Farming. Railroad, Flood
Elbert is a quaint prairie town located south of Kiowa on Elbert Rd. The community was settled around 1860, and was located in the valley of Kiowa Creek. At the time it was known as Gomer's Gulch, and was named for Gomer's Sawmill. The town was made up of a post office, stores, gambling halls and saloons. The town was later moved down the creek a short distance and was renamed Elbert.
In the 1880's the Denver and New Orleans Railroad (later to become the Colorado and Southern Railroad) created a new line from Denver to Pueblo with one of the stops being Elbert. The town grew and thrived and at one time boasted three large mercantile stores, including the Russell Gates Mercantile Company, 2 banks, a post office, 2 creameries, 2 hotels and all the other businesses you would expect at that time in a country town.
Memorial Day weekend in 1935 brought disaster to Elbert when, after a month of nonstop rains, 24 inches of additional rain fell in less than 6 hours and Kiowa Creek flooded the town, destroying many businesses and homes and causing enough damage to the railroad tracks that the line was abandoned and the tracks eventually torn up.
Today, many of the historic buildings and homes that survived the flood are still standing. The Presbyterian Church, built in 1889, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Russell Gates Mercantile Building, built in 1906, is a community gathering place and is in the process of continuing restoration by the Elbert Woman's Club. The Sacred Heart Catholic Church has been lovingly restored, the old post office now houses the Naked Goat Cafe, the Elbert Mercantile is the South Forty Saloon & Café and the old lumber shed houses City Limit Antiques & Reclaimed Materials. A newer building houses a 4,000 sq. ft. antiques and art gallery (Dancing Wolf Gallery & Karmel Timmons Pencil Art Gallery). Kamerzell Brothers Well & Pump Service office is also in Elbert.
Come visit Elbert and enjoy our antique stores & restaurants. Drive thru our quiet town and take a trip back in history to a slower simpler time.