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First News Summer 2009

New Life in an Old Settlement

   A new chapter in the history of the ghost town on Old LaVeta Pass, now named Uptop, is about to open. Its stewards, two transplanted sisters from New England, Sam and Deb, known respectively as the Mayor and Queen of Uptop, are ready to open the ghost town's buildings to the public for weekend tours (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through October 5th. Closed Monday through Thursday.) Visitors age 6 and over are charged a $5 admission fee, which goes towards the restoration of the oldest building on the Pass, the 1877 Depot. This Depot serviced the Denver Rio Grande narrow-gauge trains coming over what was then the highest railroad in the world. Today, the Depot houses a small train museum. Visitors can also visit the enchanting Chapel-by-the-Wayside which was built in the 1930s for the logging community that moved to the Pass after the railroad tracks were torn up in 1899. The tour continues with a peek into the remaining historic log cabins from that era before ending with refreshments, photos and games in the old Dance Hall and Tavern with its original S-curved bar.

   "Our goal is to bring the history of this unique place alive - for children and adults alike. Since owning Uptop, we've been gathering a wide range of stories, such as those about the nearby cavalry Ute Campaign of 1879 and the high-stakes poker games played in the saloon, fueled by a prohibition ‘whiskey still' out back. We will also be introducing our guests to our fictional character, Uppity , a young girl who lived in the Depot with her Uncle Shaw, the station master, from 1878 to 1880. Whether visitors favor fact or fiction, all will enjoy the scenic beauty of Uptop. Many may want to try their luck at a game of Rocky Crocket - a unique mountain blend of croquet, soccer, and goofy golf. Everyone will have a great time."

   The sisters' future plans for Uptop include becoming a unique wedding and reunion location, hosting theatre and musical events, and offering "Work Week Vacations" for people who want to help restore an authentic ghost town…and thereby earn the right to have the title of their choice (just no more queens or mayors) added to the "Uptop Title Bar." For further information on Uptop Ghost Town visit

North La Veta Pass
turn at mile marker
276 or 281
La Veta, CO 81055


Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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