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. 

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