April 28, 2014

Rand McNally 1895: Boulder County and Colorado.

The New 11 x 14 Atlas of the World, it was called.

This map was published during the recovery of the national economy from its 1892 downturn. Less than ten years earlier, the Greeley, Salt Lake & Pacific railroad had made its first trip from Boulder into the mountain community, in 1883. Now it no longer existed, a casualty of natural disaster--a springtime flood--and human folly.

Time would see the rebuilding of the narrow-gauge rail system, in 1896 under new ownership and management. The Colorado & Northwestern Railway, a new name, a new day. The Switzerland Trail of America slogan, brand name, had yet to be born.

Altona, Hygiene, Highland, Caribou, Sunset, Sugar Loaf, Marshall, Canfield, Boulder Junction--so many. Towns prominent enough to be on a state map in 1895, in 2014 exist in memory alone.

Time passes. Some communities serve temporary purposes. I doubt they understood that about themselves.

Where is Caribou Town now? What happened to the narrow-gauge trestles to the top of the world?

35 years from Native American to European.

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