Lamar’s colorful history began with a hijacking in May 1886. During the time of outlaws and bandits, the westward movement in full swing, township development was extremely profitable along the Santa Fe Line. The most likely site left in Southeastern Colorado for town site platting was located at Blackwell Station, (railroad mile post 499), however the adjacent land owner (A.R. Black) refused to negotiate. “Platters” threatened to move the depot and obtained title to land in Section 31. Tensions heated and Mr. Black obtained a court ordered injunction, however, hours before it was issued, a railroad wrecking crew moved the Blackwell depot three miles west to mile post 502, throwing aside the Blackwell sign and mounting the name LAMAR.
Lamar is one of Colorado’s best birding destinations. Hot spots to watch winged beauties like red-bellied woodpeckers, Inca doves and northern cardinals in and near town include John Martin Reservoir State Park (also a popular place for boating, fishing and hiking), Indian Reservoirs, Willow Creek Park and Two Buttes State Wildlife Area. Each February, the High Plains Snow Goose Festival celebrates the spring migration of giant white snow geese and is one of the best occasions to see the majestic avian species. Or hop on the Two Buttes Trail, part of the Colorado Birding Trail, in the spring or fall to catch an variety of migratory birds, including snow geese and sandhill cranes.
Named for the huge cottonwoods that lined the Arkansas River north of town, Big Timbers Museum provides artifacts and information on frontier life, the historic Dust Bowl and the site of the Camp Amache National Historic Landmark, a Japanese-American internment camp. Other attractions include the Madonna of the Trail Monument, an 18-foot high tribute to the women of the covered-wagon days. In addition, the public golf course offers 18 holes and year-round fun for the family.
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