Photo supplied by Keith Kesler, Noble Grand Humbug of the Al Packer Chapter #100 of E Clampus Vitus
Recently, it was brought to our attention that the stone monument at Hwy 96 and Siloam Rd in Pueblo County (just east of Wetmore) was damaged. It was knocked down and broken off its foundation. Encased in the monument was a bronze plaque notating the history of Siloam, CO.
After some guidance from local residents and further research, we were able to find out a little bit more about the history of this monument and plaque. It was made and installed by the Al Packer Chapter #100 of E Clampus Vitus on May 5, 2001.
E Clampus Vitus is a fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Western American history.
We were able to make contact with the Al Packer Chapter located in Colorado Springs who immediately came out to the site to assess the damage and rescue the plaque. It is their intent to clean it a little but not mess with the battle scars. They would like to build another marker, install the plaque and conduct a re-dedication. We will be invited to the re-dedication, so stay tuned for more info!
During our research, we discovered when and how this monument was damaged. As it turns out, it was the stopping point of a high-speed car chase between law enforcement and two suspects in a murder that occurred in Williamsburg, CO in September 2016. After hitting the monument, the suspects fled their car and led law enforcement on a brief foot chase before being arrested.
The stone and mortar monument must have been hit hard to sustain this amount of damage.
Here is the inscription on the plaque:
It reads, "Siloam Colorado Once a farming and ranching community of nearly 100 families, little remains of this former town site. A territorial schoolhouse was located just south of this spot and in 1891 a post office opened, along side with a general store a few miles southwest of here. This area is spotted with foundations representing all that remains of the many structures of Siloam. Irrigation ditches brought water to the area until the 1930's drought forced most of the population to relocate. In 1943, the post office closed and in 1950 the schoolhouse was consolidated. Dedicated May 5, 2001 by Al Packer Chapter 100 of E Clampus Vitus Chapter plaque #1"
We are relieved and appreciative of the members of Al Packer chapter of E Clampus Vitus for their concern and quick response.
We look forward to seeing the new monument in place as we continue to celebrate our local history!