PALISADE, Colo. — The Palisade Historical Society announced today its newest booklet, “The History of Railroads in Palisade, Colorado” by Matt Darling has been published. This is a 40-page booklet of photos and information about the fascinating story of the significant impact the railroads had on the growth and prosperity of Palisade. Every detail is discussed from the fact that the railroads did not go through Palisade until 1890, up to the modern trains of today.
Matt began building scale model trains at age six and has a positively encyclopedic knowledge of railroads and railroad history. He is a published railroad historian with a passion for Colorado and Utah rail history. Matt is also the Curator of Cross Orchards historic site of the Museums of Western Colorado and the museum’s railroad historian.
“It’s been great fun working with the Palisade Historical Society to get this unique story and wonderful photos widely available to the community and especially railfans,” said Matt.
The booklet’s printing was underwritten by the Rio Grande Federal Credit Union, a member-owned, not-for-profit company whose original members were railroad employees. It is the fourth in the series of booklets about Palisade created by the Historical Society.
“The railroad is an integral part of Palisade’s unique history,” said Priscilla Walker, chairman of the Palisade Historical Society who also served as editor. The booklet is based on two programs which Matt gave for the Palisade Historical Society. “Both events were packed with rail enthusiasts who stayed attentive for the hour plus programs. Since then, we acquired additional photos of trains and both depots to help illustrate Palisade’s surprising railroad history” she added.
Other contributors included Vicki Sea who transcribed Matt’s original presentation, Lisa Harmon graphic artist, and Gayle Madden photo artist who improved the photos and route maps.
The booklet is available from the Palisade Historical Society for a donation of $15 with a $5 discount for Historical Society members. It also can be purchased at the Museums of the West gift shop and Out West Books in downtown Grand Junction, and Lithic Bookstore in Fruita.