Lake Station – Colorado Ghost Town
by local author & historian: John LaBorde
Located on the Union Pacific Right of Way is Lake Station – Colorado Ghost Town. This forgotten train town is probably the most inaccessible of the little towns the Kansas Pacific RR built in Lincoln County. Lake Station stretches across a variety of property lines.
South on CR 23 one comes to a railroad crossing. To the west about a mile is a stand of cotton wood trees and shrubs. This is roughly where Lake Station was.
This lost town is where the last major Indian attack in Eastern Colorado began. The spring of 1870 the rails of the Kansas Pacific had reached Kit Carson, Colorado. From here west the chief engineer and survey party had laid out the grade for the right of way. The engineer and survey crew had reached Lake Station and was camping there preparing to push on west. Behind them were work crews, building bridges and grading. Some crews over 100 men.
On a cool spring morning the Cheyenne Indians launched a series of attacks on the railroad crews from Lake Station all the way back to Kit Carson. Most of the Indian raids were 10-12 warriors. The chief engineer at Lake Station was killed along with several other workers. Many were injured and most were scared. The railroad crews beat a hasty retreat back to Kit Carson.
General Palmer, the construction manager for the railroad, did not like having his crews running like they did. General Palmer got on the telegraph to Washington DC demanding some kind of protection. The military responded by sending out General Custer. Custer and Reno went to Eastern Colorado and patrolled along the Kansas Pacific railroad looking for Indian trouble.
By the time Custer and his troops arrived the Cheyenne had moved north, to join up with the Sioux, to meet Custer on another day. After the arrival of the troops the Indian attacks in the area ceased.
The railroad got more workers and another chief engineer. Westward the tracks continued.
Today the monster coal trains roll by, blowing their horn for the grade crossing ahead.
Nearby can be seen a detachment of mounted blue coats watching.
The depot no longer stands by the rails, section houses are gone, no tinkling of glasses from the saloon and the shops are but a memory.