Saturday, February 20, 2016

Boyero, CO


Boyero, Colorado
            Boyero was built by the railroad as the Kansas Pacific built across the Colorado prairie.  It became a section point for the road gangs that maintained the rails.  Structures were built, homes and shops popped up.  The train town was on its way to becoming a prosperous little community for the railroad workers and the ranchers in the area. 
            The Smoky Hill Trail had shifted south to follow along the tracks and the Golden Belt Route made Boyero a place to stop for supplies.  A school was built as were churches with numerous homes.  With the advent of the automobile in the early 1900’s, Boyero found itself at the crossroads of a couple of state roads plus the US highway.  Gas stations and repair shops opened and the railroads kept the towns people busy. 

            It became a shipping point for livestock.  Cattlemen were keeping things busy.  There were saloons, a dance hall and fine eating establishments in the little town which had grown to almost 500 people. 
Water in the area was very hard and alkali, not good for the steam engines.  So a cistern was built and the railroad brought water in by tank car for their steam engines.  They also allowed the townspeople to use water from the cistern also, since most worked for the railroad. 
Then the state highway department wanted to straighten out the highway.  In the process, Boyero became isolated, five miles off the main highway.  One of the state roads was re routed, it was the beginning of the end for the country town.  No longer were travelers passing through, some businesses closed.  Then the railroad began to change their divisions and sections.  Not as many workers for the rails were needed. 

People were moving and there were empty houses dotting the town.  Ranchers in the area helped to keep the town afloat for a time yet it was not enough to keep any of the businesses open. 
There are a couple of families that still live in the town that call Boyero home.  The Post Office is gone and they have to go down the road a bit for mail pick up at a kiosk.  The antique store the rancher’s wife kept in a small house has closed and most of the town is in ruins. 
Some of the streets can still be seen, a few relics dot the empty lots.  Over there where there had been homes is now a corral and cattle hang out in the pen.  


The old highway runs through the middle of town is now a dusty country road.  All signs of the railroad buildings are gone.  The Boyero sign still stands next to the rails.  Sitting on the other side of the tracks on a big sweeping bend in the creek is the old boarding house.  It still stands stately, well worn and showing some signs of roof neglect.  There are couple of other sheds nearby and depressions in the ground where other buildings had been.  

Cross the tracks is where the main part of Boyero had been.  Couple of shops still stand, in the beginnings of collapse.  The weeds hold a variety of relics and out buildings.   At the north end is the stately livery stable and house.  Both show signs of severe weathering but enduring.  They are built of rock with wooden roofs.  The street that goes past, leads back to the ranchers house that still lives there. 
It is a classic prairie ghost town and because it sits off the highway, down a dirt road, few people will make the effort to go look at.  Yet in the spring, when the green up begins, it is a wondrous area.  The groves of trees along the sand creek are home to countless birds and critters.  The eagles float overhead, along with the hawks and falcons.  The kestrels and merlins flit among the grasses and the Meadowlark will serenade the visitor with a tune of the grass lands.  In the trees the deer can be seen, on far hill the antelope watch the traveler.  Coyotes and foxes scurry along looking for their next meal.
Each passing year a bit of the town disappears.  The store had stood for years.  The roof collapsed and a few years ago the store front collapsed onto itself making a big pile of kindling wood.  One of the local ranchers sold out a while back, so there is now another empty home in the area. 

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