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Juanita Vigil

May 16, 1922 - March 7, 2013

This article was included in the Sheridan Historical Society booklet for "Sheridan Celebrates" held September 22, 2003.
Interview and written by Bonita Hutcheson.

Juanita Vigil was born in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, a city east of Espanola and North of Santa Fe, into a family of eleven children of which two boys and four girls survived. She says, "In May of 1953 my husband, Domingo, came from Santa Fe, New Mexico to find work and establish himself in Denver, Colorado. Five months later, after the birth of our third child, he moved his family to Denver where we lived for twenty-seven months." They had two more children - four girls and one boy - of which the four girls survive. Several of the children attended St. Patrick's school for a few years and all attended Fort Logan School, continuing on to Sheridan Union High School.

Picture of Juanita VigilShe remembers, "the spring of 1955 we headed south on Federal Blvd. in search of the site of the Harmony Homes Housing Development in Sheridan [a small subdivision, from Federal to Irving and Kenyon to Bear Creek Dr.]. When we reached the top of the hill on Dartmouth Ave., I was so in awe of this valley below us, which to me was a huge beautiful untouched green meadow. In the distance we could spot a lovely gold dome, which we would later learn was the location of the Littleton Court House. When we reached the bottom of the hill where the Housing Development was, south of the Old Hampden Road, there was an old two-story residential home, close to the "show homes," on Green Court."

She said she desired, "to live close to the church [St. Patrick's which was replaced by Holy Name Church] and the school and that is what determined our having our house built on the 3600 block of S Irving Street." St. Patrick's, she remembered, "was very small and never crowded. It had two large [support?] pillars in the middle making it hard to get a coffin down the aisle. When it was tom down, a number of members took stones from the church."

She worked around Sheridan as the bookkeeper for the Holy Name Credit Union, a medical transcriber at Fort Logan Mental Hospital, seven years as the bookkeeper for Interfaith, and a volunteer at Fort Logan School. Sheridan was a quiet town then with "very little traffic on old Hampden Road - Loretta Heights was separated from any dwellings, east of Federal there were few homes, and the area known as Goat Hill, had even fewer
homes."

The Sandovals, who owned the property across from her, lived there in an old house and the empty field on the corner of Lowell and Kenyon, which became Kon-Tiki and later Bear Creek Mobile Home Park. Domingo died in 1991, and she says with pride, "Now I am the oldest and the only one of the original buyers to still live on this street. Most of the homes have been sold and resold, others are rentals. Not only have I witnessed the unbelievable growth of this area, but also that of the neighboring cities of Englewood and Littleton. For sure, it is a different world. I am proud of Sheridan and plan to continue living here."


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