Forder – Colorado Ghost Town
by local author & historian: John LaBorde
Forder – Colorado Ghost Town was initially a sheep ranch in the late 1800’s and in 1901 it was awarded a Post Office. The location was at the intersection of SH 71 and CR R in the southern end of Lincoln County. The government map shows three different Post Office locations for Forder. In 1920 the Post Office was moved to SH 71 and CR J. Two years later it was moved again, a short distance north to SH 71 and CR M.
The Forder sheep ranch was located along Horse Creek that parallels SH 71. Today Forder Ranch raises cattle and is still on the banks of Horse Creek. Situated among the trees lining the creek, it is set back from the highway.Being a sheep ranch, one could see the potential for conflict between the cattle men driving herds along Horse Creek and the sheep men. County maps show a cemetery near the location of the 1920 Forder. It is in a pasture off the road a distance. So, is it a family plot or something else, that is the mystery. Yet there were probably violent clashes between the different factions.
Dropping down the plateau into the Horse Creek basin one can catch a glimpse of life changing. In the creek basin the land itself changes. The prairie grasses become sparse because there is less rainfall. The creek provides water for the cattle but very little grass to graze.
Dust ghosts float over the land during dry years as cattle cling to the shade of the creek trees. Life paces different in the drier land.
Traveling on highway 71, there is nothing to see. The land has become empty of any structures that may have marked where the Post Office was. There are ranch houses that sit off the highway back in among the trees and some cattle dot the grass land. An abandoned building sits on a corner. A reminder of other days gone past. The occasional ghost can be spotted at times meandering over the land in search of. . . . Here the land hasn’t varied much.