Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eastonville, CO

 

The bustling village of Eastonville has all but disappeared.  There is an old shack near the where the RR grade used to be and out in the pasture is an old Cog railway car on the RR ROW.  The land has been developed in country estates and lots of the old town is vacant under new development. 

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The burg had its beginnings as a ranching and logging town a few miles to the west.  When the railroad came through in the mid 1800’s, the townspeople voted to move their village next to the tracks.  Old Easton as it was known originally, became Eastonville for there was a town up north of Eaton.  To avoid confusion they ville behind their town’s name. 

It was a wild and woolly town, with the cowboys, loggers and add the railroad workers.  There were saloons and other forms of entertainment. 

During the spring roundup the cowboys would show off their riding and roping skills.  Enterprising stage operators in nearby Colorado Springs would schedule coaches out to Eastonville for the townspeople to watch the cowboys show off.  The young city ladies would cheer on their favorite cowboy and money exchanged hands on the riding powers of the cowboys.  It was a wide open celebration on the frontier. 

The railroad did not last long.  In 1935 the floods washed away a major portion of the tracks to the north.  Rather then rebuilding, the railroad abandoned the rails and used the tracks to the west.  The little town of Eastonville was abandoned.  There was still ranching but most of the logging was gone.  The glory days of the little town was ending.

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The cowboys would still carouse at the saloon on their day off.  Into town they would go to whet their whistle.  The saloon was busy that day.  The two cowboys were talking about their jobs and drinking beer when a black cowboy walks into the bar.  Soon the one partner was making nasty remarks about the black cowboy.  Being liquored up didn’t help, but the other cowboy got his partner calmed down and out side. 

Getting his partner settled and under a tree, He went into the general store to get some supplies for the week, mostly tobacco.  Getting his supplies, the cowboy went back out looking for his partner and go back to the ranch. 

The drunk partner was riled up again and standing in front of the saloon shouting and waving his gun. His partner walks up to him and tries to calm the drunk down.  But to no avail louder he shouts at the black cowboy.  Soon the partners are in a wrestling match and the gun goes off.  The partner had killed his drunk partner in front of the saloon on main street at high noon.

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The Eastonville cemetery is west of the railroad crossing near where the town of Easton had its beginnings.  Whether the cowboy is buried their or not is a good question.  It sits in a serene spot, surrounded by stately pines.  Pikes Peak looks down on the ghosts of the long gone village. 

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