Continuing along the Golden Belt Route, one travels over one of the old concrete bridges from the early 1900’s, crossing Coon Creek. Bouncing over the country road, is bouncing along with the wagons that traveled next to the railroad tracks more than 100 years ago. Very few vehicles roll along the road and fewer trains sing on the iron rails. On the road to Boyero, the land is mostly unchanged, it is open range, cattle stand on the road looking at the interlopers, deer lounge in the shade of the few trees and birds serenade the traveler.
It is traveling back to another era, listen to the land as it sings. Here one can gaze across the emptiness and hear the creak of the wagons, see the puffs of dust from the wheels. It is now cattle that graze on the grasses, sharing with the wildlife. The eagles feast on the prairie dogs, the prairie falcon has a dove for a meal, the song birds sit on the fence line and the antelope watches from far ridge. A land as it was centuries ago.
Rolling SE from Clifford, the Golden Belt Route passes through Boyero. Situated on a bend of the creek and the tracks, the livery stable dominates. Built by the railroad in 1870, Boyero’s purpose was to serve the railroad and keep it running. The water in the area is ample but very alkali, not suitable for steam engines. So a cistern was built and the RR brought in tank cars of water to fill the cistern. Since most of the people that lived there worked for the railroad, they were allowed to get water from the cistern.
Over time the RR village grew into a prosperous ranching community and rail town. Schools were built, there were churches, stores, shops and the saloons. It was at the junction of a state highway and US road making it a good place for early day travelers to stop. Then the government realigned the US highway and later the state highway was rerouted. The decline of Boyero began. Today there is one family that still lives in the remains. Years ago they had an antique store there and a sign directing customers down the road to their shop.
Many of the town lots are still owned by former residents or their families. Most of the streets have faded and are overgrown with grass. North of the livery stable there is a stack of RR ties, it is this pasture where the schoolhouse used to be and there were some homes there also. Along the old highway is the remains of a gas station/post office, the general store collapsed a few years ago and was cleared to a vacant lot. A couple of streets can be seen going east and there are a few more buildings down them. Mixed in with them are a few cattle, always watching the people that pass by.
Across the tracks sit a few more buildings, there is a street along the frontage with small side streets into the other places. The large building had many lives, store, boarding house and home. The drummer boys used the trains a lot for pedaling their wares and rooming houses were as popular as hotels were back then. Let the mind wander, warm summer eve, on the porch. The dim glow of a cigarette as the travelers wait for the cool of the evening to settle in. Conversation floats off the veranda, it is a scene for the imagination to conjure up.
Before the auto, ranchers would ride their horses into town. Put their horse up at the livery and walk down to the train. They would ride the train to the county seat, take care of business. Catch the train back to Boyero, walk over to the livery and pick up their horse for the return trip home. Life had a different pace back then.
There are ranches in the area that can trace their beginnings back to the late 1800’s. Walking the cemetery, there are a few pioneers there born in the mid 1800’s. Alongside are the railroad workers that built the little town. Here the Spirit of the West lingers.