The town started in the 1880s as a saloon and water-refilling station for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. As work crews and, later, travelers came through, stores, hotels, and restaurants sprang up to accommodate them. The town’s decline coincided with the demise of the steam locomotive. Cisco’s already declining economy crashed when Interstate 70 was built, bypassing Cisco.
The Cisco area used to contain many relics of a typical old west railroad town but most of the relics are heavily damaged or gone and the town is littered with abandoned vehicles. Cisco survived long enough into the 20th century to be assigned a ZIP Code, 84515. The ghost town’s easy access and proximity to the freeway have lured vandals. While Cisco had no permanent residents for many years, on our visit this year we were met by a couple of residents, apparently part of an Art Residency group.
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