Hereford Colorado Townsite - Ghost town
Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell 2005
This is one of Colorado's Plains Ghost towns. The day I was here a group of people were cleaning up the town. Several of the buildings I wanted pictures of were obstructed by pay loaders, dump trucks etc so you have to settle for these photos.
Went back a couple years later and got some winter photos. I was told one of these houses was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Can you guess which one?
A viewer writes. - May 2009 - I believe that's it. (The house Frank Lloyd Wright designed - third row second and third pictures) Several different functions over the years. Maybe even a bed and breakfast. I grew up and live in Greeley and as a kid we explored, hunted, prowled the prairies/plains rather than the mountains west of us. Pawnee Nat'l Grasslands and so forth. Something has always drawn me to the old prairie towns, both living and gone. Sad to see the old, tumble down places because somebody's hopes and dreams tumbled before the buildings did. Love the vastness of the plains and nothing is more beautiful than the prairie in bloom with spring rains. Wildflowers as far as the eye can see. In my "old days long gone" we preferred the prairie because it seemed every one else including our friends always went to the mountains. We always had the prairie to ourselves. By the way, the mother of an old high school chum of mine taught school in Keota back in the 20's or 30's. Her name was Mary Olsen. Keep up the good work! As soon as I can I'll put something in the "Tip jar".
A viewer writes - August 2009 - Thanks for putting in the suggested (and accurate) change. What a great website! Thanks also for now including the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Hereford pictures. This style was known as his "Prairie style" design. Can you believe? By the way, the bank in Hereford was held up at gunpoint back in the thirties (twenties?). That whole area up there was very active and populated from the cowherd days through the homesteading days until the Dust Bowl times. Most of the homesteaders pulled out then and many moved to near Longmont. The famous Crow Creek Cow Camp was up around there where the branded free range cattle were rounded up an sorted out to their various outfits and owners by those brands. A very big deal in the old cowboy days and even into the twenties. Ah, yes. Trails plowed under and all that. Regards, Phil Tallman
A viewer writes – Wednesday January 4th 2012 -- Hi Mike, My mother went to school in Hereford and I am with my mother today.... She is now 89 years old but provided more info about the question, Did Frank Lloyd Wright design or build the building? She recognizes the nice building as her school. She said some people from Chicago area named Findisen came out and built the Hereford Inn. She thinks the building with the side of large sun windows might be the inn, but she said it was much nicer then, and as kids they used to run in and use the restrooms at will. My mother is going to get in touch with her school chum and get more info on the family from Chicago....I was wrong about Frank Lloyd Wright designing the school....it was perhaps designed by one of his students. She said the family from Chicago did a land swap and got land in Hereford with the idea of building a large wheat farm. They dredged land, built canals and even built a golf course on the prairie. Mr. Findisen died in a plane crash; he had a plane of his own, and the development went through several hands, and "they destroyed" it (the vision of what was to be) in my mother's opinion....I'll alert my cousins to your site and will see what else we can add. Please feel free to use our input on the website. Anita
A viewer writes - Monday August 12th 2013 -- I was fascinated with the Hereford inn, I was looking for pictures that would show it in its glory. It's for sale. Only $120,000 Just thought I'd let you know. Sincerely, Alanna =)
A viewer writes -- Monday March 23,2015 -- Greetings, My parents moved to Hereford in 1918 and operated the In in the late 20's Or early 30's. ":Grandfather" Findisen (sp) bought a large amount of land and built (along with his sons-in-laws several buildings including the Inn and our house which burned in 1934. More info if you would like. Mike,
Thanks for your reply. I am writing an article on my life and wanted to talk about Hereford, so decided to see if anything was on the internet. Found your site and was interested in the comments. My parents moved to Hereford in 1918 to take part in "Grandfather" Findisen's dream. Mother wrote quite a lot about Hereford. While operating the Inn Grandfather stayed there and regularly talked with mother as she was the only person in town that was fluent in German. This could go on for a long time but it is probably better if I send the part of my history dealing with Hereford. Most of our pictures of Hereford burned when our house burned down in 1933 but I have several including stationary when my folks ran the Inn. I am a slow writer so be patient. Keep in touch. (I can appreciate your problems on the website. Bill Gates is not my friend.) Jack.
This bit of Hereford history from John Doerges. THANKS John,
My parents moved to Hereford in 1918 and operated the Inn during the late 20's and early 30's. Grandfather Findisen bought a large amount of land and built several buildings including the Inn and our house which burned in 1934. More info if you would like.
Here is what we get when we ask for more..
I am writing my autobiography and have included a little about the Hereford Inn. My folks ran the Inn for a few years at the time of the depression and helped start the town of Hereford. I have a few pictures of the Inn and the Conzelman house that Dad bought. I also have a sheet of Inn stationary used when mother operated the Inn. Most of the family pictures taken at Hereford were lost when our house burned in 1933. A little section of my story is follows; let me know if it is of interest to you. I have quite a bit of info on Hereford in mother's scribbling.
The Findeisen's had come to Hereford with between one and two million dollars (according to Mary) which was a lot of money then as well as now. Nevertheless it didn't go far when putting in an irrigation system, building a $50,000 hotel and building other expensive homes. In the fall of 1929 the depression was getting grim. The younger members Findeisen family had gradually moved away to Denver, Pueblo, Chicago, and Miami, Florida. The question was what to do with Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunt Nellie and the Doergeses. A decision was reached whereby Mary would manage the Hereford Inn and take care of the elderly in return for free room and board at the Inn for the family. The Conzelman house main floor was rented to a schoolteacher and his wife with the upstairs being rented to overflow customers at the Inn. The Doergeses moved in August 1929 with just clothing and Mary's grand piano. The Inn had a restaurant sized kitchen with a walk in refrigerator and freezer.
One curious story at the Inn is worth telling. Grandfather was sick and in the hospital so the women decided to clean his room while he was gone. During the cleaning a stash of liquor was discovered in Grandfather's room. The discovery was related during supper: Hans Waage a young German immigrant asked "What did you do with it?". The women replied they had poured it down the toilet whereupon Hans asked "Did you flush it?" (Prohibition was the law of the land at that time.)
"Into each life a little rain must fall" understates the problems the family encountered in the next few years. The depression was worsening. Creditors were harassing the elderly Findeisens over outstanding bills on the farms, even though the Inn was holding its own. Walt (Grandfather's son) and Pauline Findeisen had given up of running the Blue Parrot restaurant in Denver and decided to take over the Inn. The Doerges family moved back home in 1931. Bob said "This is the last time I'm moving that piano!" and it was. Walt and Pauline gave up operating the Inn and one day they just got up and walked out, leaving the Inn vacant: (This was probably in 1932 or 1933 based on a confrontation between Pauline and Mary that I remember.)