Tuesday, February 20, 2018
107 Years Ago Today - Again!
"Phantom Canyon Road today is an old railroad grade dating back to 1894. It once connected the gold-mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor (Teller County) to Florence (Fremont County). It is arguably the most scenic part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. Ghosts from the past reportedly still roam the canyon, making it a fine place for camping with a twist! The canyon got its name in the late 1800s when some train passengers claimed to have seen walking along the tracks the ghost of a prisoner, a man who had been executed in the Colorado State Penitentiary a few days earlier. The route is dotted with ghost towns like Adelaide, Wilbur, and Alta Vista, which were washed away in devastating floods or abandoned when the railroad closed in 1912. What little is left of the ghost towns is now mostly on private land, though some traces can be seen from the road. The road also boasts two iconic tunnels and one of the original railroad steel bridges. It is possible to access a less-traveled hiking trail to the Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area from this bridge."
You can see why the train would stop like it did in the picture on the front of this post card. Both for the beauty and for the adventure... can you find the ghost?
The post card title is telling us that this train is on the "Moffat Road". The Moffat Road is a short cut tunnel through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. MoffatRailroadMuseum.org: The "Moffat Road" was intended to put Denver on a transcontinental railroad but that didn't happen until 1928 when the Moffat Tunnel (6.2 miles long - the third longest in the country) was finished. That was 17 years after David Moffat had died.
The post card was published by the Great Western Post Card & Novelty Company. They existed from 1908 to 1970 and they focused on scenes from Colorado. The post card was printed in Germany. World War I had not erupted yet to stop the delivery of high quality post cards from the German printed presses.