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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Calming Dawn

The Royal Gorge is a 10 mile long canyon in Colorado carved out by the Arkansas River. It is not only a beautiful canyon, it was such a potential short cut for two railroads that they came to “war” over the track rights. On April 19, 1878, a hastily assembled construction crew from the Santa Fe began grading for a railroad just west of Canon City in the mouth of the gorge. The D&RG whose end of track was only ¾ of a mile from Canon City raced crews to the same area, but were blocked by the Santa Fe graders in the narrow canyon. By a few hours they had lost the first round in what became a struggle between the two railroads that would be known as the Royal Gorge War. After a long legal battle that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 21, 1879, the D&RG was granted the primary right to build through the gorge that in places was wide enough at best for only one railroad. On May 7, 1879 the first excursion train traveled through the Royal Gorge.

This is a picture of the canyon decades later. As you can see, things are much calmer. A lone steam engine is pulling its passenger up the canyon toward their destination.

I can give approximate dates to the age of the card. It is a card from the divided back era, so it is from between 1907 and 1915: around one hundred years old!

I cannot tell you who printed or published the card. The only hint about this is a beautiful scroll work on the back to highlight the words Post Card. If any of you know anything about who is connected to this scroll work,
I will be greatly appreciative if you let me know. This will fill the gaps on many of the post cards in my collection.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.