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This Colorado Town Got Completely Erased by a Devastating Avalanche

Have you ever heard of Woodstock, Colorado?

It’s not surprising if you haven’t, considering the town’s past — an avalanche completely destroyed it in 1884.

Here’s what happened.

What is Woodstock, Colorado?

Woodstock is a ghost town near the city of Pitkin in Gunnison County. If you visit, you’ll find building remnants and a sign explaining the tragedy.

Before the avalanche, Colorado Artifactual reports that Woodstock was home to nearly 200 people, most of whom worked at the nearby Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway.

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Founded in 1881, it had cabins, a telegraph office, a water tank, a saloon, and a boarding house.

How the Avalanche Destroyed the Town

On March 10, 1884, an avalanche buried the entire town of Woodstock. According to the town’s sign, a resident said that “the crashing and roaring was like the tearing away of a mountainside.”

The avalanche killed 13 people, which the town notes is “the highest avalanche fatality count in the state.”

Courtesy of Emily Mashak // TSM.
Courtesy of Emily Mashak // TSM.

Among the victims were the six children of Marcella Doyle, a beloved Woodstock resident and owner of the boarding house. Rescuers who traveled from nearby towns by train saved Doyle and four other townspeople (only residents were in town at the time).

What Happened After the Avalanche

Considering the dangerous location of the town, Woodstock remained abandoned after the avalanche. Today, the disaster is known as the “White Death.”

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According to OutThere Colorado, rumor has it that a ghostly train rolls through the town on the anniversary of the tragedy.

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