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Homestead Meadows Colorado Ghost Town

Photos Mike Sinnwell 2001

Apparently the families that homesteaded here worked in the nearby town of Lyons. The men held jobs in Lyons and made the long walk down the creek bed to get to their jobs. The woman and families stayed on the homesteads and improved the land and cared for the livestock during the week. The husbands came home on weekends.

A viewer writes - August 2009 -  We went up to the meadows this weekend, and never saw a sign showing the elevation.  Do you know what it is in that area?  We were impressed with the photos on your website, are there captions that can better explain the photos, or is there another web-site with additional photos?  I noted Ghost Town links on the left side of this webpage, and wonder if there is anything with this property other than there are no longer people living there?  Thanks, Jane Kirby

Rocky responds - I am assuming you are referring to Homestead Meadows when you say, "We went up to the meadows this weekend". If so a little more information for you.  Elevation about 7,500. No one lives there and it is now mostly on Forest Service land.

Homestead meadows was never a mining town nor did it ever have a post office or school. It really is a collection of old homesteads that were founded as a result of the Homestead act of 1862. As you are aware the Homestead Act encouraged settlement of the west by allowing a person to settle on 160 acres and after five years of improvements and working the land you could gain title to the land. You had to spend $15 for the title if you could demonstrate you were "proving up" the land.  

This area was at the head of Lion Gulch and several homesteads were built. Good area for lumber and cattle. Just a few of the homesteaders were the Boren, Hill, Laycock, Walker, Brown, Irvin, and the Engerts. The first homesteader was William Laycock back in 1889 but he stayed only a brief period before selling out. A William Turner House was the longest resident and he stayed from 1933 to until 1952. He purchased many of the homesteads and ran a Lumber mill, Eventually due to the depression, World War II, Cattle prices most sold out to the Holnnholz Ranch. Robert Boren also was in the cattle and lumber business.  

Even women got into the Homesteading process. Sarah Walker homesteaded in the meadows after she separated from her husband. She received her patent (160 acres) in 1914. She raised dairy cattle, chickens and grew produce that she sold in nearby Lyons.  

Hope this helps a little to your understanding of the area.