Museum opening hours: Museum Hours Wed 1-4 and Sat 10-2

66 Lower Glenway Street

Palmer Lake, Colorado 80133

A Century of Railroading at Palmer Lake, 1871-1971

A Century of Railroading at Palmer Lake, 1871-1971


For 31 years, Palmer Lake could claim one of the finest resort hotels in Colorado. This paper traces the history and ownership of the Rocklands Hotel from its intended origin in 1889 as a hotel-cum-sanatorium to its destruction by an acetylene gas explosion and fire in 1920. During those years, summer guests at the hotel could participate in a variety of leisure activities while on vacation at Palmer Lake, a town on the divide between Denver and Colorado Springs, which was served by the trains of four different railroads.

14 in stock

SKU: century-of-railroading Category:


By Dan Edwards
159 pages, softcover, illustrations

Palmer Lake has been a railroad town since the first narrow gauge trains of Gen. William Jackson Palmer passed through the town in 1871 traveling between Denver and Colorado Springs. In later years five other railroads hauled freight and passenger traffic through Palmer Lake. This rail line is now part of the Joint Line operated by the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe and the Union Pacific.

This book, based on years of research, presents a narrative history with a myriad of new facts and figures detailing railroad operations, including accidents; ice harvesting at Palmer Lake and Monument; vigorous competition between the Rio Grande and Santa Fe Railways highlighted by a “fence war” in 1890; the railroad eating house at Palmer Lake; and the decline of steam locomotives and passenger trains beginning after World War II, ending with the closing of Palmer Lake’s Santa Fe station in 1967. Many of these details are contained in the book’s 43 appendices.