When the Railroads Arrived in Glenwood Springs

When the Railroads Arrived in Glenwood Springs (HM29M5)

Location: Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Garfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 32.795', W 107° 19.456'

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The Roaring Fork Valley's coal fields sparked a war of expansion between two railroads: the Denver and the Rio Grande Railroad and the Colorado Midland Railroad. In 1886 the Colorado Midland proposed building a line to Aspen.

Knowing that its economic survival depended upon the profits generated by mining, the Denver and Rio Grande could not pass on building a line to Aspen. The race to the Roaring Fork Valley was on.

The Denver and Rio Grande chose to expand its line from Red Cliff, westward through Glenwood Canyon, to Glenwood Springs. On October 5, 1887, townspeople turned out in droves to watch crews drive the last spike into the connecting rails.

From Leadville and down the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork rivers, the tracks of the Colorado Midland Railway reached Glenwood Springs December 9, 1887.

The Social changes brought by the railroads were dramatic. Stage coach lines became obsolete almost overnight. The telegraph lines that came with the railroads provided faster communication to the rest of the country.

In the end, the Denver and Rio Grande outlasted the Colorado Midland. However, their race for railway supremacy forever transformed the community.

The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on

wheels will make a great change in the situation of man.
Thomas Jefferson, 1802

Photo captions:
Top left: The first Denver and Rio Grande train arrived in Glenwood Springs with much celebration.
Bottom left: The original D&RG train depot at 7th and Pitkin.
HM NumberHM29M5
Placed ByFrontier Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 300284 N 4380014
Decimal Degrees39.54658333, -107.32426667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 32.795', W 107° 19.456'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 32' 47.7" N, 107° 19' 27.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)970
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 300 8th St, Glenwood Springs CO 81601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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