Near Wetmore in Custer County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Like so many early Colorado settlers, Alexander Barclay came here in search of fortune but found something else entirely. The British-born corset-maker arrived in 1836 and spent the next nineteen years chasing his dream. He dabbled in fur trading, bison ranching, and whiskey smuggling, basing the latter operation in 1844 at a settlement called Hardscrabble, on the nearby creek of the same name, in what was then Mexican territory. There he met and married a well-known beauty named Teresita Sandoval; but she, like wealth, proved an elusive catch. Shortly after Barclay built his own trading post, Fort Barclay, in New Mexico in 1848, Sandoval left him for a man with better prospects. The trading post fizzled, and Barclay died in December 1855, his fortune still unclaimed. But he had reaped other rewards—independence, experience, perhaps even wisdom—that the West conferred in abundance.
The Hardscrabble Mining District
The name "Hardscrabble" accurately described the mining district southwest of Wetmore — for the wealth came hard, and its denizens were always struggling to get by.
Erected 2002 by Colorado Historical Society; Colorado Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. Marker has been reported unreadable. 38° 15.875′ N, 105° 5.264′ W. Marker is near Wetmore, Colorado, in Custer County. Marker is at the intersection of Colorado 67 (at milepost 2) and County Road 19C, on the right when traveling south on Colorado 67. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wetmore CO 81253, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Cuerno Verde (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Hardscrabble (here, next to this marker); Cliffhangers and Headbangers (approx. 6.1 miles away); Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway (approx. 6.1 miles away); Florence's Beginnings (approx. 8.8 miles away); Early Agriculture & Ranching (approx. 8.8 miles away); James A. McCandless House (approx. 8.9 miles away); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (approx. 9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wetmore.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 16, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.