Sunday, May 3, 2015

Town disappears from sight, but not memory

Homes, shacks, pigpens, garage, 

and the train station ... all abandoned

By Rob Carrigan,

Nearby dairies would load the milk cans off their wagons on to the rail platform for pickup.  If you look hard enough, you still might find remnants of the cement underpinnings of that platform on the edge of the jogging trail today. Husted station, back in the day.
Look hard enough again, and you might see the last vestiges of the road that arched around the flat that was once the perimeter of the town.
"Just north will be the main entrance to the Air Force Academy. Here will be a national monument, one of the finest service schools ever conceived man. Thousands of future officers of the United States Air Force will get their training here. They won't know about Husted, and they won't care. Anymore than they care about Ramona, Glasstown, Frog Hollow, Piedmont, Lihue, Montclar —other towns swallowed up by progress in the Pikes Peak region.
On February 19, 1956, J.C. Kinner told a Colorado Springs Gazette and Telegraph reported that there was once a grammar school there in Husted, until the days of consolidated schools made it obsolete. "It had a saloon, which became a store, which became a postoffice, which in turn became a church. Finally the same frame was used to make the present forlorn Branding Iron Cafe," Kinner said.
The reporter from the Gazette and Telegraph described the Branding Iron Cafe's state in early 1956.
"Has a 'no trespassing' sign. Jones General store has a few boxes of Wheaties, some Certo; a couple of cans of sauer kraut still on it shelves, but the store is closed. The empty gas pump at the Allison's Service Station reads: this sale, $0.00."
The forlorn description goes on.
"Tourist and truckers speeding thru Husted don't know that in the window of the store there's a plaid calico camel. It's been tossed aside. It gathers dust. It's unwanted. But once upon a time some child hugged that plaid calico camel with tender love."
The town of Husted was like that.
From the 1956 description: "A dozen or so building make up Husted today. The Branding Iron Cafe still has its paneled knotty pine walls, its coffee counter, its sink. Picturesque symbolic menus boasting 'we sell soup in pints and quarts' are scattered over the floor. A year ago you could get a minced ham and scrambled eggs with toas for 48 cents. The ubiquitous tumble weeds in the the back room tell a different story today."
Homes, shacks, pigpens, garage, and the train station... all abandoned.
"Once an important stop on the Santa Fe and Rio Grande railroad, once a bustling center of ranchers and lumbermen, is a dead town — sacrificed on the altar of progress."

Photo information:
Colorado & Southern train, engine number 371, engine type 4-6-2 and engine number 9980, engine type EMD E5. Photo by Otto, Perry, Train #22, Texas Zephyr; 14 cars, fine smoke effect. Photographed: Husted, Colo., June 15, 1945.
Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library

Husted's Branding Iron Cafe in 1956. Denver Post Photo.

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