Friday, August 22, 2014

Our Railroad

Our little town, in Colorado, historically has always been difficult to get to. It is high the the San Juan mountains, and across several mountain passes no matter which direction you approach from.. The major (and only) highway into this town is Colorado State Hwy. 149, and portions of it were still dirt roads as recently as the 1970's. So, the locals were thrilled way back in 1889 when a forty four mile stretch of the Denver Rio Grand Narrow Gauge Railroad completed it's tracks, from near Sapinero,Co., right in to downtown Lake City. It was short lived though. With the U. S. adopting the Gold Standard in the early 1890's, there was a huge drop in silver prices. Mining slowed down, and the population dwindled. The railroad pulled out in 1933.
 A poster (that we own) of the High Bridge that the little Narrow Gauge Line had to cross to get to Lake City. It was spanning the Lake Fork River (north of town) and at the time, was the highest railroad bridge in the U.S. When the train stopped running in 1933, this train trestle was dismantled, and the wood used in building projects in both Lake City, and Gunnison, CO. It is sad that there is no trace of this historic location.

but wait....there is!
I looked long and hard ,while driving north of town, trying to figure out exactly where that famous bridge went across and finally found it. Look closely, and you can see the few railroad ties left behind on the side of the cliff above the river.

* the poster has a miss print. The railroad arrived here in 1889 not 1899.

Come back tomorrow and I will show you the remains of a very rustic camp, deep in a canyon where the railroad workers lived.


4 comments:

  1. One would have to be an intrepid traveler to cross that trestle bridge. And you, my dear, are turning into a super sleuth!

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  2. You always have such nice stories to tell. What a pity that bridge disappeared, it looks so impressive. Must have been a hell of a job to build that. P.S. I only will step up the dike not jump of it...:)

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