The following account of the history of the Questa area is drawn from the historical record. Where possible, first-person accounts of Rio Colorado have been included to give a first-hand view of what life was like here over the years.
Many of the early accounts were written by outsiders, especially French trappers and American and European travelers and explorers. Often their accounts reflect the ethnic stereotypes of their time, which must be borne in mind when reading these descriptions.
The total result is “history” from many viewpoints and at many levels—the kaleidoscope of history even at this small scale using the most reliable evidence and as straightforwardly as possible, within the limits of the material available.
Names are used as appropriate to historical period being discussed. Names for Questa include Rio Colorado, Plaza de Rio Colorado, San Antonio del Rio Colorado, and Questa. The Red River, Rio Colorado, was also known as the Little Red River. In this text the Rio Colorado in other contexts, for there were several western rivers so named, will be explained and denoted as such.