Kit Carson in Cheyenne County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Kit Carson Railroad Depot
One Step at a Time
The history of rail service in Kit Carson had its official beginning on March 28, 1870, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad reached Kit Carson. The town, already in existence, became the terminus of the Kansas Pacific Railroad for about six months and remained an important supply and shipping center until after the railroad was completed to Denver in 1872. Shortly after completion, the Union Pacific Railway Company purchased this rail line from Kansas Pacific.
William Weston wrote in 1872 (Lincoln County Democrat, 09.12.119): “A peculiarity of Kit Carson is, that while it is situated in what was but recently a remote part of the Great Plains... its railway facilities enable it to afford most of the comforts of a large metropolitan area. It is noted principally
Built in 1904, this depot has survived intact and is not significantly changed. It is one of a handful of surviving railroad depots of the period in Colorado and may well be in the best condition of those remaining. In addition to housing the station agent and his family, this rectangular depot accommodated the daily activities of train passengers, freight, and the telegraph, and is a distinguishing feature of this depot.
Defining architectural features include the decorative brackets supporting the broad roof overhang, the decorative trusswork at the gable ends, as well as the drop siding, water table, and vertical board wainscot. These characteristics became nearly a style unto themselves, and the plans were known as Standard Plans. The Kit Carson Depot is Union Pacific Standard Plan for Depot 24'x64', May 1, 1900.
In Homesteaders and Other Early Settlers 1900 – 1930, the Cunningham family writes (pg. 41): “The Union Pacific depot stood at the end of Main Street. Down the railroad tracks west were the water tower and coal chute. Nest to the depot the Union Pacific company maintained a small shady
The Kit Carson Depot was listed on the Colorado Register of Historic Properties in August 2002. Restoration has been made possible through grants by the Colorado Historical fund and the Cooper-Clark Foundation, and the generous gifts of many private citizens.
Location. 38° 45.879′ N, 102° 47.627′ W. Marker is in Kit Carson, Colorado, in Cheyenne County. Marker is on Route 287 at milepost 130, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kit Carson CO 80825, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kit Carson (a few steps from this marker); Old Cattle Trail (approx. 11.6 miles away).
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 11, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 11, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.