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Calcium Colorado Ghost town

Photos Mike Sinnwell fall 2013

Calcium, later becoming a part of Thomasville, is another town that can be connected with the Colorado Midland railroad. Like so many towns in Colorado this one was built along the tracks to be able to transport their goods to and from the location. Numerous other small communities also grew up nearby, Merridth, Nast, Norrie, Sellar and Ruedi. In several cases these towns grew from the old railroad camps that were used by RR workers when building the railroads. Thomasville still stands.

Shortly after the rail line to Aspen was completed in 1887 the lime kilns were built in 1888 and are some of the largest remaining. The kilns produced quick lime that was used primarily to make Portland cement. This was a pretty dangerous operation with temperatures exceeding 900 degrees. The location had an explosion in the 1920’s that killed one employee.

The train did not have an easy path to get to Aspen as originally it went through 18 tunnels in the 260 plus mile trip from Leadville. The rails were removed in 1921 but the kilns were in operation, off and on, until 1938.

Three of the four kilns still remain as testament to a bygone era.