We live a ways out from Elizabeth, Colorado. There's two different stories of how the town got it's name. It was either named for the governor's daughter, or it was named for the first woman who stepped off the train. I like the second story. I can just imagine the cowboys saying "hey, let's go see Elizabeth".
The westernmost part of the town is the new part, and has all the basic necessities. There's a grocery store, a chain sandwich shop, and a huge ranch supply store. The old part of town is about a block long, and retains its 1890s old west look.
My favorite stores on the street are the Powder River Hats store (click here), where they custom make western hats,
and The Wildflower. The Wildflower is a tack store where they make western saddles and chaps.
There's nothing modern about it. When you walk in the door, you feel like you've stepped into the real old west. I'd take you inside, but stores were closed today for a girl's high school soccer game. It's that kind of town.
Elizabeth is situated where the plains meet a fat finger of Colorado's Black Forest. There's little transition; you are either on the virtually tree-less plains, or boom, you're in a jungle of Ponderosa Pines.
The town started as a saw mill camp on the banks of Running Creek. At the height of the saw mill days, the Denver and New Orleans Railroad would run through town six times a day. Running Creek flooded, destroying the saw mill and railroad tracks. After the second flood, the mill was abandoned.
It's hard to imagine Running Creek as a raging river. Today it was about three inches deep, barely flowing through the Cottonwoods.
I know this post is getting a wee bit long, but I want to show you one more thing. My favorite building in the county is the library in Kiowa, the town to the east of us.
It is just as charming on the inside.
The only thing I miss about the city is dining out. Elizabeth has three Mexican restaurants. Period. Now, I like Mexican food (or at least I used to!), but please, three Mexican restaurants and nothing else? Waaaa.