Final ‘Evenings In History’ Lecture Focuses On Ridgway’s Railroads
by Watch Staff
Jul 29, 2013 | 1024 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THEN AND NOW – The railroad bridge that crosses the Uncompahgre River just north of Ridgway (now part of the river walk), as pictured in 1900 and today, is a testament to the role that railroads played in Ridgway’s development as a town. (Courtesy photos)
THEN AND NOW – The railroad bridge that crosses the Uncompahgre River just north of Ridgway (now part of the river walk), as pictured in 1900 and today, is a testament to the role that railroads played in Ridgway’s development as a town. (Courtesy photos)
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RIDGWAY – Discover Ridgway’s colorful railroad heritage at multimedia presentation by Karl Schaeffer, president of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, next Wednesday, July 31, at the Ridgway Town Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Schaeffer will describe the development of two railroads – the Denver and Rio Grande and the Rio Grande Southern – that stopped in Ridgway from the late 19th through the mid-20th century.  

The Rio Grande Southern terminated at Ridgway, while the Denver and Rio Grande continued on to Ouray. The Ridgway Depot serviced both railroads. The Town of Ridgway was founded by Otto Mears as part of the building of the Rio Grande Southern, and was named for Denver and Rio Grande railroad superintendent Robert M. Ridgway.

“Ridgway is on the world stage for what happened here with respect to its railroads,” Schaeffer said. “These are some of the most studied and modeled railroads in the world.”

Schaeffer’s program will consist of two parts. The first will be a dual projector show of “then and now” photos of Ridgway and railroading landmarks. The second part will be the story of the Galloping Geese, the strange rail trucks that extended the life of the RGS Railroad for many years.

“Ridgway and Its Railroads” is the much-anticipated finale to this summer’s weekly “Evenings of History” lecture series, hosted by the Ouray County Historical Society. Admission is free for OCHS members and $5 for non-members. The presentation is sponsored by Tom and Sue Hillhouse.  

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