How Deer Trail Was Made
The Town of Deer Trail was offically incoporated in 1920, but there was a lot going on before that.
Deer Trail is know as the "Home of the First Rodeo," which happened on July 4, 1869, many ranchers came and brought their best animals to see who could ride the longest. The winner got a suit of clothes and bragging rights of course.
A station and railroad were built in 1870, Kansas Pacific Railway granted and platted the land for the Town of Deer Trail in November 1875. In the following years a large stockyard, water tank, coal shute, and section houses were built. At that point Deer Trail became an important shipping point in Eastern Colorado for livestock, grain, cream, and eggs. Deer Trail was also a popular place for cattleman from New Mexico and Texas, in the spring they would bring large herds of calves to brand, and then in the fall to ship and sell them.
There were also many business built starting in the 1920's, the Fair Association was formed in 1920 & an artesian well was drilled and a water tower put up in 1923. Deer Trail had 2 banks, 2 lumber companies, 2 barber shops, 3 hotels, 5 grocery stores, several cream stations, a drug store, theater, bakery, a doctor & dentist office, newspaper, & multiple cafes. The town flourished until the depression of 1930.
The flood in June of 1965 did further damage to the town, multiple homes and business were destroyed and most were never rebuilt. The East Bijou Creek flood hit Deer Trail on June 17, 1965, leaving a path of destruction, washing out bridges, and the construction of I-70.