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Aroyo, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Gershon_ben_Franja
N 38° 51.423 W 103° 08.268
13S E 661581 N 4302561
Quick Description: A ghost town in Aroyo, CO
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 1/31/2010 5:22:42 PM
Waymark Code: WM85BB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Miles ToGeo
Views: 6

Long Description:
The actual address is in Wild Horse, but don't go there, as it's not in Wild Horse. It's a few miles west on 94 just on the east side of the tracks. I was looking for an old airport in the area and Aroyo which I figured was gone. It was quite a treat.

First, I saw the 1 room schoolhouse, and then went down the road and saw the ghost town. Be careful if you walk around it. There are unmarked holes. Some may be deep. It's best to stay on the road.

This is from the sign:

"Joseph O. Dostal, a Bohemian immigrant and a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, came to Colorado in 1886 to run a meat market in the mountains and ended up establishing the J.O.D ranch west of Kit Carson, Colorado. When Cheyenne County was formed in 1889, Dostal was the new county's largest property taxpayer.

The J.O.D headquarters was located near the new Kansas-Pacific Railroad, which built a watering stop there. This place was named "Aroya," because of a large gulch nearby.

Aroya originally was three miles west of the present site, according to early settler Henry Copley. He said old Aroya originated as a railroad camp for K-P track layers in 1870. Ultimately, Aroya was moved to the east where there was a better supply of water. George Slater moved a building into Aroya around 1907 and operated the first store, approximately where William Smith later located his store.

By the time Copley was 25, the homestead boom had peaked, and Aroya had nearly any kind of business one could ask for...except for a saloon. Aroya revelers went to nearby Wild Horse, where there were more than enough saloons to meet the demand, he said.

Storekeeper William Smith donated an acre of land on a hill west of Aroya for the town's cemetery. A small school west of town was replaced after about 10 years by a larger school closer to town. That school remains. And situated east of Aroya was the J.O.D ranch, which continues in business today.

Over the years since the state highway bypassed the town, its businesses closed, the buildings were torn down, and the people moved away. Only Ben Moreland's old filling station and William Smith's store building remain. Moreland's son, Owen "Red" Moreland, built a home on the foundation of the old Aroya hotel and sculpted a large tower from old tools and other metal artifacts welded together. When he died, the tower was moved to the museum at Kit Carson, where it remains."
Group or Groups Responsible for Placement:
Colorado Historical Society State Historical Fund Grants for Historic Preservation. Colorado Tourism Office

County or City: Wild Horse (But look for Aroyo on Google maps)

Date Dedicated: unknown

Check here for Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new or if you were able to take any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark. If possible, please post a photo of you at the marker OR your GPS at the marker location OR some other creative way to prove you visited. If you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Colorado history, go ahead and include that in your log!
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Team Laxson visited Aroyo, CO 8/12/2010 Team Laxson visited it