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Castle Rock
Palmer Lake
Colorado Springs
Canon City
Royal Gorge
Texas Creek



Location Map...


texas creek town view yard c1940 pc.jpg (100870 bytes)
Texas Creek Town View, Railyard,
Water Tank c1940


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Texas Creek, CO
Elevation 6,210 feet.
Population 63 (c1920).
Denver 184 miles.

Located at the confluence with Texas Creek and the Arkansas River this site was originally called Ford as this is where the wagon road crossed the river. In 1881 a post office was established and then in 1885 the name was officially changed to Texas Creek.

Texas Creek was where the branch line to Westcliffe left the main line.

Today there are several homes in the area with a sheriff's office and general store.



cotopaxi arkansas river bridge yard closeup c1940 pc.jpg (107594 bytes)
Cotopaxi rail yard view c1940

A placer miner named Henry Thomas worked a claim on the Arkansas River and built a homestead there. Eventually, a settlement grew near the claim and it was named Cotopaxi after a Andean volcano. Henry was nicknamed 'Gold Tom' because he would walk around town with various pieces of gold in his pockets.



Located in a lush valley between the Wet Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo range, Westcliffe was long an important ranching and mining area. As this area was a developing Dr. William Bell, a vice president of the D&RG, purchased land a couple of miles from the existing town of Silver Cliff and called the new site Clifton. As often happened on the D&RG, in 1880 the railroad built a narrow gauge branch line into the mining area but bypassed Silver Cliff and built to Clifton. Eventually the name was changed to Westcliffe.

The railroad branch line originated near Canon City at first, and followed the Grape Creek valley to Clifton. Then in 1889 the narrow gauge line was washed out by a flood. In 1901, rather than repairing the Grape Creek alignment, the railroad chose a different route to Westcliffe along Texas Creek. This new track was constructed as standard gauge.

The ranches and mines in the region produced traffic for the railroad until 1937 when the branch line was abandoned and removed.

Today the town of Westcliffe is still populated with motels, gas, stores and shops. It is a travel center for those enjoying the area's mountains and streams.


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