McColin – Colorado Ghost Town
by local author & historian: John LaBorde
Situated along the Goodnight Cattle Trail was the post Office of McColin. It was shown in two locations, one near the junction of CR W and CR14, the other near CR V and CR 14. Traveling east on CR X from CR 11, the road zigs and zags. CR V drops down into the Valley of Horse Creek. From the ridge one can look out across the expanse of the bottom land. On the far side of the creek is where the cattle traveled the Goodnight Cattle Trail.
Here Horse Creek makes a sharp bend and the furthest bend is in a stand of trees. This would be the approximate location of McColin. The cattle trail would have passed this small outpost that more than likely was a ranch house. Let the gaze wander off to the south a couple of miles and this is where the other location for McColin would have been.
Today there are ranch homes along the course of Horse Creek. Some set back in the trees lining the creek, others up next to the road way. The road climbs a short hill then turns east again to follow along the creek, then east again to cross the creek. Here the creek goes underground and becomes a barren empty basin.
On a quiet day, one can pause, listen to the cattle as they trod up the trail to the gold camps. Yet this area had numerous sheep ranches. What kind of conflict was there? Were there gun fights between the herders and drovers? Are there graves that mark the conflicts along the trail?
Many of these early ranch workers were orphans and if they met their demise on the trail, there was no one to take care of them. Among the cemeteries in the area, none are noted as being a boot hill type place. Most are family plots near communities and country churches. Often it was a shallow grave near where the incident happened. The combatants involved would just fetch shovels. Then the cattle drovers would move on and the sheep herders would go back to their ranches. Records of these incidents were seldom recorded except in lore and tall tales.