There’s a lot more to Lincoln County than meets the eye driving down I-70. Pull off the road and take it in.
Limon, which bills itself as the Hub City, features the Limon Heritage Museum. Located at 899 First St., the free museum, which operates largely on donations, includes the town’s location at the intersection of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. The same Rock Island Line that Johnny Cash sang about.
It was built in 1910 after the original building was destroyed by fire and is one of only three Rock Island depots remaining in Colorado.
Outside of the railroad museum are several classic train cars through which visitors can tour, giving them a glimpse of what life was like for travelers and workers in the old days. One of the cars is still used, in fact, as folks can belly up to the counter and purchase delicious pies during the annual Heritage Festival, which is slated to return this year.
The Heritage Museum area also includes an old school house and a saddle exhibit in an old train boxcar. Rumor has it Teddy Roosevelt used to shoot buffalo off of one of the trains.
The Heritage Museum features a look at the prairie from yesteryear. Check out what the inside of a sheepherder’s wagon looks like, what a living room and kitchen looked like back then, and you can even walk inside a Plains Indian tipi.
The military room encompasses a salute and museum dedicated to the many men and women who have served in the armed forces throughout America’s many wars. There’s also an exhibit that delves into the Dust Bowl and its impact on the families and folks in the Plains.
Movie buffs should make a stop at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Limon. Opening in 1938, it is one of a very few movie houses in the United States where the screen is behind the person entering. Legend has it the original owner who bought the land in 1938 designed the theater backwards to avoid an $860 bill to hire a mule team to grade enough soil to have it oriented to the west.
Outside and just around the corner is a mural of The Duke, John Wayne, complete with the yellow neckerchief he wore in the movie “McClintock.” It was created by Some Girls and a Mural. The project has the seal of approval from the John Wayne Foundation painted into it as well.
The Carpenter Barn is just that, a circa 1900 barn that is a prime example of an old dairy barn. Though moved from its original construction site, the barn continued to be used.
In Genoa is the World’s Wonder View Tower, opened in 1926. It was established on Colorado’s Eastern Plains as a commercial and recreational center designed to profit from the needs of rail and highway travelers. It is, however, no longer open for the public to enter.
Also in Genoa is the Martin Homestead, which was originally homesteaded in 1899. The fourth generation of the same family continues to work the farm. It includes the original sod house and a large frame barn.
Visit the Hugo Union Pacific Railroad Roundhouse. The 1909 roundhouse is associated with the operation and maintenance of the Union Pacific Railroad in eastern Colorado. It is the state’s most intact Union Pacific example and one of only four surviving roundhouses in the state.
Also in Hugo is the historic Hedlund House Museum. The circa 1877 house is part of the first homestead filing in the Hugo area. It also houses memorabilia from the Hedlund family and artifacts representing all of Lincoln County.