Ghost towns, historic sites and lost places of Northern Colorado
in Polaroid transfer art

Portfolio II. East: Great Plains

All images © Marek Uliasz

my web pages:


Timnath cemetery

About one mile east of the Strauss Cabin across I-25, there is a little town with a Biblical name of Timnath, established in 1882.

Timnath Cemetery, is overlooking the Front Range of Rocky Mountains (NE of Timnath, established in 1886).

to the top


Severance Inn, Severance, Weld County, a few miles east of Timnath. I am not sure about historic value of this old abandoned bar, but for me it is the most interesting point in this little town, far more attractive than the new "Bruce's" bar built on the opposite site of the street. Maybe I will change my mind when I try the "famous Rocky Mountain Oysters" there. Severance Inn

to the top

Centennial Village

Old Weld County Courthouse Old Courthouse Window

The first Weld County Courthouse(ca. 1861) is now located in Centennial Village, one of Greeley's three museums. There you can find 30 architectural structures ranging from primitive homesteads to Victorian wonders.

to the top


Grover Railroad Depot Grover Railroad Depot

to the top


You can see this water tower when you are approaching Pawnee Buttes, about 60 miles NE of Fort Collins. It is a landmark of Keota, one of the prairie ghost towns.

Keota Water Tower Keota Water Tower Keota Water Tower

One of the Indian meanings of Keota is "the fire has gone out" which was quite prophetic for this town. Keota was platted by the Lincoln Town Co. in 1888 shortly after the Colorado & Wyoming Railroad built a branch from Sterling to Cheyenne. The town obviously had a difficult start. The Post Office was open in 1888 and closed just two years later, and then reopened in 1909. The town grew around a hotel and businesses. The 1911 billing in the Keota News was quite encouraging:

"At an elevation of almost 5,000 feet where the air is pure and health giving, where we have no cyclones or hot winds, where we have beautiful Rocky Mountains only 80 miles away as a background and where water is the purest and in abundance. Doesn't it appeal to you Mr. Man looking for a home as a good place to drop anchor?"

Keota Water Church Streets of Keota Keota Water School

Even during its most successful time, just before the World War I, Keota never had a population of more than 150, but it served some 1000 to 1500 homesteading neighbors. At that time Keota had daily passenger service on the railroad, then service became weekly, then not at all. The water from wells became undependable and during the driest years water had to be shipped in by railroads and trucks. The bank failed in 1923. The high school built in 1915 was closed in 1951. Railroad tracks were dismantled 1970s and, finally, the post office was discontinued in 1974. Today, the remaining ruins including the church are being repossesed by the prairie. However, there are still a few residents living there.

to the top


Stoneham Stoneham

to the top


Purcell Purcell Purcell

Old gas station in Purcell, Weld County, about 5 miles east and 15 miles north of Greeley.

Purcell was established in 1910 when the Union Pacific Railroad built a spurline to transport the lush grains and cattle in this region. Like many Colorado communities it was strangled by the drought of Dust Bowl in the 1930s and, finally, died from lack of water. Purcell citizens were fighting for an elaborate irrigation plan to divert water from Laramie, Wyoming, into the Cache la Poudre, to put about one million acres of northern Colorado under irrigation. Wyoming desparately fought the idea, and it never got implemented. The railroad was removed in 1943, post office was closed in 1951.

to the top

Ghost Farms

ghost farms ghost farms ghost farms

Ghost farm house on Greasewood Flats (near Osgood), 8 miles east of Cornish, Weld County; one of many abandoned buidings in the prairie country. Osgood - rural post office (1910-1928) present on 1916-1964 maps. There is still the Osgood Community Church.

ghost farms ghost farms ghost farms

Some abstracts from the another ghost farm in the same area.

ghost farms
and this wheel came from a farm located next to the Virginia Dale stage station.
to the top

Swetsville Zoo

Swetsville Zoo Swetsville Zoo

Old farm machinery, truck and auto parts start a new life in the Swetsville Zoo, transformed by Bill Swet into dinosaurs and other fantastic critters. This delightful collection of more than 100 sculptures is located in Timnath, just east of I-25, exit 265.
to the top