commercial investment purposes. There was the Orchard House on the property and another structure that was a long, log structure, open in the middle, which had at various times been home to a chicken coop, a garage and a stable.
Over the years the building, featuring only electricity and wood heat, was rented out to highway workers, then later served as a laundry. “It was a fascinating building and I always wanted to preserve it,” Van Sant said.
So when the time came, he called in VanIwarden Construction and the company moved the building about 100 feet to where it sits today. Van Sant especially wanted to preserve the building’s barrel roof and the original walls, and he was able to do that during the restoration.
The pictures tell the story of how the little multipurpose building grew up to become an attractive and inviting bed and breakfast, perfect for hunters, and a great place to just spend a few days while passing through. The photos tell the story.
The fact that the bunkhouse sits at the turning point in the Old Spanish Trail is a historical fact Van Sant says should captivate the imagination of visitors. The bunkhouse sits just where the OST takes a turn west over the Continental Divide and heads for California.
A piece of the Old West, in a unique location that was traveled long before the 13 colonies were ever settled. It offers a showcase for history, and eventually Van Sant says he hopes to develop the rest of the property to draw in tourists and locals.
To reserve the OST Bunkhouse, call Van Sant at 719-322-7298.