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Quirky Colorado - Page 2

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Genoa's Wonder Tower

Rising sixty feet above the flat eastern plains of Colorado on U.S. Highway 24 east of Limon is the Genoa Wonder Tower. This one time popular roadside stop was built by Charles W. Gregory in 1926, a railroad engineer and entrepreneur. Looking a little like an out of place lighthouse on the vast prairie, the attraction initially included a motel, restaurant, and gas station. During this golden age of travel, these were referred to as "one stops."

When the attraction first opened, Gregory, touted as Colorado’s P.T. Barnum of the time, would stand at the top of the tower, yelling through a megaphone at passing cars enticing them to stop. 

Over the years, Gregory added to his dream by covering the wood-frame additions with stone and converting the interior into imitation caverns. The site became an official Greyhound bus station and a popular truck stop. However, when Gregory died in 1942, the property fell into disrepair and ten years later, when the attraction was bypassed by Interstate 70, it proved almost to be a death kneel.

 

Genoa Wonder Tower vintage postcard.

The motel, station, and restaurant are long gone, but the tower itself still stands, continuing to invite travelers for a roadside stop. Inside, you'll find a large collection of Native American artifacts and animal monstrosities, including a two-headed calf. Looking a bit more like a flea market than a museum, you will also see more than 20,000 Indian arrowheads, fossils, a wide array of bottles and insulators, farm implements and other antiques.

As you approach this vintage roadside attraction, don’t be fooled by the cars parked outside the tower that are no more than rusting hulks. A ruse to make passing travelers think that crowds are flocking to the attraction, it gimmick further perpetuates itself with dummies peeking from the windows in the tower above.

Genoa's Wonder Tower promises a view of six states once you climb its steep stairs. On a clear day you will supposedly see Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico and South Dakota. While this may be a bit of an exaggeration, the tower does provide a magnificent view of the high plains and the distant mountains.

Providing westbound tourists their first sight of the Rocky Mountains, this vintage roadside attraction is worth a stop to view its wide array of bizarre exhibits.

 

Contact Information:

The Wonder Tower
I-70 Exit 371

30121 Frontage Rd
Genoa, Colorado 80818
719-763-2309

 

 

Frozen Dead Guy in Nederland

 

This small village about twenty minutes west of Boulder celebrates Frozen Dead Guy Days, a festival held in late winter every year in this quirky little mining town. Honoring a cryogenically frozen man, who is kept in a shed in Nederland, the festival features a parade led by the Grim Reaper, a coffin race, a polar bear plunge into icy waters and much more.

 

 

 

Coffin Race

 

 

Dying in Norway in 1989, Grandpa Bredo Morstoel's body was frozen and eventually brought to Nederland, where his grandson lived.

 

At first the village of Nederland was not happy with Grandpa Bredo's icy presence, but they soon "warmed" up to the idea, so much so, that it resulted in Frozen Dead Guy Days, in an effort to drum up tourism in this sleepy little village.

 

You can read the whole story of Grandpa Bredo, by clicking HERE.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated August, 2011.

 

 

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