I just picked up this photo, which shows the depot in Central City from a distance, making it easy to see how it relates to the rest of the town. Most photos seem to be either framed so the depot is out of the image, or close-ups of the depot.
Re: Central City depot (Section House and Ball Park)
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Actually, Chris, that's a small oil warehouse at the future site of the petroleum tank farm. The section house is at the left frame, a brick structure that was so close to the tracks that the corner had to be shaved off:
A later view shows the enlarged tank farm with the same warehouse structure:
Colorado Historical Society, by Rick Steele's attribution, "A Mini Tank Farm", The Narrow Gauge . . . Gazette, May/June, 1983, pages 75-77.
Also, in Todd's photo, note the grand stands for the city baseball field down in the flat below the depot, to the left of the church.
Another view of the depot shows the ball field to the right:
The C&S tracks leaving the depot for Blackhawk were above and along the third base line. A siding there allowed C&S freight cars, off for the day, to take in the ball game:
The ball field was a multi-use municipal facility. In the winter it was flooded and used as a skating rink:
Nice pic, Todd, any idea who the photographer was?
Looks like the depot is pretty new there, which would put it in the early 1900's.
Not a lot of vegetation or stuff thrown over the edge of the fill for the Yard.
When the "Big Triangle" parking lot was built where the Ball Park was, much of the Railroad fill next to the depot was dozed away for more parking. I remember seeing some sticks of rail laying at the end of the parking lot, which means that they got really close to the Depot.
I will just remind everybody that immediately south of the brick section house is the old Colorado Central Ticket office.
Before the Ticket Office was "Restored" the inside wall and opening for the ticket window still existed.
The siding along the third base line was for the Hawley Merchandise Company Warehouse AND the Zangs and Neef's Beer distributors located either side of this building. The Zang's building is still there in the "Third Base Line" Photo. Note the "Shadow" of the Neef Building against the Hawley building in Todd's photo outlining where the building was formerly located. There was a separate spur for the Sauer-McShane Warehouse building, located just to the north of the Hawley Warehouse and for the Central City Mine, which was North-Northeast of the Sauer-McShane warehouse..
I always thought that using the Superfund money to clean up the site would expose the depot and make it a great Information Center for the Central City area. Of course I am not a gambler (except when it comes to the Model Business) and care more about the City itself than I care for the Casinos.
Looks like a UP built UPD&G boxcar on the siding for the warehouse, complete with one of those diamond "Fast Freight" placards on the door. The swing sets didn't last long, or perhaps they were disassembled during the winter.
Another snowy view from later, undated. Possibly the big snow of 1913:
Looks like the depot is pretty new there, which would put it in the early 1900's....
It's a real photo post card, with no indication of the photographer (unless you recognize the handwriting on the negative or the style of the id number v715.). The only clue to the date is that both the message and postmark (from central City) are from December 2, 1929.
I hope the recipient had an easier time reading the message than I did:
The tanks have gone but the Tank Building is still there, so I'm picking somethime after the switchbacks were abandoned. I can't put a finger on it but this picture has been around for awhile, it may even be in the "other" Central thread, I have no time to look today.
Looks like about 1902 and shows the layout of the depot area from the other side of Todd's photo.
I agree that Todd's photo likely dates from the 1920s. Looks to me as if a flood washed out a good portion of the ball field, as it is badly erroded in Todd's photo. The grandstands look different, smaller, too (perhaps a garage by this date?).
Central City was supposed to have an ash pit, to service the passenger locomotive on the branch, when it laid over for the night. Do you think that is it, between the rails, just under and to the left of the "C" in Central City??
Rick Steele published a series of articles about Central City, and the C&S facilities there, in The Gazette, way back between November, 1982 and July, 1983 (sigh . . . we were all so much younger then). I pulled my back issues out last night and re-read them all. There is a lot of fascinating information there about the C&S facilities in Central over the years, and the articles are a must read for anyone interested in modeling Central City.
For the sake of completion of this thread, I've scanned Rick's Central City depot map (Nov/Dec, 1982 issue of The Gazette, page 48), and I hope Rick doesn't object to my posting it here. Rick traced or derived it from the 1918 C&S valuation map of the Central yard. The map helps one make sense of the crowded, compact trackage at the end of the C&S Central City branch:
The baseball field and grandstands were likely long gone by 1918.
One thing I can't seem to find on the map is a depot privy. Was the Central City brick depot of 1899 one of the only C&S depots to have indoor plumbing?
What about Leadville, Keith? The brick depot there was a contemporary of the brick depot at Central. I've never been inside the Leadville depot -- did it have inside facilities?
I don't mind, as a matter of fact, thanks for dredging that old thing up.
I have the original artwork somewhere but I need to find it.
I will have to look and see if the Architect's drawings include and indoor commode or not. (Yes, I have a copy of them). As unusual as it sounds, the Architectural drawings of the C&S Central City Depot were rendered by a professional Architectural Firm and not by the Railroad. So it was definitely a one of a kind. No, the floor plan did not include the Gilpin Tramway offices. Probably added after the C&S gained controlling interest in the Gilpin Tram.
Since you brought the subject up, where were the privy's for the old Ticket Office and Section House? I know that they had to be there, but where?
I also have some shots from the late 1970's of the Ticket Office and Section house if I can find them. But those I think I know where they are located.
Oh Yes, if you want to model something to absolute scale in HO. The Central City yard will fit, to scale, on a 2' x 8' piece from the road crossing on Spring Street to the end of the tail track. I built it at one time just for fun.
When compared to how compressed we model most scenes (including the UC&N aka Harry Brunk's layout), The Central City yard to scale is like a big, luxurious main line terminal.
When I first read the "Gazette" issue with the Central City depot drawing, I was hooked on that area and the railroad. It would make such an interesting module, in that the buildings served by the railroad would be located at the front of the module, and mostly below it. Only the steep terrain of the mountains would be between the tracks and the backdrop. You'd be playing hide-and-seek with the train as it passed.
The original Slim Gauge layout, the one in the auto dealership, had a similar arrangement for Clear Creek in HOn3.
But then there is the problem of building that one defining structure, the depot.
The ticket office seems to have a mud-room or snow-room on front. Also visible is the harp switch stand to the Hawley Mdse siding, which is on a head tie that is suspended out of the stone retaining wall, into the street! The crossing sign, with light letters on dark diagonals is something I've never seen before.
This is the best overview, IMHO, of the entire Central railroad facilities: