Colorado History and Genealogy Project

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Wagon Roads ~ Enterprise Wagon Road

Wagon Roads

The traveler in Colorado is equally gratified and surprised at the excellent condition of the roads of the Territory, both on the plains and in the mountains, and at all seasons. The expense of road making on the plains is comparatively trifling; but on the mountains, thousands of dollars are often required to construct a few miles of road, as almost insurmountable barriers must be overcome.

On the plains the expense of constructing roads is borne mainly by the counties which the roads traverse. This is the case also in the settled portion of the Territory west of the mountains; but in the mountains roads are built and kept in repair almost exclusively by individuals or companies, who remunerate themselves by the tolls collected from all classes of travelers.

A detailed description of the wagon roads that traverse the plains in every direction, connecting towns, cities and settlements, and forming convenient mediums for the transportation of freight and passengers at all seasons, would be superfluous in a work of this character; but a brief description of a few of the roads in the mountains may be interesting, and will serve to illustrate the statement that excellent wagon roads are one of the important features of our new country.

The following roads are only a few among the many in the mountains, which are equally as good in all respects. We give them, because they traverse the rich gold and silver mining regions, and afford excellent and safe communication between the principal mountain towns and cities. No tourist can visit Colorado, and interview her fine scenery and rich mineral deposits, without traveling over nearly every road we mention, and though he may find the indications that toll must be paid rather frequently, he will feel satisfied that he has his money's worth in safety and comfort.

Enterprise Wagon Road

This road was chartered in 1861, by the first legislature of Colorado. It extends from the centre of Black Hawk, ten miles east, down the valley. At Black Hawk the road branches, and comes together again within two miles of the terminus. One of the roads was built by Harry Fliggers & Company in 1859, and is known as the old road; the other by the Smiths and Fliggers, in 1860, and is known as the new road. Capital stock, $30,000. The first President was N. K. Smith; present President, N. K. Smith; L. K. Smith in charge of road, and acting Secretary. The route of travel between Central City and the plains lies along this road. It is always in excellent condition.

Boulder Valley and Central City Wagon Road

This road intersects the Enterprise wagon road, on Dory's hill, three and a half miles from Black Hawk, and runs to Boulder City. Capital stock of the Boulder Valley and Central City Wagon Road Company is $75,000. C. N. Tyler is Secretary and Business Manager. It is the main traveled road between Boulder City and the gold regions of Gilpin County.

Central and Middle Park Wagon Road

The charter to build this road was granted by Gilpin and Summit counties, in July, 1870. Capital stock, $4,000. This road will be completed to Middle park by July, 1871.

Officers

Wm. Atcheson, President
Ben. Wiseburt, Secretary
T. H. Potter, Treasurer
Maj. Geo. H. Hill, Surveyor

This road is already nearly completed to James' peak, and tourists can leave Central City in the morning and return before dark, having time to remain an hour on the peak. The scenery surrounding this road, its entire length, is unsurpassed in beauty and sublimity, and the road itself is in good condition for traveling with buggies or carriages during the summer months.

The Central and Georgetown Wagon Road

This road extends the greater portion of the distance from Central to Georgetown, via Eureka gulch. Fall River and Clear creek. It is twelve miles in length.

Officers. Walter Bates, Superintendent; J. C. Easley, in charge of toll gate.

This road is traveled extensively at all seasons, and is always in good repair and suitable for all classes of vehicles.

Virginia Canon Wagon Road

This road extends from Idaho to the head of Virginia canon, three miles, and gains an elevation of 2,000 feet in that distance.

Officers

Fox Diefendorf, President
F. W. Beebe, Secretary and Treasurer
G. W. Decker, in charge at toll gate

A ride down Virginia canon, via this road, in one of the six-horse coaches of the Colorado Stage Company,the horses at full trot, is thrilling in the extreme.

South Clear Creek Wagon Road

This road extends from Idaho to Burgen's ranch. It is twelve miles in length. The owners are Edwards & Camp. This forms the first portion of the main stage road that connects Idaho Springs with the plains, and is surrounded by scenes ever varied and beautiful.

Chicago Creek Wagon Road

This road extends from Idaho Springs, seven miles up Chicago creek. H. W. Teller, of Central, is its principal owner and manager. It lies along the borders of the beautiful creek that carries the surplus waters of Chicago lakes to Clear creek, and affords tourists good facilities for reaching these remarkable sheets of water.

Idaho and Fall River Wagon Road

This road was constructed by Clear Creek County in 1860. It was purchased by the Idaho and Fall River Road Co. in 1869, put in a complete state of repair, and converted into a toll road. It is three miles in length, and extends from Idaho Springs to the mouth of Fall River.

Officers

W. Teller, President
A. E. Patten, Agent in charge at toll gate

Georgetown and Breckinridge Wagon Road

This road was built and is owned by the Baker Silver Mining This road was built and is owned by the Baker Silver Mining Co., and extends from Georgetown to the base of Gray's peak, being eleven miles in length. The officers of this road are the officers of the Baker Silver Mining Co. The cost of constructing this road was $16,000. Tourists from Georgetown pass over this road on their way to Gray's peak.

Georgetown and Argentine Wagon Road

This road was incorporated under general laws in 1868, and built by the Georgetown and Argentine Wagon Road Company, aided by subscriptions from Clear Creek and Gilpin counties, at an expense of $5,000.

Officers

W. Carpenter, of Chicago, President
Prof Frank Dibben, Vice-President
H. C. Chapin, Secretary and Treasurer

This road was built under the supervision of Prof. Dibben. Its length is seven miles. This road extends from Georgetown nearly to the base of the main range, along the south fork of South Clear creek; and though the region is extremely rugged, the road is accessible for all kinds of wagons or carriages, at all seasons. Tolls, nominal.

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.

 

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