The History of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in Castle Rock
The Denver & Rio Grande Railway was created by General William Palmer. It came through Castle Rock in 1871. After Castle Rock was designated as the County Seat, a depot was built here in Castle Rock in 1875. Come learn more about the creation of the railway and it’s impact on Castle Rock and Douglas County.
On Permanent Display
See the stone that was mined/quarried from 1872-1906, and learned how it was formed over 37 million years ago, and used to build some of Castle Rock’s well known historic buildings and houses.
Continental Divide Raceway
On Permanent Display
Continental Divide Raceways was a combined 2.66-mile road course, a half-mile oval and a quarter-mile drag strip located about 2 miles south of Castle Rock, Co, between Denver and Colorado Springs on the west side of Interstate 25. It opened in 1959 and was closed about 1983 when the land was sold for development. This was one of the premier race tracks in America during the heyday of sports car racing in the 1960’s.
CDR was in a great natural location. It was a wonderfully challenging and entertaining track for competitors. The road race and drag race spectators were able to view all the action from the stands located on the hillside overlooking the track.
A number of USAC and SCCA professional races, including on Trans-Am race, were run at CDR. The track attracted racers such as Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt as well as stars like James Garner and Dick Smothers. Drag racers such as Tommy Ivo and Don Garlits were other notables from the racing community that appeared at the track. The track closed for a time after an accident in 1979 in which a driver died, another person in the pit lane was killed and several others were injured. The track reopened in 1981 for motorcycle racing and at least one sanctioned SCCA race. Various driver schools were held at the track through 1983 including the BMW Car Club’s nation Oktoberfest.
Although the site was sold for development, little actual construction has taken place. The track itself was plowed up so that it could not be reopened as a racing facility. The Castle Rock Museum chose to remember this brief but exciting part of Castle Rock history with a major exhibit in 2009 and now has a permanent exhibit on display at the museum.