Connects: Basalt History Tour
Basalt, CO – Park
Lions Park is a park in Downtown Basalt, CO. This park includes:
Lion’s Park and all the land which now makes up the Town of Basalt was once the Ute Reservation. The land was purchased by white settlers from the U.S. Government and the first railroad camp and town were born in 1887. Within three weeks there was a boardinghouse, a store, a restaurant and many saloons. In 1891 the town added a drug store, lumber yard, another general store and a hotel.
Otmar Luchsinger purchased properties for $1.25 per acre fro agricultural land and $5.00 for mineral land during 1885. He sold the right-of-way for the Colorado Midland Railroad in 1886. The Colorado Midland Railroad, with 222 miles of track, started construction on May 17, 1886 and finished on November 5, 1887. The first passengers arrived in December of 1887.
In Lions Park, there was a way for turning engines, and tracks and sidings had a capacity of 220 freight cars. Midland Avenue was the Colorado Midland rail tracks and Two Rivers Avenue was the Rio Grande Railroad rail tracks to Aspen. In August of 1918 the last train headed east out of Basalt and by 1921 the rails were pulled and roads built.
The post office at Aspen Junction was established February 13, 1890 and the name changed to Basalt on June 19, 1895. In the fire of 1899 the western portion of Aspen Junction, including the Midland depot burned. The Town of Basalt was incorporated August 26, 1901, with a underground water supply completed in the Spring of 1902.
In 1917 Basalt consisted of a frame station (depot) and telegraph office, a two-story eating house, locomotive engine house, cinder pit, coal chute, water tank and stand pipe, sand and oil house, store and ice house, section house, bunk house, two cottages, a tool house, coal house and the handcar house. The current Basalt town hall was built in 1976 and the first Christmas tree lighting took place in 1977.
Basalt Regional Heritage Society Walking Tour Est 2003″