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Territorial Road Law in Colorado

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Public Roads – March 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine


Approved August 16, 1862 by the Territorial Assembly

SECTION 1. The most usually travelled roads between the following named places are hereby declared to be territorial roads, to wit:

From Denver City to Pueblo, by way of Mrs. Coberlin’s ranch and Colorado City.

From a point where the Denver City and Pueblo road leaves the Platte river, near William Fisher’s ranch, running up the east side of said river to a point on Plum creek, within one mile of its mouth, thence up Plum creek valley to the forks of East and West Plum creek, thence up the west branch to Sorter’s ranch, and thence along the base of the mountains to Monument creek, to again intersect the Denver City and Pueblo road, near Garlick’s ranch in El Paso county.

From Fort Lyon by way of Pueblo, Canyon City, Platte Valley ranch and Fairplay, to Laurette.

From Fairplay, by way of Tarryall City and Hamilton, to Jefferson.

From Hamilton to Platte Valley ranch.

From Denver City, by way of Box Elder station and Bijou station, to the junction.

From Denver City, down the Platte river, by way of St. Vrain’s, to Julesburg.

From Denver City to Golden City.

From Denver City, by way of Boulder, to Laporte.

From Young’s ranch to Canyon City, and from Turkey creek to Bley’s ranch.

From Denver City, by way of the Pennsylvania House, to Bradford.

From Denver City, up Cherry creek, to the Fountaine qui Bouille.

From St. Vrain to Golden City.

From Denver City to Golden City, by way of Boyd’s ranch, on Clear creek.

From the mouth of Cache a la Poudre to Laporte, through the Cherokee Pass, to the western boundary of this territory.

From Pueblo, by way of Greenhorn’s ranch, to Fort Garland.

From Cisco and Head’s ferry, across the Rio Grande del Norte, and from Fayette Head’s to the southern boundary of the territory.

From Fort Garland to Culebra, Costilla, Red River, Osage House.

From Greenhorn’s ranch, by James Gray’s to the Cimarron, on the south line of the territory.

From John H. Hayne’s ranch, up the Huerfano to J.B. Doyle’s, to the upper crossing of the Huerfano, by way of the Moscho Pass, to Fort Garland.

From Canyon City to Greenhorn’s ranch.

From Denver to the south boundary of Weld county on the line surveyed by the county commissioners of Arapahoe county.

SEC. 4: It shall be the duty of the commissioners, or any two of them, to meet at the time and place specified in said notices, and proceed to view said road, according to the prayer of said petitioners, and to hear such allegations as may be made for or against the change prayed for; and thereupon the board of commissioners may, in their discretion, by an order to be entered of record, particularly describing the changes made therein, re-locate such territorial road, within their county, and such road or part thereof, upon payment of all damages occasioned by the opening of the same, as hereinafter mentioned, shall be and stand in lieu of so much of such road as said commissioners shall declare vacated: Provided, That the line and direction of such road, shall not in any county, be changed farther than necessary to straighten or locate the same upon better ground; nor shall the line of any such road in any county, be so changed that the same may not connect with such road in the adjoining county or counties.

SEC. 5. All roads shall be considered public highways which have been or may hereafter be declared territorial roads by act of the legislative assembly, or which have been or may be declared public roads by the board of county commissioners of any county, within such county, or which have been or shall hereafter be used and travelled by the public, so that the same would, according to the course of the common law, be deemed public highways

SEC. 18. All territorial and other public highways are sixty feet in width, but the county commissioners, in laying out any public road under the provisions hereof, may direct that the same shall be of a less width. Cart-ways laid out from the dwelling-house of any person to a public highway, shall be of such width as the county commissioners may fix, not less than twenty, nor more than forty feet.

Exhumed from the Colorado Supreme Court Library by Doug Bennett, right-of-way specialist in the Colorado Department of Transportation.