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Off the Beaten Trail

Colorado’s Central Plains is home to a number of properties recognized by the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties, the National Register of Historic Places, or both. Properties on these registers are respected historic and archaeological resources, worthy of preservation. For more information about either registry, please visit the Colorado Historical Society at 

Please plan to visit these special sites during your Journey to Colorado’s Central Plains:

Elbert County

Denver & New Orleans Railroad Segment
Along Elbert Rd., south of Elbert
The Denver and New Orleans Railroad operated over this now abandoned grade between 1881 and 1936. The Denver and New Orleans was the rst standard gauge railroad to operate between Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

J Bar Double C Ranch
21441 County Rd. 35-41, Elbert vicinity
The 368-acre J Bar Double C Ranch is significant for its development and use between 1952 and 1967 as a western summer camp for children of Jewish heritage. Beginning on the East Coast after World War I, children’s summer camps geared to the Jewish community spread westward after World War II. The J Bar Double C Ranch camp was the Denver Jewish community’s response to the need for such a facility in the area and is one of only two Jewish summer camps in Colorado.

Sacred Heart Church
7211 County Rd. 98, Elbert
Originally built on the banks of Boxelder Creek, a devastating flood in 1935 nearly swept the building away and resulted in its move to higher ground north east of town. The church building is a striking local expression of the Gothic Revival style and holds Sunday morning services @ 10am and also houses a small local museum.

Elbert Presbyterian Church
225 Main Street, Elbert
Elbert Presbyterian Church, a one and one-half story clapboard structure on a wooden foundation, has a high gabled roof and brick chimney. It was built in 1889 by prospective members under the direction of a local carpenter, Taylor Green. A tower, topped with a spire and four-sided cupola, houses the narthex in its base. The first Protestant church to be organized and constructed in Elbert County, the building represents the architecture common in the eastern plains churches of that era. It provided shelter for worship and social gatherings as well as serving as a relief station during area floods of 1935.

Huber Building (Carlson Building)
239 Main Street, Elizabeth
The 1890 building is typical of late 19th century storefronts. It contained a variety of retail and wholesale enterprises and contributed to the commercial history of Elizabeth.

Fondis Store
Intersection of Elbert County Rds. 69 & 98, Fondis
Opened in 1902, seven years after the community’s founding, the store served until 1949 as the community’s center of commerce and information. In addition to operating as a general store, the building variously shared space with a doctor’s office and pharmacy; welcomed the daily stage coach from Elbert; hosted meetings, parties, dances and celebrations; and on Election Day, served as the local polling place. The one-story brick building marked the center of the community and soon became its visual landmark.

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Lincoln County

Martin Homestead
57920 County Rd., Genoa
The homestead evolved architecturally over a period from 1899 to 1916. The Martins homesteaded the land in 1899, and the fourth generation of the same family continues to work the farm. The property includes the original sod house and a large frame barn, both typical in design, materials, and workmanship for their place and period of construction.

World’s Wonder View Tower
30121 Frontage Rd., Genoa
The 1926 World’s Wonder View Tower rose on Colorado’s eastern plains as a commercial and recreational center designed to profit from the needs of rail and highway travelers. Tourist facilities like the tower once dotted every major western highway. They now represent a rare and disappearing resource.
Note: Tower No Longer Open

Limon Railroad Depot
(Limon Heritage Museum)
899 – 1st Street, Limon
The town’s location at the intersection of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, and its designation as a division point on the latter, made Limon an important regional rail center and a major source of local employment. The 1910 wood frame depot is one of only three Rock Island depots in Colorado remaining in their place of operation. Modernized by the Rock Island in the late 1930’s, the depot is important for its design adaptations that allowed it to effectively serve and manage traffic at a major rail junction into the 1950’s. In 1990, the Mid States Port Authority donated the building to the Limon Heritage Society, and it now serves as a museum.

Lincoln Theatre
245 E. Ave., Limon
The Lincoln Theatre is Limon’s longest surviving movie theatre. Opening in 1938 as the Cactus Theatre before assuming the Lincoln name in 1949, the theatre has operated continuously to the present.

Carpenter Barn
30560 Colo. Hwy. 71, Limon vicinity
The circa 1900 Carpenter Barn is a good example of a modest sized, platform-framed and gambrel-roofed dairy barn. The barn exhibits the large loft indicative of the type as well as the grade level concrete floor and abundant windows. Though moved from its original construction site in 1950, the barn continued to be used after its relocation.

Walks Camp Park
63551 County Rd. 27, Limon vicinity
Since the creation of the Walks Camp Park Association in 1915, the agricultural community north of Limon has operated the park as a recreational complex. The 1930 Grandstand, exemplifying a basic design type common in the first half of the 20th century, provides spectator seating for sporting events and community celebrations. The Recreation Hall, moved to the park in 1944 from the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Hugo, is of typical CCC design and provides additional sheltered space for a variety of community functions.

Hugo Municipal Pool
US 287 and 6th Ave., Hugo
This property is associated with the New Deal Resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains and was a Works Progress Administration project. Both the pool and the Art Moderne design bathhouse have been in continuous use since their construction in 1938.

Hugo Union Pacific Railroad Roundhouse
Adjacent to Union Pacific RR right-of-way, Hugo
The 1909 roundhouse is associated with the operation and maintenance of the Union Pacific Railroad in eastern Colorado. It is Colorado’s most intact Union Pacific example and one of only four surviving roundhouses in the state.

Hedlund House
617 – 3rd Avenue, Hugo
The circa 1877 Hedlund House is part of the first homestead filing in the Hugo area. The house is a wood frame structure typical of its place and period of construction.

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Kit Carson County

Burlington State Armory
191 – 14th Street, Burlington
Constructed in 1926, this architecturally significant, two and one-half story red brick building occupies a prominent location at the south end of Burlington’s commercial district. Sidney G. Frazier, a prolific Colorado architect and captain in the National Guard, designed the last Gothic Revival style building.

Elitch Gardens Carousel / Kit Carson County Carousel
Kit Carson County Fairgrounds, Burlington
The 1905 carousel is a rare surviving example of a stationary menagerie carousel built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for Denver’s Elitch Gardens. The carousel and its 1912 Wurlitzer Monster Military Band Organ were moved to the Kit Carson County Fairgrounds in 1928.

Sim Hudson Motor Company
1332 Senter Ave., Burlington
This building was constructed as the Golden Belt Garage in 1920. The Sim Hudson Motor Company played a major role in the development of automobile sales and service in Burlington. Owner Sim Hudson sold and serviced Chevrolets. The Hudson Motor Company is a good example of the dealership type developed in the first half of the twentieth century that combined sales, service, storage and fueling in a one-story building at the street edge. The Hudson building exemplifies the architectural evolution of the classic pre-World War II automobile dealership.

Burlington Gymnasium
450 – 11th Street, Burlington
Constructed between 1938 and 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The building exemplifies the Art Deco style as applied to a WPA gymnasium building. Rather than terra cotta ornamentation featured in more elaborate Art Deco buildings, all decoration was executed in cement. Pilasters create a vertical emphasis and incised horizontal lines provide a geometric counterpoint. Chevron and ziggurat designs decorate the cornice.

Flagler Hospital (Municipal Building)
311 Main Avenue, Flagler
Since its construction in 1909, by W.L. Price and W.H. Lavington, the building has housed a variety of functions important to the community’s growth. From 1909 to approximately 1930, the building operated as a hotel. In 1937, it was purchased by Dr. William L. McBride who remodeled it into a hospital and operated it as such until 1963. The Town of Flagler purchased the building in 1967 and converted it to city offices and the town library.

Second Central School
404 Fourth Street, Flagler
Constructed in 1915, this rural schoolhouse was originally located 13 miles southeast of Flagler. Consolidation forced the school to close, and it remained vacant for many years. It was moved to Flagler in 1993 for use as a local museum. This architecturally significant school includes details such as flared eaves, a spiral chimney and unusual finials.

Spring Creek Bridge
U. S. Highway 24, Vona vicinity
The 1928-29 concrete slab bridge includes seven 19-foot spans. It crosses Spring Creek on a now lightly traveled portion of U.S. Highway 24 that runs parallel to I-70 between Seibert and Vona. Designed by the Colorado Department of Highways and constructed by M.E. Carlson, it remains intact as a good example of one of Colorado’s early multiple span concrete highway bridges. Listed under Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.

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Cheyenne County

Cheyenne County Courthouse
51 S. 1st Street, Cheyenne Wells
The Cheyenne County Courthouse is a red brick structure of Georgian Revival style located in the center of the courthouse square. The county selected John J. Huddart of Denver as the architect, and contractor S.L. Work of Denver constructed the build-ing between 1908-1909. Huddart designed six Colorado courthouses during his career, with the Cheyenne County facility being his second such commission. The courthouse has served as the center of county government for nearly a century.

Cheyenne County Jail (Old Cheyenne Co. Jail Museum)
85 W. 2nd Street, Cheyenne Wells
The county constructed its 1894 jail following the plans of Denver architect Robert S. Roeschlaub. The building is the only remaining jailhouse of two designed by Roeschlaub and represents the development of the urban frontier on the plains of Colorado.

Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Building
50 S. First Street, Cheyenne Wells
The 1927 building is important for its association with the modernization of telephone service in Cheyenne Wells. It is also a good local example of a typical early 20th century commercial building.

Kit Carson Pool Hall
2nd & Main Street, Kit Carson
This classic brick storefront, with stepped parapet, typifies 20th century commercial design. Built in 1915 and owned by Roy M. Collins until about 1921, the structure served as a formal and informal meeting place for the community, provided recreation facilities, and housed a variety of commercial establishments.

Union Pacific Pumphouse
1st Street, Kit Carson
Associated with the settlement of the area and the development of the railroad, the circa 1880 pumphouse is an unusual example of a masonry railroad utility building. It originally housed the machinery which pumped water into the large storage tank used by the Union Pacific Railroad to fill its passing steam locomotives. The building appears to be Colorado’s only surviving stone railroad pumphouse.

Kit Carson Union Pacific Railroad Depot (Kit Carson Museum)
U.S. Hwy. 40/287, Kit Carson
Constructed in 1904, the wood frame building is a well preserved example of a Union Pacific standard plan combination depot. In addition to handling passengers and freight, this depot also served as the station agent’s residence. A prominent bay window located in the office area provided the agent with an unobstructed view of the track in both directions. With minor exceptions, the interior of the depot retains its original layout and materials. Although moved from its original track side location by the Kit Carson Historical Society for use as a museum when threatened with demolition in 1969, it remains architecturally important as the most intact Colorado example of this depot type.

Kit Carson Union Pacific Railroad Signal Maintainer’s House (Kit Carson Museum)
U. S. Hwy. 40/287, Kit Carson
The Signal Maintainer’s House, built about 1930, is a well-preserved and publicly accessible example of a Union Pacific standard plan 24 foot x 34 foot frame dwelling with bath. Though once common along the railroad’s right-of-way, few intact examples of this type of building remain. The relocated building is now part of the Kit Carson Museum. Union Pacific Railroad Caboose No. 25400 (Kit Carson Museum) U. S. Hwy. 40/287, Kit Carson The 1959 Caboose No. 25400 typifies mid-century all-steel caboose design. The Class CA-7 caboose represents caboose design, materials and construction just before the time that railroads began the process of eliminating the caboose from freight train operations. No. 25400 was the first of one hundred Class CA-7 cabooses constructed by the Union Pacific. The car is one of only three surviving Class CA-7 cabooses in Colorado. The caboose retains nearly all of its original design and materials, both exterior and interior.

Wild Horse Mercantile
15170 5th Street, Wild Horse
Built after the 1917 fire that destroyed the community’s entire business block, the Wild Horse Mercantile was the longest, continuously operating commercial establishment in town. The small brick and stucco building served local customers until the late 1960’s.

Wild Horse School
8513 W. S. Hwy. 40/287, Wild Horse
The building was the only school in Wild Horse from 1912 until 1964 and also served for a number of years as the center of the community’s social activities. The school possesses the distinctive characteristics of the rural schoolhouse, as evidenced by its utilitarian design, size, materials, color, and fenestration pattern.

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