Lamar Colorado on the Mountain Branch
of the Santa Fe Trail

Lamar offers rural family living at its best. Solid family values still prevail in this community, with numerous events and activities scheduled throughout the year. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities, community concerts, or a relaxed shopping atmosphere, this friendly community welcomes you. Lamar is the County Seat of Prowers County with agriculture as its main industry.

The Lamar Depot, pictured at left still serves as a train station for Amtrak passengers, while housing the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Welcome Center. Located at 109 E. Beech Street. 719-336-4379



Through the efforts of "town site platters," new towns sprang up as train rails moved west. During 1860s-1870s these town promotions were frequent. Locations were often selected through conspiracy and a railway station was built as a result. Lamar is one of such towns created through this process.

 

 

On the Santa Fe Trail there was a station known as Blackwell, designated as railroad mile post 499 (the distance from Atchison, Kansas). This was a small depot with stock yards siding and on each side were the holdings of A. R. Black. Black was a substantial cattleman and his home and ranch quarters were nearby. It was a perfect setup for running cattle, with unlimited rich grass to the south and the Arkansas River to the North. The River offered cottonwood and plum trees and plenty of water and refuge for the cattle during the winter. An irrigation ditch furnished water for grain crops and prairie hay from the low land. Life was good and Mr. Black prospered. The plains offered him the ideal environment for his cattle grazing operation and he was annoyed with farming and homesteaders. His location was perfect access to the county seat Las Animas or Denver and Pueblo.

This good thing he had going was destined to change with the movement of population westward, which the town site platters pushed for, profit being their main objective. The town flourished and began to run out of land to expand onto for town businesses. The town site platters saw the opportunity to expand through Blackwell. In 1866 the platters approached Mr. Black to donate his adjacent land to the depot as a town site. He was to profit from the sale of town lots from the property he retained. He staunchly refused even with their threats that they would start another town close by and move the depot there. Mr. Black thought this was a bluff thinking that they couldn't start a town without people!

The promoters bought land from a man in section 31, three miles west, and the depot was to be moved. Immediately upon learning this Mr. Black boarded a train for Denver to secure an injunction through his attorney. This was a Saturday and the injunction was issued on Monday, too little too late. That Sunday a railroad wrecking crew moved the depot three miles west to mile post 502. They tossed the Blackwell sign aside and exhibited the name Lamar and so Lamar was born on Sunday, May 24, 1886. Lamar was named after Lucius Quintius Lamar, Secretary of the Interior for Grover Cleveland. A land office was secured under the name Lamar. People came to Lamar enticed by the advertising of free land and the town boomed! Lamar was the last town to be established in such a way and the youngest town of a consequence on the main line of the Santa Fe.

 

Spreading Antlers Golf Course

South Hwy. 287, Lamar, CO 719-336-5274

Lamar Community College

Nestled on the sprawling, picturesque golden plains of southeastern Colorado, Lamar Community College offers exceptional educational opportunities that help students develop maximum potential, achieve a global perspective, and prepare to succeed in our ever-changing world. As a comprehensive community college, LCC’s enriching academic environment equips students for admission to four-year colleges and universities, achieves occupational learning goals, and provides opportunities for developmental and lifelong instruction. Students can obtain certifications and a variety of Associates Degrees using cutting edge technology through this top-rated college. Bachelor's Degrees can be obtained in association with 4-year institutions. Founded in 1937, Lamar Community College is a comprehensive educational institution on the golden plains of southeastern Colorado. LCC’s Horse Training and Management program is well known throughout the United States. Watch a horse training demonstration on this tour.

City Parks

The stone building in Willow Creek Park is a testament to the founding fathers of Lamar that committment to soundness and quality were of the upmost. Lamar has a swimming pool and a Rollerblade Park as well. Vist one of their beautiful city parks: Willow Creek - 3rd and Parkway, Escondido Park - 11th and Washington, Northside Park - 5th and Maple, or Enchanted Forest - 4th and Beech.

snowgooselogo

The Annual High Plains Snow Goose and Birding Festival

February each year in Lamar, Colorado. In spring, waves of bright white snow geese against an endless blue sky fly into southeastern Colorado. They roost on the scattered lakes on the prairie and feed in the surrounding fields, making the area a favorite rest stop on their annual migration. Join in for a fun-filled day of tours and activities. Take in a sunrise or sunset tour to view snow geese, sandhill cranes, and other waterfowl, watch the birds while enjoying a waterside, country breakfast, go on a guided nature walk, or visit local and historic sites of interest. Sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Lamar Chamber of Commerce. Watch the snow geese wake up and fly off in waves, to their favorite feeding grounds. Tour state wildlife areas and farm fields to see a variety of waterfowl including sandhill cranes, ducks and shore birds. Enjoy a home style breakfast on the lake shore with the birds!

Numbering at least 6 million, lesser snow geese are considered to be the most abundant goose in the world! Four distinct populations are recognized. The lesser snow geese seen at the High Plains Snow Goose Festival are part of the Western Central Flyway population on their way back to the Canadian Arctic where they nest. This flock winters in southeastern Colorado, New Mexico, the Texas panhandle and northern Mexico. In the arctic, snow geese graze on grasses and sedges that grow in the tundra. While migrating through the prairies of North America, they will also feed on leftover grain in the fields.

 

Lots To Do!

Other special events include The annual Air Show & Fly-In, Oktoberfest, Cinco De Mayo Celebration, Little Britches Rodeo at the Prowers County Fair Grounds, Lamar Day’s, Car Show at Lamar City Park, Thunder on the Plains Bike Rally, Sidewalk Sales, Sand & Sage Fair & Rodeo, Moonlight Madness, and the annual Parade of Lights. There is always something happening in Lamar and their Colorado Welcome Center can give you more details. They are located at 109 E. Beech Street. Phone them for their assistance when making your plans. 719-336-4379

Site Map 

La Junta Sites 

Lamar Sites 

Trinidad Sites 

Byway Museums

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