Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Basalt in Eagle County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Colorado Midland Railway

Basalt History Tour

 
 
Colorado Midland Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
1. Colorado Midland Railway Marker
Inscription.  In 1883, investors created the Colorado Midland Railroad and built track from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista. In 1885 the CMR began tunneling under Hagerman pass, on to Aspen Junction and then to Aspen and Grand Junction. This was the first great transportation route linking east and west Colorado. The railroad was constructed to serve the growing mining industry by shipping ore, coal, equipment, supplies and men far better than horse-drawn wagons and enabled farmers and ranchers to efficiently ship agricultural products.

The triangle of land you are facing was the original Wye, the nexus of Aspen Junction's lifeblood and prosperity. Illustrated best by the photo, a Wye is a triangular junction of three tracks where trains could be turned around. Here CMR trains could be turned, fueled and repaired before continuing up the Frying Pan, under Hagerman Pass (named for the President of the railroad) and on to Leadville, or down the Roaring Fork to Glenwood, or up the Roaring Fork to Aspen.

The boom times of Aspen Junction/Basalt started in 1886, but by 1893 the silver market had crashed, mining essentially ceased, the trains
Colorado Midland Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
2. Colorado Midland Railway Marker
were used less frequently, and by 1919 the Colorado Midland ceased operations.

In 1921 the railroad tracks were removed from the Wye and all the way up the Frying Pan River. The current Frying Pan Road was built on the railroad right of way, creating automobile access to Leadville. The glorious and exciting times of the Railroad were over and Basalt entered the quiet years.

Caption
Left: Basalt Wye, circa 1915. Note the depot and hotel, still standing today
 
Erected by Basalt Regional Heritage Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 39° 22.136′ N, 107° 2.058′ W. Marker is in Basalt, Colorado, in Eagle County. Marker is at the intersection of Midland Avenue and Midland Spur, on the right when traveling west on Midland Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Basalt CO 81621, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to the Basalt History Tour (a few steps from this marker); The Snell Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Colorado Midland Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Colorado Midland Depot
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Splendid Spud (approx. 0.2 miles away); On the Way to Janeway (approx. 13 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 17, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 17, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 5, 2021