Thursday, June 28, 2007


My friend Vitriola took me on a tour of Eastern Colorado yesterday -- little communities that I'd never heard of, despite growing up here. Ault, Pierce, Keenesburg, all towns I never knew existed.

And then there was Roggen, which seems to be teetering on the brink of ghost town status.

Located at the intersection of Interstate 76 and (Weld) County Road 73, Roggen looks like it was, at one time, a stop-off for commuters. This wasn't the only abandoned motel...

...except it wasn't totally abandoned (note child, lower left). There were signs that parts of the motel were still inhabited. There were signs up advertising rooms for rent, though I can't imagine the building is very safe.

There weren't many signs of life in the town. Two working businesses that we could see (a grain elevator and a gas station), and other than that, only a smattering of children around the two defunct motels. A church, which indicated it still held services. Well-kept flowers outside one building. Life appears to go on in Roggen, but for how long? Trying to figure out the population on the web, one source says 1,500, which almost has to be a very optimistic estimate. Another source puts the population for the entire 80652 zip code (including Roggen) at 710.

A little down the way lay this abandoned garage. I imagine it comes cheap, but it's obviously been gone for years. Unfortunately, the trend is probably toward more of this sort of thing and not toward any revitalization.

Likewise, this old house must have been nice once, but I doubt there's any renovation in its future.

One of the few places that's hale and hearty.

Rather ominous. Whatever was once written on this sign (church hours? exhortations to prayer? Burma Shave?) has long since been covered up.

There were a bunch more, which will trickle out in the next few days -- this doesn't even get us past Roggen, and there's plenty more photos besides.

* * *

Back to Atlanta today. Thanks, Tapeleg, ICJ, and Vitriola for being great and generous hosts while I was here.

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