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Hooper


 

 

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hooper main street 2001 tlh P7240018.jpg (68723 bytes)
Main Street 2001

 

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Hooper, CO
Elevation  7,576 feet.
Denver  280 miles.

This little hamlet is located in the middle of the San Luis Valley and the land in all directions is basically flat. Once a proud railroad town, today it is a very quiet place with just a few folks choosing to make it home.

The site was originally called Garrison when it was founded by the railroad in 1890. A Depot and siding were built at the location. Eventually a store, newspaper, church and branch of the Bank of Monte Vista developed. Wheat was being grown in the area and a flour mill was built in 1892.

In 1893 problems arose when a Silver Panic gripped the country. To make things worse in Hooper, a severe drought ruined the agriculture. Many moved out of the area. In 1896 the name was changed to Hooper and attempts at a revival initiated by the remaining residents. The town came back in the 1900's and continued to survive. In 1930 the railroad converted the tracks to three rail narrow and standard gauge. 

Eventually the farming in the area failed due to a buildup of salts in the soils caused by lack of drainage in the flat valley. In 1959 the railroad was abandoned and dismantled.

When the railroad shut down in Hooper, most of the residents moved on. In an effort to stop the trend the women folk got involved and took over all of the community offices. Not that there was all that much to do, or that the jobs were all that glamorous. Only one office got a salary of 5 dollars a year. Well, today the town is still there and so the women must have done ok. 


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Hooper rail yard c1910.

 

 

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