Historic Properties in the Town of Ward


                           Ward, Colorado                         

High in a Colorado Gold Town

Historic Properties in Ward

Four Ward area properties have been named as landmarks to the National Register of Historic Properties, including the Ward Town Hall, The Historic Ward Church, the Modoc Mill, and the Denver, Boulder, and Western Historic Railway District (Switzerland Trail).

The Union Congregational Church of Ward, also known as The Historic Ward Church was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Church bell, Ward, Colorado, 1917

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Gift of the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation

Georgia O'Keeffe traveled by train over the famous Switzerland Trail of Colorado to the high mountain town of Ward, where she painted watercolors of the lakes and mountains. She also painted several watercolors of the Historic Ward Church.  Only her oil painting of the church, Church bell, Ward, Colorado survived.  It was in her personal estate when she died.

Ward Church Steeple by Carol Jenkins

Historic Ward Church, Ward, Colorado, 2012 by Pat Cypher

Ward Church, c 1896 - 1898

Each year, the Union Congregational Church holds Ward Church Days, a three-day celebration and fund raiser to help support the annual operating expenses of the Church.  An art competition is held to choose artwork that will represent the Church on its annual Ward Church Days Poster  .A painting by Hannah Shook was the competition winner in 2014.

Ward Church by Ann Gillis

Ward Church, 2013, Ann Gillis

Historic Ward Church/Union Congregational Church of Ward

The Church website had information about the Ward Church and stories about the Church and the Town of Ward.

The Ward School

The Ward School is also on the National Register.  It now serves as the Ward Post Office, Town Hall and Ward Library.

Ward School (now Post Office/Town Hall), J.B. Sturdevant, 1880-1890

The Switzerland Trail

The railroad, the Switzerland Trail of America is listed, as of 9/18/1980, as a Historic District, with the National Register of Historic Places, No. 5BL.358.1.

The railroad ran from Boulder to Ward to bring coal to the mines and transport gold ore to the mills.

Denver, Boulder & Western Railway / Switzerland Trail of America
Ward to Eldora
National Register 9/18/1980, 5BL.358.1

In 1881, the Greeley, Salt Lake and Pacific Railroad laid rails from Boulder west to the town of Sunset, and in the 1890s the successor Colorado and North Western completed the line to Ward.  Until the collapse of the local mining economy after World War I, the railroad served the area’s mines and mining community.  At its abandonment in 1919, the railroad operated under the name Denver, Boulder & Western.  Listed under Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948 Multiple Property Submission.

Modoc Mill

The Modoc Mill in the Ward Mining District is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Modoc Mill.

Modoc Mill 

Adjacent to Duck Lake, 4 miles north of Ward
National Register 12/27/1978, 5BL.359

The circa 1890 Modoc Mill is a good example of industrial architecture associated with Boulder County’s mining history.  This concentration mill of wood and metal reaches four stories in height.  The uppermost story of hewn logs received the ore.  Here gravity bins held the ore until it was fed into a crusher and the stamping apparatus below.  The 18 foot high stamping apparatus, manufactured by Griffen and Wedge of Zanesville, Ohio, consists of 30 stamps each weighing 950 pounds that are arranged in three banks of ten.  Both the mill and nearby mine closed for the last time in 1920.  The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.

Modoc Mill, Ward, Colorado

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