Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sagaus …… Shortest lived town ever …. probably

 

During the late 1800’s, the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, CRIP, decided to build a line to the gold fields of Colorado from Omaha, Nebraska. Their destination was Pikes Peak. 

The railroad also liked to build towns along their routes.  For little towns meant customers of them.  Passenger revenue was as important back then as was the revenue from freight.  It also gave them reference points along the line where the trains were and stops where the train crews could be given orders along the line.  These little stops were on average about 6 miles apart. 

The railroad would set up a depot, sometimes, no more then a boxcar.  Couple of houses would be built for the workers and then hopes that a speculator would come along and plat a town.  Sometimes the speculator was already there waiting for the railroad to show up.  Lots were being sold on the promise that this would become a train stop.  Things did not always go as planned. 

Rolling across the prairie of eastern Colorado things changed.  The further west they went, the drier the land became and the elevation was gaining.  The land was over 5000 feet above sea level and climbing.

In 1888 the CRIP reached Flagler, CO.  Having bypassed other little villages that wanted the railroad for their site.  Continuing westward they stopped at a place they named Sagaus.  Here they put in a siding, depot, couple of section houses and a store was built.  All the ingredients for a town was in place. 

Westward the railroad continued, at Arriba a speculator was waiting for them.   A town was laid out and their were residents in this new town on the high plains. 

Being sandwiched between to growing little towns the the fate of Sagaus was doomed.  The following year, the store had closed, the depot was gone and the people had moved to one of the neighboring towns. 

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Today the remains of the little burg are but a wide spot next to the railroad tracks.  Nearby the traffic of Interstate 70 roars by. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Giving up the ghost

 

 

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The little house on the prairie is slowly giving its ghosts over to memories. For decades is has stood on the grass lands, a monument to other times.  Here the dreams of the early settler was realized.  Their own home and a piece of land. 

Built in the early 1900’s and looks like added on at a later date.  Roots were established, A school was nearby and Town was not much further.  Roots were put down and a new life was begun.

Farm prices sky rocketed at the end of WWI and farmer scrambled to the banks mortgaging anything and everything to produce more or buy more land.  The bottom fell out of the farm market and there was no money.  The banks wanted the loans paid and there was none to pay the banks.  Then the dirty 30’s rolled in on black clouds of dirt. 

Soon the dream was vanishing, farmers were being evicted by the banks and a few with money were buying up the vanished dreams.  The building were left and soon the residents were cattle, laying the shade and grazing on the grasses. 

Having no use for the house or wanting to spend the money to tear it down the house settles back to the land. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chasing Ghosts

 

Out across the prairies are a variety of little communities.  Most have disappeared, returned to the earth, no remains.  A few have some old buildings or markings of some type to indicate there was something there at one time.  The post offices are the hardest to find for so many were located in a home.  For short periods of time a farmer or rancher would have a post office contract.

These places show up as towns and a few did become a town.  For the most part they were a private residence.  Looking on the map they are listed as a town.  Oops, just drove past it or where is it. 

So often I have gone looking for these places, only to find an empty pasture or a plowed field.  Well….. someplace out yonder is where the country post office had been. 

Then there is the farmhouse, drive on by, one of many homes that dot the country side.  Get the map out, hey, whoa, stop, I just drove by it.  See back there, that’s it.  Those buildings are on the corner of the once little country burg.  On closer examination, the building out by the road looks like a store, large windows and separate from the rest of the buildings.  Yep, that was the big city.  Now a farmers house and the old post office store is now a shed or chicken coop. 

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Abarr, was one such place.  I had driven past it many times in my travels.  it is not even a wide spot and it blends in so well with the homes that whizz by on the side of the road.  I made a concentrated effort to find it and I still drove past it.  Oh well, that’s why they invented the U-turn.

On closer examination of the map, I spotted a couple of other little spots like this in the vicinity.  Now on other trips I have other distractions to go looking for and maybe find someone with a bit of information on these little spots.  Then they tend to have similar histories.  It is the characters that occasionally associated with them that garners the interest. 

 

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mega Trucks

Living on the Ports To Plains Highway, I get to see bunches of monster loads and the trucks and trailers that haul them.  The most common big loads are the components for the Wind Farms.  The windmills on steroids are shipped in by bits and pieces then site assembled.  Each section has its own specialized trailer.

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The biggest, heaviest part is the Narcel, the turbine/generator.  Multiple axels in sections, laced together.  The rear axels on the trailers are steerable.  Going around corners with these oversized loads in interesting.  Traffic gets stopped and in slow motion the trailer is eased as a pilot stands by the rear steering the trailing wheels. 

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Then there are the blades, great big long stretched out loads.  Special loading trailers and brackets to set the blade in.  Again steerable rear trailer wheels. 

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The tower is in sections and unique brackets for hauling.  The towers have the wiring components ion them plus and elevator.  It is quite the engineering project to watch them move and then get erected. 

Specialized equipment that has a short life and limited application.  Like solar, they will probably have a short life.  When the politicians need money, subsidies for projects like this will be cut and giant windmills will dot the landscape.

In the meantime, all the different engineers are getting a good work out for their craft and tradesmen are occupied.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Republican Circus

 

The political show is underway and the Republicans need more then 3 rings for their show.  With the shortcomings of the Democrats and Obama in particular, the elephant is almost a shoo in.  So the elephants have lined up and are looking for the ring to the oval office.  There will probably be a few more elephants show up in the room.  What’s interesting is the Democrats have only one candidate so far. 

with so many republicans running for president, I’m sure the media will have a filed day.  One thing, the republicans are notorious for shooting themselves in the foot.  Which just give more fodder for the media blasters to put in their cannons.  It should be a good show.

 

On another note, Senator Rand Paul has been speaking out about the Patriot Act.  A lots of fellow senators have been blasting him for wanting to get rid of the Act.  If you really want to lay something ugly at the foot of George Bush, this Act after the 9-11 attacks would be it. 

The Patriot Act violates the Constitution in so many ways.  Personal rights are dumped.  The Homeland Security Dept. was created because of this piece of legislation and so many little things spun off from it.  The favorite abuser of this act has been the TSA, Transportation Security Administration.  The TSA has been a dismal failure and violated so many personal rights. 

So when I look real close at it, I agree with Senator Paul, get rid of the act, file it in the trash can.

So when I hear republicans in favor of the Act, I wonder if they really are Republicans or is the media distorting the truth. 

This act is but on example of many laws that should be repealed and trashed.  It would be nice if other lawmakers took up the pen to begin repeal of many arcane laws and overreaching laws. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Paradise Lost

 

 

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Paradise Lost was a poem written a couple of century's ago.  Yet it is applicable today more so then ever.  Based on the Garden of Eden story, Milton writes on how this one little violation of law crumbled paradise. 

When people traveled to the New World there was not any organization of law of the land.  It was do as do used to do in the old world….. maybe.  People point a religious persecution as one of the main reasons to leave home and cross the ocean.  This persecution is a very small reason for people going to the New World.  There was lots of greed and covetousness to acquire riches and live like royalty.

Parallels the story of Adam and Eve to the growth of the United States.  When the New World was discovered, there were no laws.  Adam and Eve had but one law, do eat of the fruit of the two trees.  Live and enjoy the land but the temptation of the forbidden fruit was more then they could resist.  The violation of one simple law brought banishment from paradise.  Even after they left the Garden of Eden, God’s man struggled to follow the rules of God. 

In Exodus, God gives man ten simple little commandments and man still defies these rules.  So later in Exodus, God provides some more rules man on how to live with his fellow man.  Even then man struggles to live in the rules.  So some more rules are added.  The temptations are so great that many fall prey to them.  So more rules are brought forth.  Even after God finished with His commandments, the secular people added more rules.  Soon rules of life filled volumes of books. 

No longer did man live in a paradise of a couple of rules.  Man was now a captive to volumes of laws.  and the slave masters had become the lawyers….. lawgivers. 

Now compare the birth of the United States.  How many laws were there,  Well the first set of rules… The Articles of Confederation were scrapped and replaced The Constitution.  The Bill of Rights was added and all together they filled up maybe five pages.  These two documents have not changed, the Constitution has been amended numerous times and out of this volumes of laws have been written.  Our lives are now regulated by hundreds of thousands of laws. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws and special; district laws.  Large libraries are needed just to house all the law books. 

No longer does man have a simple life of a few laws or ten commandments.  His paradise has been lost.  Well not lost but given to the lawyers. 

Every time a new law is passed in the United States, some one’s freedom is diminished/restricted. 

A mind set has grown that if we pass a new law, we can solve our problems.  So we go crying to law makers.

If you feel a sting in your foot, it is probably from the bullet where you shot yourself in the foot. 

So how is Paradise Regained???????

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Slovak Community

 

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The Christian Orthodox Church marks the remnants of a once wide spread community that fled from Eastern Europe during the communist revolution in Russia.  Situated north of Calhan, CO, on the other side of the valley.  Here the few descendants from the early settler still celebrate their heritage.  Once a year they have Slavic days.  Worship services are still held in the little country church.

Scattered across the area are other reminders of when there were more Slovaks in the area.  Empty church, cemeteries in the land and the names in the phone book still resonate.  They were mostly, Ukrainians, Serbs and Czech’s.  The community reached into the Black Forest to East of Matheson, CO. 

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Like many small towns on the prairie, the siren song of the city attracts many a youngster leave their home and go seeking in the lights of big city life.  The few that remain carry on the life their ancestors started.  The horrors of communism that their friends left behind had to face are memories that do not go away.  The slaughter of the populace by Lenin and the Bolsheviks is not forgotten.  Here they fond a life they could live out in peace for over a century.  Yet the communists of Russia have raised their ugliness from time to time to remind them of why they fled.  One of the first thing the communists did was to ban churches in the countries under their control. 

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Around the US  were other communities like this.  The north side of Denver has a settlement of Slovakians. 

Much like other settlers in the US, schools were important.  Building schools and educating their children into the new country, their adopted country was important.  Farming and ranching the pioneers gained a new life in a new land.  A land away from tyranny. 

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Today, much of what they built is now gone.  Only memories and the occasional old picture.