Saugus Milepost 503-6 – Colorado Ghost Town
by local author & historian: John LaBorde
When the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad constructed their railroad they were trying to create towns. Thus towns would provide customers for the railroad. When the Chicago Nebraska Kansas and Colorado Railroad, the construction company for the Rock Island, began building west across the prairie to Colorado Springs, they were putting in sidings about every 5-6 miles in hopes that a town would develop. For the most part a town would grow around the railroad siding. Sometimes the railroad would plat the town and soon there were stores and businesses. Occasionally towns would not spring up and the railroad had nothing to look forward to.
Saugus was one such endeavor of the Chicago Nebraska Kansas and Colorado RR. At Mile Post 503 the company put in a siding. MP 503.6 became known as Saugus. Just west of the Lincoln County line at the eastern extremities of Interstate 70 is where the community had its birth. Whizzing east on the Interstate one can blink once and miss Saugus twice.
The railroad tried to establish a town so they put in a depot where there was a store and a couple of residents. But the life of Saugus was short lived and soon the people moved to a neighboring town. The store rolled up its sidewalk and the railroad put its depot back into the depot box and shipped it off somewhere else.
Today there is a farm overpass nearby and from this overlook one can see the signal post lying in the weeds. The concrete pedestal is overgrown but the MP sign still stands. In the distance one can see the tree line of neighboring Arriba. And in Arriba there are some real live wild west stories.
Not much happened in Saugus and there still isn’t much going on. The railroad tracks still hear the occasional train rumble by and the wind of the Interstate whines as travelers fly by. It is a pretty forlorn place surrounded by fields. The snow fence is still covered in blow dirt. A big bird of prey circles overhead and the sound of the prairie icon the Meadowlark can be heard. Time has passed the burg by.