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Dolores Colorado - Mile Post 102.3 - Elev. 6957ft.
Contributed by Jerry Clark - Photos by Thomas A. Cruse
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Dolores, located on Colorado Route 145 between Durango and Rico, is the home of the Galloping Goose Historical Society. Visitors can visit the restored RGS depot and Goose #5. Goose #5 was purchased in 1952 by the Dolores Rotary Club after the RGS was abandoned. It sat in a local park until 1987 when the Galloping Goose Society of Dolores was formed to restore the little motorcar. After receiving a number of grants, work began on a reproduction of the Dolores depot in 1990. Work was completed in 1993. Today the operation of the Depot/Museum/Visitors Center is a joint venture of the Historical Society, the Dolores Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Dolores and the National Forest Service. On September 24, 1994 Goose #5 was moved from Flanders Park to a section of track located in front of the depot. Work to restore it to operating condition continues. For further information, the Society can be contacted at PO Box 297, Dolores, CO 81323 or by phone at 970-882-7082.

A number of private logging lines branched off at a number of locations on the RGS Southern Division at one time or another, and provided substantial income to the RGS. The stands of western yellow pine north and east of Dolores covered hundreds of square miles. In 1924, the US government sold the logging rights to 400 million board feet of lumber in Montezuma National Forest to the New Mexico Lumber Company. New Mexico Lumber already owned large tracts of timber adjacent to the National Forest and the acquisition of additional timber rights provided the incentive to build a sawmill and company town at McPhee, 5 miles from Dolores. A 3 foot gauge logging road was built in the Spring of 1924 and interchanged with the RGS at Dolores. Equipment on the line consisted of engines purchased from the D&RGW, gondolas from the C&S, and flatcars from the Hallack & Howard Lumber Company which had been originally constructed from old RGS rolling stock.

By 1929, the track ran 26 miles above McPhee. The population of McPhee reached 1500 that year. However, the Great Depression forced the company into bankruptcy in 1930. The company reorganized in 1932. In order to reduce costs, all trackage above McPhee was removed and sold for scrap as the company shifted to moving logs down to the mill by truck. The company failed again after a mill fire in 1934. The Montezuma Lumber Company took over operations in the late 1930's. After another mill fire, Montezuma was sold to new owners and another mill was constructed at McPhee in 1944. Montezuma purchased D&RGW C-16 Number 271 and ran it between McPhee and Dolores for a number of years. It was scrapped after its crown sheet was burned in 1946. Montezuma then purchased D&RGW C-19 Number 346 for use on the lumber train. After yet another fire which totally destroyed the new mill in 1948, the line was scrapped. Bob Richardson purchased the 346 and took it to his Narrow Gauge Motel in Alamosa in the early 1950's. Now at the Colorado Railroad Museum, the 346 has been totally restored and runs a number of times each year at the Museum in Golden.

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Dolores Photo Gallery
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