A piece of Colorado's forgotten history- Guiraud (now called Garo) was a small settlement near Fairplay. Today the Buffalo Peaks Ranch and the old General Store and Post Office which dates to the 1880's are all that marks the spot, The schoolhouse was moved to the South Park City Museum in South Park, Colorado. The now ghost town is five miles north of Hartsel and seven miles south of Fairplay on Colorados Highway 9.
Adolphe Guiraud & his wife Marie, we're the original settlers of the area. They were born in France and made there way to America through the port of New Orleans. They spent some time in Ohio and Kansas before settling in Garo, Colorado. They established the first homestead in South Park in 1863. The Guiraud Ranch still stands and is now called the "Buffalo Peaks Ranch".
Adolphe is most known as the proprietor of the original general store, the "Guirauds General Store". However; he is less known for his ties to the American Confederacy.
Adolphe Guiraud played a role in the failed Confederate incursion into Colorado Territory in 1864 when he allowed the nine remaining men of Company A, Well's Battalion, 3rd Texas Cavalry, Confederate Army to stay in July of '64.
The nine men that made it to Guiraud's ranch were the remnants of fifty Confederate soldiers that set out from Texas, in June of that year. These men were under orders to disrupt the union's supply trains that ran through the Colorado territory. Their second order was to raise a Confederate army from the mining towns that surrounded Park County.
Fortunately, the men disbanded from the Confederacy and became outlaws and bandits. They were dubbed "The Reynolds Gang" and in newspaper accounts of the day.
On July 29th the Gang of men were cornered in Geneva Gulch near Grant, Colorado. One was killed, five were taken prisoner, and two died of bullet poisoning. The five who were captured were tried and convicted of rape and stagecoach robbery. Furthermore, they were convicted of treason for their involvement in the Confederate army. They were put to death on direct orders of Colonel John Chivington.
Later that year in a related incident a man named "Chub" Newitt ran the General Store and Post Office at Garo. Chub was showing a customer some pistols at the store, he was shot with one, he died a short time later.
Adolphe Guiraud died without being convicted or charged for aiding the Confederacy. His wife Marie, had a 34-year widowship and went on to become weathly. She grew the ranch from 640 achers to over 5,000 achers. She sold about 1,500 pounds of beef each year (which is about 1 millions dollar in todays money)
Three years after her death she was recognized by the US Department of Agriculture in a release called, "The Importance of Women on ranches & Homesteads".
Garo faded and died in the late 1920's and was abandoned except for the ranches that surround it by 1936.
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