Discover historic Como Colorado

Linehouse at Boreas Pass

Linehouse at Boreas Pass – Photo Credit: Steve Collins

The sleepy little town of Como, Colorado is a hidden treasure. Established in 1879, it was once a bustling railroad town. Today it’s the town that time forgot. Because there’s been no development here, much of it remains the way it was. Sadly, much of the town was destroyed in a 1909 fire and not rebuilt. Miners heading out from Denver for the gold rush towns of Leadville and Breckenridge rode the train over Boreas Pass.

You can get to Como two ways. You can get there via US 285 just east of Fairplay or you can drive the dirt road over Boreas Pass from Breckenridge. Both routes are scenic, but, if you can, go over Boreas. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the world. You could be back in mining’s glory days. The views of mountain peaks and the valley below on the way up to the top of the pass from Breck (as locals call it) are stunning.

The road crosses the Continental Divide at the top of the pass, 11,481 feet above sea level. The old railroad section house and some outbuildings are here. Park and explore the area. The small, abandoned  “town” built in the 1880s to house Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad (DSP &P RR) workers, was abandoned when train service stopped in 1937. Another way to cross Boreas Pass is via mountain bike. You’ll get a good workout.

Daisy Stark's headstone, Como, CO cemetery

Daisy Stark’s headstone, Como, CO cemetery – Photo Credit: Steve Collins

Como sits serenely at the bottom of the pass.  As you drive into town, look for the cemetery on the right. It’s down a dirt road guarded by a lone brown building and set in a grove of aspen trees. Look carefully. There are things to be discovered in this peaceful, overgrown oasis that are hidden from sight. It took a while to realize there were secrets were here. We’d been told to look for Daisy Stark, we’re not sure why. We discovered her gravestone hidden amongst the verdant greenery. It’s a peaceful spot to spend eternity.

Como Eating House by Clinton Scott ca. 1898

Como Eating House by Clinton Scott ca. 1898

Further down the road on your left you’ll discover both the Como Depot and the Eating House. The buildings, owned by husband and wife team, David Tomkins and Moya Cleave, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Depot is being restored to its pre-1910 condition. When the project is completed, it will serve as a museum of Como and local railroad history.

The Eating House, a hotel and B & B, was built in 1897 to replace the original 1879 Pacific Hotel built in 1879.It’s currently under renovation. The term “eating house” was used for hotels where guests could get a room and a meal. Stop by for lunch of dinner when you explore Como or you can even spend the night. Tomkins loves sharing the history of the town and his property with visitors when he’s not busy running his restaurant and inn and working on his projects. All you have to do is ask.

A short hop on US 285 takes you to Fairplay. Take a right onto CO 9 and head back to Breck over the 11,542 feet Hoosier Pass or continue on your way on 285.
Billie FrankGuest Writer Billie Frank is a freelance writer, travel blogger and travel-consultant. She is passionate about her adopted hometown, Santa Fe, NM. Her articles have appeared in print and online. She recently consulted with a major publisher on an update of a Santa Fe Guide. You can read her blog at http://www.santafetravelers.com/

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