The old map lists lots of old towns from the late 1800’s to about 1920’s. There are wagon roads, cattle trails, stage routes and pioneer trails listed on it. I pack it up with an idea of places I will go looking for. The trails and roads are hardest to find, those usually involve a lucky per chance. The little towns and stops are a bit easier in that the map is overlaid on fairly modern road map. So off I go in search of ……… camera in tow plus other things.
The Edler well, appears to still be in operation.
Many of the little towns are no more then a farm or ranch house where the Post Office had been located. The remains of these places are usually a stand of trees and some concrete footers where the buildings once stood. So when I went searching for Edler, I only expected to find an old house… maybe. Instead I found the remains of a small village.
There was a school house, church, some old buildings, water tank and nearby a local farmer had his operation. I have no idea what the population had been but I would guess it had been around 100 people had lived here. The Post Office was in operation until 1948 and the school probably lasted longer.
Edler is in the dust bowl and the dust still blows at times in the area yet there are few who are tenacious and hang on. Early 1850’s, there was another drought that pushed many more farmers off the land. The area around Edler reflects that, for it is miles in between neighbors.
This area of Southeastern Colorado is loaded with little burgs that used to be. There are canyons with small streams nearby, scrub forests dot the ridges, a sight that does not fit the flat land conception of eastern Colorado. To the south is an old copper mine, to the northeast was some gold mining. Edler sits on the flat lands of farmland that is great land to farm when there is moisture.
It is a land of surprising contrasts that I want to go back to and explore some more of the little villages that are no more.