Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peoria, Colo

 

Much like a cat, Peoria, has had more then one life.  Today it is an exit on I-70 and a few empty building and some rubble piles mark the spot. 

Peoria had its beginnings on the smoky Hill trail during the 1860’s n 70’s.  The summer of 1870 the railroad passed through the site and they put in a depot and some section houses for a maintenance  crew.  It sits on a ridge overlooking the East Bijou Creek where there are springs and water. 

A store was built for the local settlers and later when the highway pushed through a gas station.  Peoria never became much of a town, mostly a stop on the railroad and a wide spot on the highway.  The railroad closed their facilities and the rest followed suit and soon it was an empty wide spot.

Then the Interstate was built.  Rather then isolating the area, it brought life.  Some dog people bought some land by the exit and soon the Byers race track was built.  Busloads of people traveled out the Byers racetrack at Peoria. 

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The greyhounds brought the little junction back to life, well kind of.  There were a few homes built for the caretakers.  Nothing else but the race facilities.  The the racing dogs hit as pot hole and greyhound racing went into the history books.  For years the p;lace sat empty, collecting dust and tumbleweeds. 

For years it was an empty land mark next to the Interstate. 

Few years ago it was given a new life transfusion.  It was purchased and things were cleaned up, painted and new life as a race track of another type was on the horizon.

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The collector of tumbleweeds and dust was looking new and shinny.  Time rolled on and nothing more was happening.  Activity around it was gone.  The ghosts of greyhounds were free to roam again. 

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Today, machinery site quietly, fences are up and gates secured.  The prairie land mark sits in slow repose of nothing. 

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Even the house looks forlorn as waits for something.

The wide spot of Peoria is once again an empty wide spot.

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