Eppie Archuleta: This nationally acclaimed weaver now 90 years-old was born in New Mexico but moved to the San Luis Valley with her husband and children some 60 years ago. A mother of 10 children, today she has 36 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Her works reflect several styles of Hispanic and Native American weaving including Hispanic and Navajo designs. Her works hang in the Smithsonian and various galleries. In 1983, Archuleta received the Colorado Governor’s Award for her works and in 1985 she was among 12 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest award given to folk artists in the U.S.
Jack Dempsey: Nicknamed “The Manassa Mauler,” because he was a native of this small town just 24 miles south of Alamosa, Dempsey is considered among world’s greatest heavyweight boxers. Born in a log cabin in 1895, he started boxing at age 14 in the mining camps of Colorado and by age 24 had won the heavyweight title from Jess Willard that lead to international name recognition. During his career he fought more than 81 bouts and won 60 including 49 by knockout. The Jack Dempsey museum on Main Street in Manassa pays tribute to Dempsey and his family.
Ken Salazar: The current U.S. Department of Interior Secretary and former Colorado U.S. senator was born in Alamosa and traces his roots several generations to the San Luis Valley and southwestern U.S. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2005, he resigned his seat in January 2009 after being appointed by President Obama to the Interior Department where he oversees the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other agencies.