Near Julesburg in Sedgwick County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Wickedest City in the West
The dream of uniting America by rail began its journey to reality in June 1865 when the Union Pacific Railroad Company started laying track westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Construction was slow but finally reached this point two years later. On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific met the Central Pacific Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah.
The railroad company laid only nine miles of track in Colorado along the north side of the South Platte River. This sealed the fate of the military post, trails, towns and telegraph line along the south bank. Today, freight trains pass along this same route pioneered over 130 years ago.
“New Julesberg” started out in 1867 with forty men, one woman, four tents and a half-finished eating house. It became the third Julesberg and end of track on the Union Pacific Railroad. The town grew quickly to 1200 buildings, most devoted to some form of vice or illicit activity. This “Hell on Wheels” traveled
As the rails moved on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, New Julseberg quickly faded, but the name refused to die. When the Union Pacific began construction of its Denver branch line in the 1880’s, a fourth Julesberg was founded. The small community remaining the third location changed its name to Wier.
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“I verily believe that there are men here how would murder a fellow creature for five dollars. Nay, there are men who have already done it and who stalk abroad in daylight unwhipped of justice. Not a day passes but a dead body is found somewhere in the vicinity with pockets rifled of their contents. But the people generally are strangely indifferent to what is going on.” - Sir Henry Morton Stanley, New Julesberg, July 1867
Erected by Sedgwick County Economic Development.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Transcontinental Railroad series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1887.
Location. 40° 58.548′ N, 102° 19.125′ W. Marker is near Julesburg, Colorado, in Sedgwick County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 138 near U.S. 385, on the left when travelingTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Julesburg CO 80737, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. If at First You Don't Succeed (approx. 2.6 miles away); Blowing in the Wind (approx. 2.6 miles away); The Town that Wouldn't Die (approx. 2.9 miles away); Fourth Julesburg (approx. 2.9 miles away); Nearby Things to See and Do (approx. 2.9 miles away); Julesburg, Colorado (approx. 3 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 3 miles away); Devil’s Dive / The Italian Underground (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Julesburg.
More about this marker. This markers in near the Julesburg Municipal Airport.
Also see . . . Hell on Wheels - American Experience. "I found as I passed through North Platte that the Indians had driven all the traders and miners in from the mountains," wrote Major Henry C. Parry, en route to a Colorado military outpost. "And at North Platte they were having a good time gambling, drinking, and shooting each other." Massachusetts newspaper editor Samuel Bowles observed the peculiar representatives of American culture taking root in North Platte and christened what he saw Hell on Wheels. The name would stick. (Submitted on December 24, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 500 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 24, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.