Museums and libraries are great, but they should not overshadow the historical markers and landmarks that also tell the history of our county. The history of water, the history of a P.O.W. camp, the history of a cold war relic and more dot the landscape and are certainly worthy of your time to stop, read, and remember.
Located at 420 Graefe Ave. in Ault, Colorado, the 1907 pump house is important for its historic use as a major part of the community infrastructure that provided an adequate water supply to the town. Read more about this site, including the nomination for inclusion on the state register of historic places on the historycolorado.org webpage.
A poignant memorial at Weld County Roads 52 and 43, east of the City of Evans, stands in memory of 20 school children who were killed when a train traveling 79-miles per hour slammed into their school bus. The tragedy shook local communities and the state overall. Much has been written about this event. We recommend a 2007 story by Vimal Patel at the Denver Post and a series of articles (and podcasts) called The Crossing, written by Kevin Vaughan, and found at thecrossingstory.com
The original gates or pillars that marked P.O.W. Camp 202 have been re-housed on the land that was used to incarcerate 2000 German soldiers from March 1944 to February 1946. Many of the camp’s prisoners worked in the sugar beet fields of Weld County, helping to ameliorate the shortage of labor. Interestingly, the original barracks that held the prisoners can be seen in Greeley, where they are still used as housing.
For directions and more information, please visit the poudreheritage.org website.
Denver news anchor Jeremy Hubbard published a great story about this historic site, which you can watch on the KDVR website.
The Missile Site Park is great opportunity to step back into the Cold War Era of national defense. The former nuclear warhead equipped Atlas E site was constructed in 1961. The host military base for the Atlas E program’s command and control was located at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There were a total of four Atlas E sites in Weld County. This particular missile site was deactivated in 1965 and was turned over to Weld County. The Missile Site Park is located between Greeley, Windsor, and Loveland on 10611 Spur 257, Greeley, CO. (Information from the National Park Service website.)
Located on the short grass prairie of Weld County, about an hour north of Greeley, are two large sand stone buttes known as the Pawnee Buttes. Made of sandstone, these to buttes tower over the prairie as each rises about 300 feet high. A 1.5 mile trail leads you to the buttes, but please be mindful of wildlife (including rattle snakes and nesting raptors) and know that one of the buttes is actually on private land. To prepare for the best experience, please read the information on the U.S. Forest Service website.
Northeast Colorado's Pawnee Pioneer Trails scenic and historic byway leads you through a fascinating prairie expanse. With the expansion of America into the West, explorers and settlers could hardly believe their eyes when looking upon the Great Plains. A great article about this byway can be found on the colorado.com website. Take a read, then come up and take a drive!