Here you will find vital record information (birth, naturalization, will and marriage records) for Saguache County, generously donated by the now defunct San Luis Valley Genealogical Society. In addition to the vital records you will find links to interesting offsite web pages.
If you have information you'd like to donate or would like us to link to your Saguache County page, you may email Linda and Dan
Saguache County was created from Costilla County in 1867. The name "Saguache" is of Ute origin and means "blue water". It is approximately 3,500 square miles.
The Saguache area was homesteaded in 1866. Nathan Russell and others settled the bottomlands of Saguache Creek. Existing arroyos were used to irrigate crops, the primary crop being wheat. Later in the 19th century, canals were formally dug to irrigate.
Otto Mears moved to Saguache in 1866 and began raising wheat. Other settlers, mostly Spanish-speaking, Anglo, and of northern European origin, soon followed. Mears was the county treasurer for many years and influenced the development of other counties in Colorado, including Lake County, Hinsdale County, and Conejos County.
John Lawrence was another pioneer who arrived in Saguache County in 1867. He established the Saguache Cemetery and was a state representative, county assessor, county judge, and school board member. He was known as the "Father of Saguache".
Many streams flow from the mountains in the north end of the Valley. Rio Grande River water was not a necessity for farmers and ranchers as it was elsewhere in the Valley. Also drainage was good.
Other towns blossomed in the Valley. Moffat arose from the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad expansion. Its economy was based on cattle and freight and ore shipping. Mineral Hot Springs attracted vacationers with its warm springs. Center was platted in 1898 as Center View. Saguache, the current county seat, is located in the higher part of the Valley. It initially depended on cattle, sheep, and hay for its livelihood. Ranching became the dominant activity.