In my never ending quest to confuse those who "just know", I just posted this at the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum as to the additions to the Como Roundhouse and thought that posting it here might cause the same confusion:
From the UP Bridge and Building Book, dated January 1, 1886
The additions to Como went as such:
At the Station of Platte Canyon:
Building No. 5 Roundhouse 4 stalls, 1 Story, Block Foundation, Frame Construction 58 1/8 w. 90' long. Moved to Como 1886
(Grant shows no engine or roundhouse)
Building 15: Roundhouse, tin roof. 1 story Stone Foundation, stone structure 125' w x 62' long.
Addition 4 (?) stalls
in addition, there is a hand written notation: the addition in Como is marked out and 13 written next to it, that's why the 4 is questionable. It reads: "4 stalls from Platte Canyon" "3 stalls from Dickey" 1886.
Building No. 5: Roundhouse 3 stalls, 1 story, Pl (pile) Foundation, Frame Structure 44 2/3 feet wide 60' long. Taken to Como 1886
Note: this is not the six stall enginehouse later seen in the photographs of Dickey
For other Engine Facilities, there are:
Building No. 3 Engine House, 1 story, stone foundation, stone structure 54' x 153 ft.
Coal Bin in eng hse 14 x 40
Water Tank in Eng Hse, Wd. Tub 5 x 18 Capcy 9516 gals 636 ft. 4 in pipe to spting. Self-ferder (feeder?) Qual & Supply of water good (note no turntable listed)
Building no. 17 Round house 6 stalls, 1 story, stone foundation, stone walls 127 1/2 wide x 65' long.
Turntable wrought Iron 50 ft.
Building No. 7: Engine House 1 story, Stone Foundation, Stone Structure 155' x 57 1/4 ft.
Wrot Iron Turntable in hse. 49 1/2 ft.
Water tnk in hse wd tub, 5 x 18, capacy 9516 gals., 1,830 ft. 2 in pipe tnk to spng. Self-feed'r. Qual & supply of water good.
Building No. 17: Round hse, 8 stalls, Gravel roof, 1 story blk foundation, frame walls, 126' x 60 ft.
Cast Iron turn table 50' stone foundation.
From DL&G Bridges and Building Book, November 1, 1894:
Roundhouse 9 stalls 1 story Stone 117' x 62 plus 202 x 62
Grant: No engine facilities listed
Webster Depot shown as burned Dec, 1903, New Depot May, 1904
Round house, Gravel Roof, 6 stalls Stone structure 62 x illegible
Addition, gravel Roof, 8 stalls 1 story 62 x illegible
Addition, Boiler room, 1 story, Stone 17' by Illegible
Hand Notation: 2 add to roundhouse 60 x 60 x 118 - 1895
Engine House (burned)
Coal Bin 1 Frame 14 x 40
Water tank 5 x 18 in Engine House (crossed through with the hand written addition "New Tank 14 x 20 1908")
Water Supply Good
For all of you wondering, it still shows the Stone Section House plus the additions and the sizes of the rooms inside.
Roundhouse, Six Stalls, 1 story, Stone foundation, Stone Structure, 127 x 65
Turntable 50' Wrot Iron Turntable
Boreas (this one is difficult because of all of the writing over it)
Engine House, 1 story, stone, 155 x 57
(hand Written: Renewed % fire Nov. 1899 80 x 57, further overwritten Destroyed by fire 11/09)
One 50' Wrot Iron Turntable in House
Coal Bin in engine House Frame 16 x 45
Water Tank 5 x 18 in engine house. Water supply gravity from spring.
Eng. house Frame 32 x 180 - 1902
Roundhouse, 8 stalls, 1 story, Frame, 60 x 92 and 60 x 158
Addition 1 story, Frame 11 x 18
One 50' cast iron turntable.
Very interesting...that would mean the Como roundhouse went from 6 original stalls to 13 in 1886, then added two more in 1895, before going to 19 stalls circa 1910? Does anyone have a copy of the engineering notes that supported the 1918 valuation maps for comparison? I'm planning on making a trip to the National Archives next time I'm back east, to see what is in:https://catalog.archives.gov/id/884245. That should include the structure notes for section 18 (Como to Kokomo and Robinson), assuming the section numbers from the valuation maps and engineering notes were consistent.
I've always been a bit puzzled by this photo from 1905, which shows #67 and another unidentified engine sitting on a track next to the end of the wooden extensions. Was that was a temporary track, or one of the last to be enclosed?:
what say you about the building at the end of the Wye there? Would it have been an interim Enginehouse before Como was reached and constructed? There does appear to be a pile (coal dock perhaps) alongside the Wye in the view although on second glance could be a low cutting.
Given the location and that the CC used the same at Georgetown I don't think that is anything to do with the ranch as it was gone in the Ebay pictures referenced in the above link. There would be a need to house a Helper for Kenosha at that time of heavy traffic?
The foundation is still there so that can be confirmed.
For some reason I can find no information from newspaper sources, either they have long gone or it was not worthy of mention. Can not even find out when the extension were taken down.
Looking at other indicators, the stone section did not seem to produce much town growth, 1885 onwards was when Como became incorporated and the population started increasing, Schools Churches etc come along. George Champion mentions there were 100 employed at the Roundhouse when he started, 1902 I think, and that it had been busier before then maybe 125. He also mentions that there was a paint shop in the wooden section, they painted the Locomotives, the cars were painted in Denver.
I assume Como was hit by the Silver Crash of 1893 but can find no impact mentioned on Como, must have been a blip in operations.
Peak Como was late 1890's slight slow down in early 1900's and then a nose dive when the Railroad effectively closed the Roundhouse as a major entity and then again at the end of 1910 when they stopped going over Boreas Pass, by 1911 4 were left, Depot and Roundhouse. Compared to c125 at peak.
When they say moved I assume they dismantled the structure, loaded it up on flat cars and used the components to erect the extensions, so quite possible as they would not need one wall to make a bigger area and more bays.
My suspicion is that something similar happened when they downsized, the 3 wooden bays left do not seem to match so did they reuse the materials to make a new 3 bay.
The second photo of Webster, from the hill above, is not from 1922, as the stock
number might suggest. The telegraph line was rebuilt from 2 wires to 4 in 1884,
when the highline was built, requiring the additional circuits. In 1919, the line was
rebuilt again, when WU moved their Denver-Salt Lake mainline operations from
the Denver-Pueblo-Buena Vista route along the D&RG to the more direct route
along the South Park route to BV, cutting off over 100 miles of line maintenance
for the company.
As this second photo shows only 2 wires, I am pretty sure this photo dates to pre-
The telegraph was built to Gunnison and operational a year before the rails
made it there. There was money to be made with the telegraph all by itself.
I don't imagine the story was any different for the building of the highline,
perhaps pushing that line construction even earlier than 1884. It was early
enough that the same insulators were used on the 4-wire expansion as were
used on the original build up the Platte Cañon and on to Gunnison.
I have seen mention of the Denver to Leadville Telegraph that did not seem connected to the Railroad and may have been operating before the Railroad arrived in South Park, was this a different business?
Generally, when I speak of "the telegraph", I am relating to the DSP&P lines,
as they evolved with the railroad.
There were a number of lines built through the South Park and Breckenridge/
Blue River unrelated to the railroad in the early days. The building of a railroad
into an area tends to have a consolidating effect on many businesses and social
aspects, both related and unrelated to the railroad itself. The coming of the railroad
to Front Range mining districts put a lot of the early telegraph concerns out of
business. The RR's HAD TO have telegraph coms, so to pick up side business
was an added bonus for a system they had to construct and maintain to run the RR.
For the outfits that only ran a telegraph, the entire burden of operations was on the
selling of telegrams. They could not compete.
The earliest telegraph to the South Park came up along the wagon road from
Morrison to Baileys and then on up to Kenosha and over the hill to Buckskin Joe/
Tarryall and ultimately Oro City, perhaps beyond (?) Telephone came to the area
in the early 1880's, outside of the RR influence/operations. That is a whole other
convoluted story in itself.