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Nostalgia & History > Railroad Hartsel, Colorado


Date: 09/14/09 07:37
Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

“South Park is a high intermontane grassland basin, approximately 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in elevation, in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. It encompasses approximately 1,000 square miles (2789 km² or 640,000 acres) around the headwaters of the South Platte River in Park County approximately 60 mi (100 km) southwest of Denver.”

The above is an excerpt from,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Park_(Colorado_basin)

There were at one time two railroads that crossed South Park, the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad [Colorado Southern] through Grant and Fairplay to the north and the Colorado Central Railroad through Florissant and Hartsel to the south.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/psicc/sopa/boreas.shtml

The above web address is to a webpage by the U. S. Forest Service on the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad. There is a nice picture of the Boreas Pass Station. [Scroll down.] In a block about in the middle of the webpage there is an item, “South Park's ‘other’ railroad - Colorado Midland.” Click on the words Colorado Midland and you will go to a webpage on the Colorado Midland Railroad. On this webpage there is a nice picture of a Colorado Midland Railroad train.

Picture 1 below, is a MapQuest map of the South Park area. The red star marks Hartsel.

The Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway crossed South Park nearly parallel to the Colorado Midland Railroad. The following website has ”Detailed sections of 1915/16 maps showing the Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway (east to west), ending in San Francisco.”

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/ppmap.cfm

I copied map 17, Colorado Springs to Hartsel, and map 18, Hartsel to Twin Lakes from the above website. Map 17 and 18 show the route of the Colorado Midland Railroad as well as the Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway.

Picture 2 below, is map 17, Colorado Springs to Hartsel, from the above website.

Picture 3 below, is map 18, Hartsel to Twin Lakes, from the above website.

I have a fondness for Hartsel because my Great-grandmother was born in Hartsel on August 18, 1873. She was brought to Buena Vista by oxen team in c. 1878. The oxen team of my Great-grandmother probably followed a route from Hartsel to Buena Vista very similar to that shown on the Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway map 18.

I did a Keyword search on the Denver Public Library digital photo website, http://denverlibrary.org , for Railroad Hartsel and got 7 photos. Two of these photos are below.

Picture 4 below, is DPL photo OP-7249. “Title: CM depot. Alternative Title: Colorado Midland depot. Summary: Former depot. Photographed: at Hartsel, Colo., June 14, 1943. Creator: Otto Perry 1894-1970.”

Picture 5 below, is DPL photo MCC-1214. “Title: Hartsel Springs looking east, Colo. Midland Ry. photo. by L.C. McClure, Denver. Summary: Bird's eye view east towards Hartsel, Colorado across South Park reached via Colorado Midland Railway; Hot Springs Hotel (center building), wooden frame residences or buildings, canvas tents, school or church, barn, corrals; Colorado Midland section house & bunk house, left foreground; standard gauge track, foreground; cut hay in field, background. Date: (between 1907 and 1910). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957. Medium: 1 copy photonegative; 8 x 11 cm. (3 x 4 1/4 in.) 2 photoprints; 19 x 24 cm. (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.).”

I did a Keyword search on Trainorders Nostalgia and History All Dates and found the following interesting posting, Whose depot was this?, by Evan_Werkema on July 27, 2005.

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,967552,967552#msg-967552

On the posting there is a photo of the Hartsel depot taken in 1994 by Evan_Werkema.

In one of the replies to the above posting, highgreengraphics says the following,

“Be sure to drive through Wild Horse Tunnels, a series of four or five short tunnels right together, just about 1 1/2 miles rail west of Buena Vista, and you can look up and see how the CM skirted the mountain to join the river level. You can in fact drive the CM right-of-way quite a distance. Now the rusty rails of the D&RGW Tennessee Pass Line right next to the CM tunnels lay just as silent... - - - - - - JLH.”

I did a search for Wild Horse Tunnels on the Denver Public Library digital photo website for Wild Horse Tunnels and got 2 photos. These two photos are shown below.

Picture 6 below, is DPL photo CHS.J523. “Title: Tunnels 12 and 13 Detroit Photographic Co. Summary: View through tunnels 12 and 13 and railroad track of the Colorado Midland Railway near the Wild Horse helper station in Chaffee County, Colorado. Shows the hewn rock walls of the tunnels. Date: (between 1882 and 1890?). Creator: William Henry Jackson 1843-1942. Hand-lettered title on negative. Title on photonegative envelope reads: Tunnels 12 and 13 (along the Arkansas). Medium: 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 13 cm. (8 x 5 in.).”

Picture 7 below, is DPL photo CHS.J522. “Title: Tunnels along the Arkansas Detroit Photographic Co. Summary: View of Colorado Midland Railway tunnels 12 and 13 and railroad track near the Arkansas River close to the Wild Horse helper station in Chaffee County, Colorado. Date: (between 1882 and 1890?), Creator: William Henry Jackson 1843-1942. Hand-lettered title on negative. Medium: 1 photonegative: glass; 13 x 21 cm. (5 x 8 in.).”

The Buena Vista Model Railroad webpage discusses the three railroads that at one time ran through Buena Vista and also discusses the location of the Wild Horse tunnels.

http://www.buenavistaheritage.org/Page.aspx?PageID=2358








Date: 09/14/09 07:39
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

Pictures 4, 5, and 6.








Date: 09/14/09 07:40
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

Picture 7.




Date: 09/14/09 08:24
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: atsffan

I did a cross-country bike ride years ago that traveled along that highway from so. of Fairplay towards Canon City; you could see the right-of-way quite clearly along the highway. Being so removed from civilization out there (at the time) you could transport back to the time that Hartsel existed. Beautiful country out there.

Nice maps, photos, and descriptions. Always enjoy your posts, thanks for posting these.

Richard



Date: 09/14/09 09:36
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: mmisin2

The Hartsel Depot is still on site and looked to be in good shape last time I saw it about a year ago. A lot of the other buildings are gone. There is also a C&S depot in Jefferson, CO, also in South Park. Is there one left in Fairplay?



Date: 09/14/09 10:39
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

http://www.rrshs.org/depotmuseums/depotmuseum.htm

On the above website scroll down to Colorado. I don't know how complete the list is. Hartsel is not listed.



Date: 09/14/09 12:45
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: COFLZephyr

The big building in the second photo was the Hartsel Hotel. As a kid my dad and I used to have dinner and lunch at the hotel on a regular basis. Dad liked to fish the South Platte river and Antero Reservoir. This was the closest place for food for miles around. If memory serves me the hotel burned twice. It was rebuilt after the first fire and, as I recall, burned again sometime in the late 70's or 80's or was torn down. This appears to be first hotel but they were nearly identical from my recollection of photos of the first hotel in the lobby. That dirt road running through town became US Highway 24. The Hotel is long gone. Only part of the foundation remains and there is convenience store in what used to be the hotel parking lot.



Date: 09/14/09 14:16
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

Four additional photos from the Denver Public Library digital photo website.

Picture 1 below, is DPL photo MCC-1217. “Title: Hotel, Hartsel Springs. Summary: Exterior view of Hot Springs Hotel, Hartsel, Colorado reached via Colorado Midland Railway; two story wooden frame building with front porch and second story veranda, Hotel Hartsel horse-drawn coach (possibly a Hackney or Brougham) parked in front with driver holding reins. Date: (between 1907 and 1910). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957. Medium: 1 copy photonegative; 9 x 11 cm. (3 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.) 2 photoprints; 19 x 24 cm. (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.).”

Picture 2 below, is DPL photo MCC-1219. “Title: Dining Room, Hotel Hartsel. Summary: Interior view dining room, Hot Springs Hotel, Hartsel, Colorado reached via Colorado Midland Railway; dining tables, chairs, formal place settings and silverware, buffet, stove for heating. Date: (between 1907 and 1910). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957. Medium: 1 photoprint; 19 x 24 cm. (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.). 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.). Condition: Glass plate retouched by photographer.”

Picture 3 below, is DPL photo MCC-1220. “Title: Hotel Hartsel. Summary: Interior view of Hot Springs Hotel, Hartsel, Colorado reached via Colorado Midland Railway; lounge area with tables, rocking chairs, upright piano, couch, double glass bulb lamp. Date: (between 1907 and 1910). Creator: Lewis Charles McClure 1867-1957. Medium: 1 photoprint; 19 x 24 cm. (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.). Condition: Glass plate retouched by photographer.”

Picture 4 below, is DPL photo MCC-1218. “Title: Office Hotel Hartsel. Summary: Interior view of Hot Springs Hotel, Hartsel, Colorado reached via Colorado Midland Railway; office area with desk, heating stove, wicker basket for trash, rocking chairs, wall telephone, spittoon, stairway. Date: (between 1907 and 1910). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957. Medium: 1 photoprint; 19 x 24 cm. (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) 1 photonegative: glass; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.) Condition: Glass plate retouched by photographer.”








Date: 09/14/09 14:17
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: flynn

Picture 4.




Date: 09/14/09 15:37
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: LarryDoyle

flynn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Four additional photos from the Denver Public
> Library digital photo website.

I believe those interior shots show that lighting was not electric.

This is further supported by the lack of electric power lines in the exterior shot.

The "gasoliers" are suspended from the ceiling by a pipe, rather than a chain. There are two cords hanging down from a lever near the top of each pipe, presumably attached to the gas cock - pull one to turn on the gas, one to close.

To light them one used a wand with a hook at the top end to catch onto a ring on the end of the cord used to pull the cock to "on", then inserted the wand into the globe and twisted a knob at the bottom of the wand to strike a flint at the top, thus igniting the gas. Extinguish by simply using the same wand to pull the "off" cord.

The double globe table lamp in MCC-1220 appears to be kerosene.



Date: 09/14/09 20:00
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: COFLZephyr

If memory is working right it was those gasoilers that started the fire in the first Hotel. It was rebuilt to nearly the same specifications and design as the first hotel. The dining room looks nearly identical to the one I recall eating in. Would love to see some information on the history of the hotel as the Hot Springs there and the Hotel was a major attraction for riders on the midland. Where is Bill McKenzie or Mel McFarland when you need them? Not sure if either is a member on this site.



Date: 10/11/09 19:32
Re: Railroad Hartsel, Colorado
Author: mmisin2

Last I saw the depot in Hartsel it was sitting empty which would explain why it was not on that list. The Jefferson depot is also not on that list and it has been nicely restored and still sits on the old ROW.



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