Sunday, December 4, 2016

Broom Factory

            Pritchett, situated in the far southeastern corner of Colorado was at one time considered the capitol of broomcorn.  There was a factory there to manufacture brooms for shipment across the corner.  Broomcorn became an important cash product for the farmers.  The flat land was excellent production ground for growing crops and the farmers grew and grew. 

            Drive through Pritchett today and one would not even consider its importance to the region.  There are numerous empty building on Main Street and lots of vacant lots where there had been stores and shops.  There are a few businesses that operate, the grain elevator, a saloon and the Post Office, the school still teaches.   But life is much slower in the little country village that survived the “Dirty 30’s.”   
            The east/west highway sees the occasional traffic as it bends through town.  No longer are there brooms to be shipped around the country, today it is grain products.  Yet for the person that wanders through town, all kinds of past moments ripple through the imagination.  The workers that worked in the rural factory, going to an from work, pausing in the saloon, the few cars cruising main.  It would make a great Hollywood backdrop for a movie. 

            Neat old gas station on the corner, classic movie house, the saloon and a park on the corner to hang out in, the flappers from the 20’s or the Hot Rodders of the 50’s.  Any of these would fit right into the fabric of Pritchett.  Cruise down the street to where it turns, flip a U and cruise back to the other end of town.  Music rolling out of the saloon.  It is a western town on the eastern plains of Colorado. 
            Today the farming and ranching in the area keep the little town school open insuring the town has some life.  The tumbleweed can roll down the street not bothered but by the light breeze. 

The link takes one to the Baca County History, stories about broomcorn.

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