You Really Need to See One of Colorado’s Youngest Ghost Towns
There's a ghost town in northern Colorado that's fairly young. While no one lives in this tiny abandoned town, some of the structures look to be somewhat contemporary, and a few graves are fairly recent. What happened to Keota, Colorado?
Typically, when one thinks of a Colorado ghost town, they conjure up images of dilapidated mining structures and buildings falling in on themselves. This abandoned town includes dwellings that look to be very 1950-ish and gravestones as recent as 2013.
Welcome to Keota, Colorado - Population Zero
You'll find Keota, Colorado in the northeast portion of the state, 60 miles east of Fort Collins, and 51 miles west of Sterling. A short 18 miles away you'll find the unincorporated town of Briggsdale.
The website Life...Death...Iron reports the town of Keota dates to the 1880s when two sisters, Mary and Eva Beardsley, built a homestead in present-day Weld County. In 1888, the sisters sold the homestead to the Lincoln Land and Cattle Company. A few more farmers and ranchers established roots at the spot.
Railroad Passing Through Keota, Colorado
The town was established when the Colorado-Wyoming spur of the Burlington Railroad passed through Keota in the late-1800s. Take a good look at the map of Keota, and you'll not see a body of water anywhere. Life...Death...Iron adds the railroad brought water to be stored in the huge water tank on the northwest corner of town. The water tank still stands today.
The video above was recorded only a few days ago in February 2023. You'll notice your hosts look mighty cold. Even today, Friday, March 3, 2023, as of 10 a.m. the temperature near Keota is still well below freezing.
Why Did Everyone Leave Keota?
Eventually, the train stopped passing through Keota. The tracks were pulled up in 1975. The last resident pulled up stakes in 1999.
Visit the abandoned town, and you'll find a couple of old houses, a church, the water tower, the remains of a general store, and a barn or two.
Does Anyone Remember?
Absolutely. Life...Death...Iron reports that until recently, former residents of Keota would gather each year for a reunion. Every Christmas an anonymous person places a wreath on the door of the Methodist church.
According to Merriam-Webster, a ghost town is defined as "A once-flourishing town wholly or nearly deserted usually as a result of the exhaustion of some natural resource." Take a quick tour of this "young" ghost town. You'll notice a certain mixture of old and new. While the town has been abandoned for some time, some newer homes have been built on the prairie near Keota. Oil exploration companies and Weld County workers pass through the town from time to time, leaving an occasional footprint.