Basalt History Tour
The Colorado Midland Depot
Railroad Depot was the Transportation Hub of the Roaring Fork Valley
The durable Colorado Midland Depot in Basalt has had a wide and varied career over its 127 years of existence and is still going strong today.
Constructed in 1886, the Railroad Depot was the first passenger loading area and mail station in the central valley. Many a newly arrived resident spent their first night on the benches of the depot. As the transportation hub of the valley and the location of Basalt’s main industry, the Depot was a source of pride and the center of the town.
In 1892 a fire devastated the western end of town, completely destroying the depot, which was quickly rebuilt. In the large, slightly hazy photo of the new depot, notice that there are signs on the doors for the ladies’ and gents’ separate waiting rooms, and some female passengers visible in the window on the left.
By 1919 the railroad departed Basalt and the Depot, starting the quiet years. To allow for streets to be added, the building was moved 80 feet to the southeast where you stand today. From 1930, the building has been repurposed as an International Harvester dealership; a cheese factory; a liquor store; “Swede’s Standard Garage,” a service station with a pizza place and an ice cream parlor; and then the Basalt Bank. In 1976 Alpine Bank purchased the structure, did an extensive remodel and brought it to its current state.