Meeker, CO

The town of Meeker was founded in 1885 after the U.S. Army abandoned their garrison known as the Camp at White River. Many of the garrison's buildings were sold to the town. The town is named for Nathan Meeker, the U.S. Indian Agent who was killed along with eleven other men by White River Ute Indians in the 1879 Meeker Massacre. The incident took place at the former White River Indian Agency, located along State Highway 64 west of Meeker. The town is primarily an agricultural and ranching community, but is also a popular destination for hunters. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt visited the town twice on hunting trips. Meeker is located near the intersection of CO State Highways 13 and 64. It's the county seat of Rio Blanco County, and I would estimate the population around 3,000. Meeker is famous for its annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials.

I visited and photographed Meeker in July of 2020 and again in Sept of 2021 and again in July of 2022.

Meeker Massacre Marker along CO 64

Welcome to Meeker

Cruising down Main Street

Many of the older and historic buildings of Meeker are located along Main Street. I couldn't present them all, so I picked the ones that I thought were the most pertinent.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #47
Now Mountain Valley Bank

Construction of the building for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) was completed in 1897. The IOOF is an organization dedicated to the service of its community. The building served in this capacity for nearly 100 years, with the IOOF hall upstairs and various businesses and community organizations occupying the ground floor. The building was purchased in 2004 by the Mountain Valley Bank, its current occupant.

Meeker Public Library 490 Main Street

Bank of the San Juans 504 Main Street

Meeker Café 560 Main Street

The Meeker Hotel and Café were originally housed in an adobe military barracks. Ruben Ball inherited the hotel from his sister after her death in 1893, and he constructed the new Meeker Hotel at its present location in 1896. East and west wings were added in 1904, completing the structure that stands today. In 1917, the Café was moved to its present location in the stone building next door. The dining room of the Café is currently located on the ground floor of the east wing.

Meeker Hotel and Café 560 Main Street

Meeker Hotel (left)
Hugus & Co. Block (right)

J.W. Hugus and Co. started their store in a military barracks, but in 1889 built a two-story brick building in the middle of town. The store was destroyed by fire in 1911, but promptly rebuilt. The business continued to operate until 1919 at which time it was sold to A. Oldland and Company. After the Oldland company left the building was split into different stores. The building has continued to change owners and businesses to the present day.

Hugus & Co. Block
594 Main Street

Country Raised Home Decor
610 Main Street

Rio Blanco County Government

The Rio Blanco County buildings are situated in a rectangle bounded by Main Street, Park Avenue, and Fourth and Sixth Streets. The County Clerk Recorder, County Courthouse, Detention Center, and Sheriff's Department are located here. The space around the government buildings is very park-like, with lots of grass and trees, benches, and a few sculptures.

"Sacrifice and Resolution" by John Kobald

Sheepdog and Sheep
County Clerk Recorder Building background

Rio Blanco County Justice Center

Rio Blanco County Justice Center

Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office

Fourth Street, Park Avenue, and Sixth Street

Here are a few more noteworthy Meeker buildings.

St. James Episcopal Church 1889
368 Fourth Street

The White River Museum is housed in two buildings on Park Avenue. The buildings are part of an Army garrison built in 1880. The museum is devoted to the history of Meeker and Rio Blanco County. The first building features everyday life of early pioneers, including farming, transportation, clothing, and household implements. The second building has four display rooms featuring Ute history and culture, the White River Indian Agency, military history, and cavalry officer's quarters.

Click to visit the museum

White River Museum 565 Park Avenue

Watson-Oldland House 1886-1887
487 Park Avenue

Salmon House 1886
449 Park Avenue

I have a thing for pharmacies and drug stores, especially independent ones. Meeker Drugs is my kind of place. In addition to the pharmacy, there is also an old fashioned soda fountain, coffee shop, and bakery.

Meeker Drugs 315 Sixth Street

Meeker Drugs 315 Sixth Street

Meeker Drugs

Corner of Sixth and Main

U.S. Post Office, Meeker, CO 81641
365 Sixth Street

Market Street (CO State Highway 13)

The buildings and businesses along Market Street tend to be more contemporary than those found downtown. These include Blanco Cellars, Off the Olive Branch, and Smoking River Brewing Company, to name a few. Watts Ranch Market is located on Market Street. The Meeker Police Department and Meeker Fire and Rescue are also on Market Street

Off the Olive Branch, Highland Beef Shop
Blanco Cellars, The Little Cheese Shop

Smoking River Brewing Company

Meeker Volunteer Fire and Rescue

Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

Meeker General Mercantile

Meeker Police Department

Meeker Parks

Meeker leases five parks to the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District, which is responsible for park maintenance. The five are Paintbrush Park, Town Park, Circle Park, Sanderson Hills Park, and Sixth Street Park. I got to Town Park on my second visit to Meeker (2021) and to Circle Park on my third visit (2022). Town Park has lots of parking, a playground, picnic tables, horseshoe pitches, and access to the White River that runs along its south side. Circle Park has a circular lake with a walking path around it. Might account for the park name? Circle Park has lots of open space and a few campsites with tent pads, grills, and tables. Ute Park is 115 acres of primarily open space along CO 13 just west of the Meeker City limits. It serves as a venue for concerts and other events, and is home to the annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials.

Town Park

Town Park (no audio)

Town Park

Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway Sidewalk Map

Children Sculpture

White River

White River

Circle Park

Tent Pads and Picnic Tables

Picnic Shelter

Circle Park Lake

Ute Park

Ute Park

Ute Park Building

Log Buildings in Ute Park

Ute Park

Ute Park

Sheepherder's Memorial

Source material: wikipedia,
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