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Buckingham Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell 2005

A surprise for me as I had seen this town several years ago. Looks like either it was torn down or destroyed by fire. Still foundations, junk and a couple buildings. Appears that several people still reside here. I did not take pictures of their homes. One appears to be an old general store. If you are not looking you can miss this one as it is on the side of highway 14 going east from Briggsdale.

A viewer writes - Thursday, January 08, 2009  Buckingham was destroyed by a prairie fire a number of years ago. Only a few structures remain including the schoolhouse that sits up on a rise.

A viewer writes - Friday, April 16, 2010 -- My son lives in Buckingham. Roger rogkathy@hotmail.com

A viewer writes - Sunday January 30, 2011 --- MY name is Fred Dodd , I m from Alabama, I moved to  Colorado to live in big sky country. It is very beautiful here . I live in old house (green top) behind Buckingham school house. I moved in about new years, I love Colorado. Wanted to say thank for the site, it told me more than anything about Buckingham. Now if I knew my homes history Alice &Elvis Wright got it in 1979 I think?? THANK YOU!!

Rocky Response - Supposedly named after a RR superintendent when the railroad arrived in 1888 and the Post Office opened. The first Post Office opened for only a couple years as it was closed in 1890. The town was purchased from the RR in 1910 and a new request for a Post Office was honored. That PO operated out of a house until the 1960's. Much was there at one time, A RR depot, A hotel, A school, a garage, a bank, a grocery store, a hardware store and a blacksmith shop. Most of them were gone by the 1930's and what was left was destroyed by prairie fires in later years.

A viewer writes - Friday January 4th , 2013 -- More history of Buckingham

Hi, I was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1941 and my mother was raised in and around Buckingham and talked a great deal about Buckingham and the area.

Somewhere around 1918 to 1920 my grandmother, Narcissa Cross, ran the hotel in Buckingham.  I have what is left of the hotel register. It was a layover for people traveling from Nebraska to Fort Collins, Denver and west.  I cannot remember my mother ever mentioning the name, she simply referred to it as The Hotel.  For some reason I  had the impression that it was a two-story structure.  In the register it doesn't list any vehicles, and there probably were at least a few at that time, but it does list the number of horses with some of the registrations.  My grandmother provided meals to the travelers and boy is there a huge difference  in the cost of eating while traveling between then and now.  

My mother went to school (I've always thought it was in Buckingham) and I have a picture of her graduating class on their "Senior Sneak".  They went to the Pawnee Buttes, and the picture was taken there.   

If you are interested in more of the history, though it is second hand knowledge, let me know.  I could also send you some old photos, if you would like.  My brother lived in Colorado all of his life and, sometime in the 1970s, took a photo of the place the family lived in (before I was born) in Buckingham.  Not a palace, by all means.  

Narcissa and Joseph Cross homesteaded property north of Buckingham and east of Keota.  I haven't been back there in years, but the last time I was there, I walked through the old graveyard.  The people we went to visit were living right by it, and were out of my mother's past and knew and talked a lot about the area and the people who had lived there.  

I enjoyed visiting your sight.

Rocky Says - Send the pictures and the history for all of us to enjoy.

A viewer writes in with a great story - Friday January 25th , 2013 -  Hi Mike,  When my mother was a young girl, there was a family, living within "buckboard distance" of their place north of Buckingham, who still lived in a 'soddy'.  For those not familiar, a soddy, or sod house, was literally built out of rectangles cut out of the grassy earth (which was plentiful) and, for most of the homesteaders, was meant to be a temporary shelter until they could build a proper house. The problem with this family seemed to be a husband who could never quite 'find the time' to build something more permanent.

One day my grandmother was going to go visit the lady of the "house" and took my mother along. This particular home had been partially cut into an embankment and the front was built out of the traditional sod.  Mom said that the inside of that soddy gave her one of the biggest surprises of her life.   

The lady had been waiting outside, probably having heard the rattle of the buckboard coming (sound really travels on the prairie) and she was anxious to invite them in, and asked them if they would like tea.  However, mom couldn't answer, because  she couldn't stop staring at the furniture in this damp old soddy.  Mom said that, at the time she was too young to truly understand what she was seeing, but there were pieces of beautiful furniture here and there and what must have been a Persian rug on the floor.  Mom said there many things that only later she would realize were valuable, including a Seth Thomas clock.  Also, in the 'kitchen', a wood-burning stove with one corner propped up with flat rocks, as a substitute for a missing leg.

Company dropping in wasn't all that common and mom said that they couldn't have gotten a word in edgeways while the woman got them settled, and as soon as they had sat down, their hostess began to tell them about the new house her husband was going to build, when he got time.  (When they moved in they had one young child and they now had three, two in their teens.)  When the house was finished, they would move her furniture in and she could get her 'treasures' out of her hope chest. Then she went to a big steamer trunk that took up a lot of space in that front room, which was kitchen, living room and parlor all in one, and dragged it close to where they sat and opened it up.

It was a treasure trove of trapunto linens, crystal, china and other lovely things, unused (obviously), and as she lifted these things up to show them, she would repeatedly say that 'as soon as we get the house built' I'll get it all out and use it.  

When they finally left, my grandmother filled mother in on what she'd just seen.  The woman had come from a wealthy family and married against their wishes. Her husband had brought her to the Buckingham area so that they could homestead, and, when she contacted her family, they shipped to her what they chose and cut all ties.  After all the years, the story still bothered my mother. The woman had died a few years later and the two daughters had fought over who got what out of that hope chest.

A viewer writes - Saturday February 20, 2016

My father, Billy Dockham, was born in Buckingham, CO on 12/17/ 1918.  He was the 4th son of Roscoe and Ethel Dockham.  They later moved to Mills, WY.  If we come to Buckingham is there anything to see or is it totally gone?

Rocky Responds - What you see on my site is pretty much representative of what you would see in Buckingham. I did not take pictures of the houses so several are there to see. People were still living in the houses. Also the large structure where the store was years ago. If you are expecting a lot of standing buildings you will be disappointed. Lots of foundations to see and by using your imagination you can get an idea of the layout of the town.