Thursday, August 3, 2017

Railroads and Globeville

Coloradans rejoiced when the Denver Pacific Railroad's first train steamed into Denver on June 22, 1870, and celebrated again when the Kansas Pacific arrived in August. Now the territory was connected to the rest of the nation and settlers had access to supplies, markets for their products and mail. To an economy dependent on minerals and mining, railroads also promised an outlet for Colorado's gold and silver.
In 1878, the Boston and Colorado Smelter relocated from Black Hawk and built a large plant west of the Platte River, taking advantage of the confluence of rail lines on the plains. The Omaha and Grant Smelter opened in 1882 and the Globe followed in 1889. Foundries, pattern shops, brick yards and businesses that supported mining grew along the rails, as well as meat packing plants and machine shops to service the railroads. Within a generation, a rural outpost had become the industrial town of Globeville, surrounded by railroads.
The rail lines appear on maps with the names changing with each merger or acquisition: the Denver Pacific and the Kansas Pacific would become the Union Pacific (1880); the Colorado and Southern (1898); the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (1901); the Denver and Salt Lake (1912), and the Denver and Interurban (owned by the Colorado and Southern).
Today, there are only two rail lines: the Burlington Northern and the Union Pacific, and they still encompass and define Globeville.

1898 Rollandet map

Company picnic, photo used with written permission from Ed Wargin

 Burlington chugs past Polack Valley ® Mary Lou Egan


Mark Canjar said...

Great article as always, thanks Mary Lou!

Mary Lou Egan said...

You are welcome!