Ghost Towns in Weld County

The historical information provided in the accordions below was taken from the book, Weld County Towns: The First 150 Years, researched by Nancy Lourine Lynch. For more specific information, visit the City of Greeley Museums.


Located northeast of Milliken and west of La Salle, Adna was a railroad siding and station on the Great Western Railway. From 1917 to 1971, Adna was a sugar beet dump for the Great Western Sugar Company in Greeley.


A Latin word meaning farmer, Agricola was an early settlement located near the confluence of the Cache la Poudre River and the South Platte River, about six miles east of present day Greeley (exact location unknown). Many historic trails converged at the site of Agricola including the Platte River Trail, Cherokee Trail, the overland stagecoach route, and military roads. Agricola soon had a sawmill, a stage coach station and prospects for lively trade were good.

Unfortunately, the 1860 spring floods destroyed the months-old town. Some of its residents relocated to nearby higher ground, and renamed Agricola “Cherokee City.” Located on the south bank of the South Platte River, Cherokee City was probably within sight of where Agricola had been.

After the Union Colony of Colorado founded Greeley in 1870, farming remained viable and prosperous in this area which was later referred to as “the Delta.”


Named for the Alden brothers, Charles, John and Ralph, local sugar beet farmers, Alden became a sugar beet dump and siding on the Crow Creek Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1910. It remained active as a siding and beet dump until 1965.


In 1873, Auburn School was built on the Auburn Ranch. The school district covered a large area south of the South Platte River bend near present-day Kersey. The Union Pacific constructed a railroad line from Julesburg to LaSalle in 1881, and Auburn station was also named for the rancher there. Alfalfa, sugar beets and potatoes were the crops raised and shipped from Auburn station. In the early 1900s, Auburn Dairy was at that location, featuring island-bred Guernsey milk cows. Milk sold for 5 cents a quart.


Located about 23 miles south of Kimball, Nebraska, and 35 miles west of Sterling, this community applied for a post office named “Valley” in 1898. However, the name was crossed out on the application and changed to “Avalo.” The origin of the name is uncertain, but it may have been a family surname or a combination of letters from several names. Avalo’s post office locations were moved in 1914 and again in 1919, to accommodate the new postmasters. The Avalo Post Office closed in 1936. While Avalo did not have a business district, it continued to be a school district as well as a voting and census precinct, until it became part of the Raymer district in 1960.


On January 11, 1917 a post office was requested and granted for the Negro colony of Dearfield. However, the name Dearfield was rejected and replaced by Chapelton. The Chapelton Post Office was located about two miles southeast of Dearfield. Its mail was carried from the Wiggins railroad stop, eight miles east in Morgan County. By 1919, the Chapelton School District had hired its first Negro teacher. Opposite the Chapelton Post Office, a First Baptist Church was founded in 1921. The post office closed in 1922 and the mail was sent to residents in care of the Wiggins Post Office.


Situated near an old cattle trail, Chenoa, pronounced chay-NOH-ah, may have been named for the town of Chenoa in Illinois. On September 2, 1886, its post office was established in Weld County, about 30 miles southeast of Sterling which is in present day Logan County. Mail was routed to Chenoa by rail from either Sterling or Yuma, and its post office served about 200 people. Chenoa became part of Logan County in 1887 and doesn’t appear on any Greeley Museums Permanent Collections’ maps after 1895.

Cherokee City

After the spring floods of 1860 decimated the farming community of Agricola, many of its residents relocated in October of 1860 to a site they named Cherokee City, located on the south bank of the South Platte River, about 6 miles east of present day Greeley. Cherokee City was named after its location along a portion of the 1849 Evans/Cherokee Trail. It had a post office in 1862 and by spring a saw mill, several houses, a stage station and a hotel had been constructed. There were even plans to build a railroad from Omaha to Cherokee City and ultimately on towards the Pacific Ocean. About ten years later, similar plans were completed to LaSalle.

In November of 1863, Cherokee City’s residents moved their buildings to a site about a quarter mile south and merged with Latham, a settlement on a ridge overlooking the South Platte River. Cherokee City’s original location had been precariously close to the river, putting it in danger of flooding and possible Indian attacks.


Built in 1910 on the Pleasant Valley Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, Cloverly (Also spelled on various maps as Calverly and Cleverly) was a junction and beet dump. Cloverly was used as a mailing address for many local residents, though they got their mail from the Greeley Post Office. The community was probably named for the clover-like alfalfa that was grown in the area. The railroad tracks were removed in 1965, but Cloverly is still on various maps as a populated place.


D. C. Coleman and his wife Nora homesteaded in the Crow Creek Valley in 1885. Here they farmed and ranched for several years before the town of Coleman was established. By 1906 there was a cemetery, and later a store. Plans to build an extensive irrigation system and a railroad created a boom in the region, and the town of Coleman was established in 1909. The Coleman School opened in 1912, and a post office in 1913. The irrigation plans fell through which halted preparations to lay railroad tracks to Coleman. Without water or the railroad, the Coleman Post Office closed in 1919 and the school closed in 1950.


In 1910, O. T. Jackson filed a Desert Claim to “…establish a municipality owned and controlled by colored people…” The name of “Dearfield” was selected because the land would be very dear to the colonists. Dearfield’s residents thrived between 1915 and 1918 because nature provided plenty of moisture and World War I increased crop prices.

By 1921, there were about 70 people who were living independently in Dearfield without having to work elsewhere to support their farms. O. T. Jackson spent most of his time working in Denver and his wife Minerva ran their gas station, lunch room and grocery in Dearfield. Dearfield, located midway between Greeley and Fort Morgan on the newly completed (1931) U.S. Highway 34, attracted many travelers who stopped at its gas station and lunch room.

The Great Depression worsened and ten years of drought devastated Dearfield. By 1940, only 12 people lived there. O. T. Jackson offered Dearfield as an internment camp for Japanese prisoners of war during World War II, but was denied. His niece, Jenny Jackson, cared for him and ran the Dearfield Lunch Room until 1946. After O. T.’s death in 1948, Jenny stayed in the area, living in Dearfield until 1953 when she moved to Greeley. “Dearfield offers opportunities to the young colored men and women... who are earnest and industrious.” Weld County News, 1921.


In 1894, Reverend Cora M. Dilley was the circuit preacher for the Evangelical United Brethren Church in the area between Mead and Johnstown. Two miles west of Johnstown her parishioners built the first church in the district, Dilley Chapel. Labor costs were donated and the stone was quarried from an area near Berthoud. Named for Rev. Dilley’s mother, Mrs. E. C. Elwell, the community of Elwell grew up around Dilley Chapel and was incorporated in 1895. Rev. Dilley became ill and died April 19, 1898. At her request she was buried under a window at the south end of Dilley Chapel. In March of 1904 both the church and parsonage were destroyed by fire. The church was rebuilt in 1905 but the community waned. In 1927 Dilley Chapel and Rev. Dilley’s remains were moved to Johnstown.

Flemmings Ranch

Sometimes spelled Fleming [with one “m”], this community was located on the old territorial road and St. Vrain Creek, a few miles southeast of Platteville. It’s post office, Flemming’s Ranch, opened in 1863 with George A. Flemming, as the post master. Mr. Flemming raised Durham cattle imported from Kentucky. The Flemmings were from Galena, Illinois, and they often referred to their ranch as Galena. Flemming’s Ranch Post Office closed in 1875.

Fort St. Vrain

Along the newly constructed Denver, Laramie & Northwestern Railroad on the west edge of the old Fort St. Vrain fur trading site, a new town was platted and a railroad station built in 1909. Although the surrounding area was rich irrigated farmland, the railroad was overextended and ran out of money by the time track was laid to Greeley. The town of Fort St. Vrain did not prosper and was abandoned in 1919.


Hiram W. Foss was a miner who decided to try farming. He moved his family in 1909 from Silver Cliff, Colorado to three miles northeast of Cornish. Foss and his son-in-law, Jesse Forney, built a two-story mercantile store called Foss and Forney. It also housed a telephone switchboard with phone lines that topped the barbed wire fence posts. In 1910, the Fosston station was built on the Crow Creek Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Fosston Post Office was established in the store with Lena Foss as postmaster.

Foss and Forney Mercantile burned down in 1927 and the bricks were salvaged to build the Fosston Community Building. Fosston farmers were successfully growing barley, pinto beans and cane without irrigation until the drought of the 1930s initiated a rural decline. The Fosston Post Office was discontinued in 1941 and the town was finally abandoned. In 1956 those same bricks from the mercantile were re-salvaged to build a home in Loveland.


This town applied for a post office in 1890, suggesting the names of Boyle, Brulton, Gault, Gerry, Hilton, O’Neill, Pike, Price or Roosevelt. The Post Office Department chose Gault, for James Wade Gault (1872-1928), a Weld County teacher, rancher and homesteader. The Gault Post Office closed in 1916 but the school remained open until 1918 when it became the Gerry Valley School.

After ranching and teaching in the Gault area for twenty years, James Wade Gault moved to Greeley in 1910 and opened a law office in the Opera House Building. He died in 1928 and was buried in the Eaton Cemetery.

Geary's Ranch

William Brush, brother of Jared Brush (for whom the town of Brush was named) was killed August of 1868 during a raid by Sioux Indians at Geary’s Ranch. The post office at Geary’s Ranch was established in 1880 with William H. Hosman as the postmaster. Geary’s Ranch served traffic from Hardin to Greeley, northwest of the Union Pacific Railroad’s cutoff line to Denver. The post office was discontinued in 1894.


Graham Ranch, owned by Ada B. Graham, was one of the first ranches along the cutoff of the Overland Stage route in 1864. In 1911, there were enough people settled in the area to establish a post office named Graham after the senior ranch owners. It was located in an isolated area about sixteen miles northeast of Grover and the mail came twice a week from the Burlington Railroad line. Graham Post Office was in operation until 1918.

Green City

Late in 1870 gregarious Denver real estate promoter David S. Green inspired settlers to leave Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to colonize along the South Platte River southeast of Greeley. The advertising declared there were steamships on the South Platte for transportation to the riverfront town delivering each colonist to a four room house on a city lot with irrigated farmland.

Green’s colony was known by a variety of names, depending on when, where and by whom it was being referenced, including: Green City, Tennessee Colony, Southwestern Colony, Memphis Colony, Greensboro, Columbia, Corona, and the Fraud Colony. Beginning in 1870 it was known as Green City Colony, after initiator David, S. Green. Then when promoted to settlers from Tennessee –it was advertised as Tennessee Colony. As a group of settlers from Memphis, Tennessee gathered early in 1871 they called themselves Southwestern Colony and when they joined Green’s colony the name became Memphis Colony.

In April of 1871 promoters claimed the colony had 50 settlers with plans to create Platte County out of southeastern Weld County with Greensboro as county seat. Colony memberships were advertised to Europeans for £100 and Americans for $100. Colonists were to receive continental transportation for four adults, a town lot with a 4- room house, a $500 life insurance policy and an option to settle on a quarter section (160 acres) of government land.

By 1872 colony residents had discerned that because the South Platte River was rarely deeper than three feet steam transportation would never happen. Their “four room house” had no floors or windows. The worst blow was that the colony’s location was several miles from the river and neither water nor land rights had been filed for.

On January 14, 1874, attempting to remove the taint from their rough beginnings, residents began referring to their town as Columbia and removed Green from the colony board. In a final effort colony residents dug irrigation ditches from the South Platte River but, like their dreams, the sandy soil would not hold water.

Colorado newspapers began actively criticizing the Green City Colony dubbing it the Fraud Colony. On April 14, 1874, the Green City Post Office was discontinued. That same day mail was rerouted to a new post office nearby named Corona. By 1879 the townsite, whatever its name, was deserted. A Weld County voting precinct, the last remnant of Green City, was discontinued in 1908.

Highland Lake

For health reasons, L. C. Mead and his wife, Elizabeth, ventured west in 1871 by train to Erie, Colorado. Then they traveled by stagecoach to the recently established Chicago-Colorado Colony, later Longmont, and then on to Greeley. They were disappointed by high land prices in Greeley so got back on a stage bound for Longmont.

On their return trip, L. C. noticed a prairie lake about 20 feet deep and less than half a mile in diameter that intrigued him. The following spring he staked his claim there naming the lake Highland Lake after the body of water in Sir Walter Scott’s poem, The Lady of the Lake.

A town named Highlandlake (all-one-word) was settled on the lake in 1873 to fulfill agreements with the Chicago-Colorado Colony. By the early 1880s Highlandlake boasted a baseball team, three bands, a singing school, Woman’s Pleasure Club, and a chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. It became a well-known vacation spot for wealthy Denverites providing activities such as boating, bicycling, fishing, hunting, ice skating, dances, tennis, and concerts.

Disaster hit when the railroad bypassed Highlandlake. In 1908 Isabella Terry True, a Highlandlake resident, recorded in her diary, “When I heard the bells ringing today for the new town of Mead, it was as if they were tolling the death knell of Highlandlake.” Nearly all of Highlandlake’s public buildings were moved to Mead and in 1921 their school closed.


George Sanderson Hill came from Iowa and built a cattle ranch on the Big Thompson River near the Weld County border in 1861. Hill built a two-story stagecoach station there which was the first brick building in Weld County (still standing in 2009). A post office was established on his land in 1871, named Hillsborough, for himself. A railroad line was graded by Hillsborough and in 1881 the Union Pacific Railroad constructed a railroad station there.

A community grew around the businesses and in 1891 Hillsborough’s name was shortened to “Hillsboro” and the location moved for the first time, possibly five or six miles northeast of the original Hillsborough Post Office.

In 1896 the Hillsboro Post Office was moved again, reestablished 8 miles south of Windsor. The post office was moved a third time in 1898 and remained open until 1903. Hillsboro’s first town plat was filed November 22, 1905 by Mary Knowlton, but the site was vacated in 1909 after the town of Milliken was established on the eastern edge of the final Hillsboro site.


In 1869 John Hilton moved from Wisconsin to Weld County and was elected Justice of the Peace. He built a house in 1873 on the Overland Stagecoach Trial which ran from Laporte (northwest of Fort Collins) to Latham (just southeast of Greeley). Hilton’s home was located half way between them and became known as Half-Way House. As of 2009 it stands as the oldest building in Windsor. The Hiltonville post office, named for the owner, was established at Half-Way House in 1873 and served 30 families. Hilton was the post master for two years until the office closed. The mail was forwarded to Wheatland in Larimer County. The site of Hiltonville was subsequently known as Hollister (1882), London and New London (1882), New Windsor (1884), and finally was incorporated into the town of Windsor in 1925.


In mid-1910 the Union Pacific Railroad extended their Pleasant Valley Branch line north through Galeton and on into the community of Hungerford. The town name was changed to Purcell when the plat and map of the town was filed in Weld County on November 29, 1910.


Legend has it that alongside their track between Denver and Cheyenne Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) officials asked William A. Davis who owned the land. Davis pointed in all four directions exclaiming: “I own!” Therefore their new UPRR station and siding was named Ione in 1913. A Greeley Tribune article announced that Davis planned to build a two-story store at Ione, and in 1920 he added a community center and a school.

As Ione grew, a two-story brick school was built in 1925 and Ione Post Office was established in 1927. Ione continued as a farming district but was located between the larger communities of Ft. Lupton and Platteville and businesses there were unable to compete. Ione Post Office was discontinued in 1958 and the Ione Railroad Station finally closed in 1978.


North of New Raymer a sheep and cattlemen settlement was started on Pawnee Creek called Kalous (pronounced cow-loose), named for a local ranch family. Many residents were the families of coal miners who came from the Boulder County coal mines during the coal mine strikes of 1914-1915. They planned to be farming land instead of mining coal. The last homesteads in Weld County were filed near Kalous in 1915, the same year their post office was established.

After the mines re-opened some of Kalous’ miners returned to the coal mines. They drove over a hundred and twenty miles on unpaved roads, leaving their wives and children on the homesteads often for weeks at a time. Life for Kalous farmers often became an unendurable hardship during the drought of the 1930s. In 1931 Kalous Post Office was discontinued.


Named for Mrs. Cora B. Kauffman, the postmaster, Kauffman was situated near the south line of Kimball County, Nebraska on the border with Weld County, Colorado. In 1915 Kauffman Post Office was moved south and west into Weld County, Colorado, approximately thirteen miles east of Grover. The mail carrier came twice a week from the Union Pacific Railroad Station at Bushnell, Nebraska.

Residents of Kauffman drilled a water well then constructed a general store (that also served as the post office) and built a community barn. When Model Ts became more popular a gas pump was added in front of the barn. Drought of the 1930s made it difficult for businesses and then a fire destroyed a home and store. Finally in 1934 Kauffman Post Office closed and the community was unable to survive.


Rudolph Koenig emigrated from Switzerland and became a successful firebrick manufacturer and then mayor of Golden. Koenig bought land from the Denver Pacific Railroad east of Loveland and moved there with his wife Emma and their children in 1889. In 1905 Rudolph died of pneumonia leaving Emma to raise seven children by herself.

With both a Union Pacific Railroad line and plans for a Great Western Railroad line crossing through her property, Emma Koenig built a general store and a hotel with a dozen rooms to serve the expected railroad traffic. In 1910 she platted the town of Koenig there which soon had a railroad station and beet dump.

Koenig Post Office was established in 1913 and although the water had to be hauled from Loveland, four trains stopped daily in Koenig to fill with water. Even though there was a well in Koenig there was never enough water available to supply a town.

In a few years the store closed and in 1924 Emma Koenig converted the hotel into her own home. Koenig Post Office was discontinued in 1930 then in 1944 the townsite and buildings were purchased by Raymond and Nellie Amen to use for their farm and cattle feedlot.


In 1836 Lancaster P. Lupton built Fort Lupton for fur trading on the South Platte River. Andrew Jackson Williams and Charles H. Blake took over the abandoned ruins of Fort Lupton in then Nebraska Territory in 1858. They established a post office there in 1859 named Lancaster for Lupton’s first name.

A territory was created from parts of both Kansas and Nebraska Territories in 1859, named Jefferson Territory. It had 12 counties, including St. Vrain County, named in honor of the French traders, Ceran and his brother Marcellaine St. Vrain.

Lancaster’s post office name was changed to Fort Lupton on January 14, 1861. November 28, 1861 Colorado Territory was recognized by Congress and divided into 17 counties. St. Vrain County was renamed Weld County on September 9, 1861. The first three official post offices in Old Weld County were Fort Lupton, Julesburg and St. Vrain (also named for the St. Vrain brothers). Post Office was discontinued in 1920 and Kuner was officially vacated June 4, 1936.


Named for Senator Milton Latham of California, an early advocate for mail service to California, Latham (aka McIlvaines, Westlake Ranch, Bailey’s, Fort Latham, Latham Station and Latham Junction) was established in 1862 as an overland stage station and site of Weld County court business.

Latham was located at the crossing of the Platte River Trail and the Cherokee Trail, overlooking the confluence of the South Platte and the Cache la Poudre Rivers. By 1869 Latham had a two-story log house/inn, barns, corrals, and enough supplies to support constant traffic from stagecoaches, settlers, miners, cattle drives, county court business, and postal riders.

The last owners/operators of Latham were Daniel and Ella Bailey. After the transcontinental railroad line was finished and the Denver to Cheyenne connection was completed, transportation and postal business moved to the railroad. The Baileys, their business, and the Weld County Seat moved to Evans, closing Latham by January 1870.

“Seven men for breakfast, if men was company to me like friends at home, I would never get lonesome…[Latham] is lonesome and desolate…” From: Diary of Ella Bailey for the Year 1869, Courtesy of City of Greeley Museums Colorado Collection.


The community of Liberty assembled in the late 1890s in the present area of Hwy 66 and Weld County Road 5. The community took the name "Liberty" from the name of the Liberty Hall Grange #459. The grange is a national agricultural organization. Grange meetings were often followed by a dance giving young people a chance to meet and court.

By 1906 Liberty had a school, church, sugar beet dump and several small businesses around the Great Western Railroad line crossing through the community. Liberty’s school, Pleasant Hill, grew until residents in 1926 built a brick school. Pleasant Hill School was consolidated into the Mead School District in 1950 and the Liberty Hall Grange moved into the former school building.

Little remains of the village of Liberty but the brick school building and a few homes. The school building is still in use as a meeting hall for the Grange and hosts meetings for young farmers and 4-H Club.


In 1881 the Colorado Central Railroad (later the Union Pacific) established a station on their rail line, named for John Masters, a foreman on John Barton’s 4-Bar Ranch. Large water projects required two extra railroad sidings for supplies and crews. These projects increased the Masters’ area’s farming production and included Riverside Ditch (1886), Riverside Reservoir and intake canal (1902) and Empire Reservoir (1905).

With a population of 100, the Masters Post Office was established in 1900. By 1920 Masters had a store, beet dump, pool hall, and school. The growth anticipated by the completion of the Lincoln Highway Colorado Loop never occurred and the town dwindled. The Masters Post Office closed in 1967 and mail was rerouted to Orchard.


May 20, 1870, at around noon the Denver Pacific Railroad laid tracks on the Cheyenne to Denver line at what would later become Nantes. After the Union Pacific Railroad took over the line, Nantes Station was built on the east side of the railroad tracks in 1887. That same year John McGinty became the postmaster of Nantes Post Office, named for McGinty’s business partner, John Nantes. The Nantes post office closed 9 February 1888 and by 1907 Nantes was little more than a railroad shipping station. W. K. Gilcrest, acquired much of the property around Nantes and began building a new community. Though the town name changed to Gilcrest, the railroad name for the station continued for several years as Nantes.

New Liberty

The Greeley Salt Lake and Pacific Railway cut through Andrew Law’s Union Colony farm in 1876. Named in celebration of the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, New Liberty Post Office and railroad station opened on Law’s land about half-way between Greeley and Fort Collins. The New Liberty School also opened in 1876 near the New Liberty Post Office. The school closed in 1884 and the brick school building was moved into Windsor after 1920 and became a residence on Elm Street. A new school named New Liberty opened in 1906 and was in operation until 1920 when it was consolidated into Windsor.


William H. Butters homesteaded in Weld County near the northwest corner of Morgan County in 1910. A community of up to 200 new homesteaders developed in the area initiated by the promise of irrigation from the Greeley-Poudre Irrigation Project.

Osgood Post Office was established there, said to be named for Butters’ wife’s family name, and has also been referred to in some histories as Happy Valley or Butters. Osgood’s mail came three times a week by way of a Union Pacific line that ran from Greeley to neighboring Cornish.

In 1915, a new wave of settlers arrived to Osgood, including Lee Chaitovich of Austria, who bought out Butters. Chaitovich built a large building that held the Osgood Store, Community Center, and Sunday School. Oil was discovered in a neighboring region inspiring many to invest in oil surveys in 1920. However, no oil was located in Osgood at that time.

Since the irrigation project failed (see the town panel for Purcell), the settlers who stayed had to resort to dry land farming and cattle ranching. The population dwindled and the Osgood Post Office closed on June 30, 1928.


A station was established on the Union Pacific Railroad between LaSalle and Gilcrest at a settlement known as Dewey. The name of Dewy was proposed for the post office, but was rejected. Therefore, as Ulysses B. Peckham was the proposed postmaster, the name was changed to Peckham on May 17, 1898. The Peckham post office closed in 1911 and reopened in 1916. The railroad tracks were shared by the Union Pacific and Gulf Western Railways and this became a site for a sugar beet dump for the Great Western Sugar Factory in Greeley with their own Great Western Railway between 1913 and 1985. Peckham Post Office discontinued in 1934.

Platte Valley

The site where the town of Hardin was originally located was a stagecoach station c1860 on the Central Overland route called Eagles Nest for the local eagles nest in the rocks by a spring. In early 1876 a post office was established there called Platte Valley named for the Platte River. As the Union Pacific Railroad from Julesburg to LaSalle was completed in 1881 the post office’s name was changed to Hardin. Hardin was named for civil war veteran Lt. George H. Hardin whom became the first post master after the name was changed. A town plat was filed for Hardin on May 28, 1906. The Hardin post office was discontinued in 1955.


In October of 1887 the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad was building a rail line running from Holyoke to Cheyenne. This line reached the site planned for the town of Raymer, named for the assistant chief engineer of the Burlington Missouri Railroad, George Raymer. Emma J. Courtright purchased the townsite from the railroad in February of 1888 for $187.09. The town was then sold to the Lincoln Land Company for $1,000, who in turn advertised Raymer as being part of “The Rain Belt.” Lots were sold by spring of 1889, and soon there were several stores, a livery and a newspaper, The Raymer Ranger. However, there was little water and within a year businesses started to close. By 1895 the post office was discontinued and the town of Raymer was abandoned. When the next wave of settlers arrived in 1909 there was not a single person left who had been a part of the original town.


From as early as 1873 there was a Rinn School providing for early farmers and miners in the southwestern portion of Old Weld County. In late 1896 Jacob A. Rinn was proposed as the new postmaster for the Rinn Post Office serving a population of approximately 500. Although Rinn Post Office was discontinued in 1907, Rinn continued for many years as a service community for local farmers. At one time the Rinn Blacksmith Shop was one of the oldest running metal working shops in Colorado.


Rosedale became a sub-division of south Greeley when Al Kendrick determined that this area would profit if residents could have liquor licenses because Greeley was “dry.” A plat for Rosedale was filed in Weld County in May 1939, consisting of all of block 17 of the area known as Arlington Gardens. Also known as Kendrick’s and Boozeville, Rosedale was named in honor of Kendrick’s wife, Rose. Along with neighboring Garden City, it was the nearest location Greeley residents could legally purchase liquor. In 1969 Greeley loosened alcohol restrictions, and in a special election in 1987, Rosedale voters (8 to 5) and Garden City voters (16 – 0) approved merging the two towns. Mary Miller, former Rosedale mayor, became the mayor of Garden City when at high noon, February 4, 1987, Rosedale became history.

Saint Vrains

Not to be confused with the fur trading fort (1837 – 1846), this St. Vrains (also known as Saint Vrain or St. Vrains Junction) was established about 16 miles southwest of the original near the corner of Weld County as a coal mine in 1877. Then St. Vrain Railroad Station was established near the mine in 1909 at the junction of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Denver Boulder Valley Railroad. St. Vrains Post Office was established in 1911 and discontinued in 1918 but the railroad line was still in use until 1964.


A railroad station and mine town on the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad south of Erie were named Serene with the Serene Post Office opening in 1923. Serene was a company town – owned and operated by the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company.

In the early 1920’s a recession caused several mine owners, led by the Colorado Fuel and Iron to decrease wages to $5 a day from the normal wage of $7.75 per day. Approximately 500 protestors showed up at the mine on the morning of November 21, 1927. The confrontation between strikers and the militia unit resulted in what became known as the Columbine Mine Massacre. Clubs, tear gas grenades, pistols, rifles and machine guns were used by the militia causing dozens of casualties and killing six miners.

The mine and the post office were closed in 1942, and the railroad tracks abandoned in 1946, and were removed in the 1950’s. As the towns population began to decrease residents were forced to work in Erie or Lafayette, most homes and buildings were abandoned during the 1950’s.


Sligo Station, named after a County in Ireland, was built on the Cheyenne-Sterling branch (locally known as the Coyote Express) of the Burlington Missouri River Railroad in 1884. It was located between Grover and Keota. Sligo’s townsite was surveyed that first year.

Proctor and Wilson Land Company convinced a couple dozen Iowans to move to Weld County to farm, settling in the Sligo area. A planned irrigation scheme gave Sligo residents high hopes and in 1908 a plat and map were filed in Weld County for the town and Sligo Post Office was established. Residents built a school, church, two grocery stores, a hotel, lumberyard, and the Sligo Cement Block Factory.

The irrigation plan faltered and coupled with the drought of the 1930s Sligo was not able to survive. Most of the town was abandoned by 1930. The depot was closed and Sligo Post Office was discontinued in 1951.

Spanish Colony

In the early 20th century many of the laborers who worked in the sugar beet fields near Greeley were Hispanic migrant workers, who were only here for part of the year. Great Western Sugar Factory (GW) managers wanted to entice their top workers to stay in the county year-round to keep from having to retrain new employees each season.

Families recommended by the GW foreman could lease the land for five years and build from their plans for two-room houses made of adobe mud. The Spanish Colony community, officially called Española Subdivision, was located at what is today North 25th Avenue and ‘O’ Street, north of the Cache la Poudre River. In 1924 these industrious workers built themselves forty adobe homes in four months.

This Greeley subdivision was platted and dedicated in 1929 as Española with the commonly used English name of Spanish Colony. It was also referred to in newspaper accounts as “Mexican Colony”, “Mexican Village”, or “Mexican Beet Worker Colony”. After five years each home was made available for purchase by its occupants.

“Holidays…each family…would make their favorite food dish…for every family in the Colony. …Every family would have the same meal that day and there was plenty of food. Colony was one bug happy family.” 2005 – Ricardo “Rico” Lopez, Spanish Colony resident


The settlement of Wentz had approximately 21 families and was on the wagon road from LaSalle to Hudson. A post office was established there in 1891. Being 11 miles from the Evans Union Pacific Railroad Station meant that the mail was delivered by horse and wagon from Evans to Wentz. Wentz Post Office was discontinued in 1903 and then the school and farms were abandoned to make way for the newly constructed Milton Reservoir. Milton’s capacity was 30,000 acre feet of water (meaning 30,000 acres could be covered with water to a depth of one foot). Residents of Wentz dispersed to the nearby communities of Hudson, Keenesburg, LaSalle, Greeley and other Weld towns mostly to work in the sugar beet industry.


George J. Zilar came to Weld County from Ohio and by 1885 had a ranch on the old wagon road from LaSalle to Hudson. In 1891 Zilar Post Office was established there. The population had increased to 100 by 1894 and mail came via the Union Pacific Railroad from Evans. There were approximately 30 families in the area at that time. Zilar Post Office was discontinued in October 1894 and then in 1911 the community was abandoned because the river valley was being flooded for the newly constructed Milton Reservoir.


A townsite plat and map were filed in Weld County on April 14, 1909 for the town of Zita, named for a local rancher’s daughter. Zita Post Office was established on February 21, 1910. In less than a year this townsite went through four name changes and when the Union Pacific Railroad line was finished the townsite was bought up and the community relocated west of the original site. With the new location came a new name, Galeton, honoring Jesse S. Gale (1845-1927) a pioneer cattle rancher and Greeley banker. The post office was renamed Galeton on September 16, 1910 and the Zita townsite was vacated.