Pathway into History
A Town Emerges
Pleasant Valley needed its own town to serve the local residents.
In time, the town of Howard was established, and it continues to thrive today. With a little imagination, the town of Howard in the early 1900s comes alive.
Howard, circa 1900
Gaze just past the site of the current Town Hall to the site of the old Howard Town Hall. As a center of community life, it houses the local opera, complete with stage and curtains. Picture yourself joining your family inside for a theatrical performance or attending a meeting of the Forestry Club or Woodmen of the World. Just to the left stands the Free Methodist Church where residents gather together on Sunday morning for services and socializing. Together, the town hall and church serve as he social center of the budding town site.
Past the old Howard and Town Hall site, follow the road as it turns eastward past the old hotel. As the road continues east, the railroad station comes up on the right with all the hustle and bustle of freight being transferred and passengers awaiting departure time. Smell the smoke from the engine and hear the stream whistle as the conductor cries, “All Aboard!”
The steam and smoke from the locomotive mingles with the haze from the charcoal kilns east of the station. Follow the road on around to the left past a house and shed to the blacksmith’s shop with an attached structure where Jim Howard sells groceries and shoes.
Across the street is the large Freeman house, the post office worked out of this house for forty years beginning in 1907. Turn left, and on the right is a house that serves as Cunningham’s grocery store, later converted to Hershey’s telephone exchange. finally, your journey takes you to the parsonage for the Free Methodist Church.
Stories are told of one local preacher who was dissatisfied with the amount of food offered to him in payment for his services. He decided to sell the church and move on. This angered the townspeople so much that they decided to protest at the church the morning of the proposed auction. Before the auction was called off, they pelted the preacher with rotten goose eggs.
Bringing your imagination back to the present, you see Howard as it is today. Many of the original structures that have survived have been altered, updated, and are now private residences. Historic Howard exists in the present so the future can remember it.
Every Community Needs a Gathering Place
Passengers, mail, and freight passed through this station for more than 50 years.
Western Fremont Historical Society photo, circa early 1900s
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Old Howard Church
Howard Union Sunday School poses for a photo after a meeting in 1938.
Western Fremont Historical Society photo, 1938
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Old Howard Townsite
Howard, Colorado looking south and southwest toward the majestic Sangre de Cristo Range and Calcite quarries circa 1922. Starting from the left, look for seven beehive charcoal kilns standing with the loading platform along the railroad tracks. The old hotel stands out with the train station behind it The railroad water tank served as an outstanding landmark. Next is the Lew Davis home and general store which is partly hidden by the concrete block building in the right foreground, the concrete block parsonage partially hides the little church. The large building on the far right center is the original Howard Hall, or Opera House with a false front facing southwest toward the main road and river. Cultivated fields graced the landscape across the river where U.S. Highway 50 now runs. You are standing near the far lower right corner of the photo.
Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center photo, circa 1922.
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