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An oasis sits on the rim of the San Miguel three hundred and fifty feet above the river as it makes a great bend to meet the Dolores before winding on through deep sandstone canyons to join with the Colorado River. On the mesa sits a town called Nucla. The desert plateau of the Uncompaghre rises up behind behind and a park of fields, orchards and meadows burgeons below amidst the sage and pinion desert.
Here, the horizon is ideal for celestial observation. The mesa over the San Miguel is has a southwestern aspect that catches the full arcs of the sun and moon against a horizon of mountain massifs and desert plateaus. The aspect is ideal for growing all sorts of fruit trees and plants, and was part of the allure that caught the attention of an alliterative socialist colony founded in Denver called the Colorado Co-operative Company.
The colony recognized the potential for the mesa and in 1894 embarked on an odyssey to dig fifteen miles of ditch and build massive trestles to bring water to the mesa (while feeding and clothing themselves too). Ten years later (June of 1904), they brought water to the present town site and began moving their beloved camp Pinion along the San Miguel up onto the mesa. In 1915, the Colorado Co-operative Company incorporated the Town of Nucla with the State of Colorado. Their effort wrought a modern hanging-garden that has become a hub of West End life.
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Welcome to Nucla