Punkin Center, Colorado
Punkin Center is one of those wide spots where two highways cross, SH 71 and 94. Here at the junction, there used to be the gas station, restaurant, store, and garage. The state highway dept. also has a district shop at the junction. Years ago, the intersection was a busy place. Cars would stop for fuel and the café stayed busy.
The fella that ran the gas station was a true westerner. He carried a side arm on his hip and more then once, the presence of the pistol thwarted a robbery. Late 1940’s, the proprietor was not so successful.
Couple young joy riders stopped for gas and overpowered the owner. In the ensuing scuffle the owner of the gas station was killed during the robbery.
The county Sheriff, investigated, gathered evidence, went back to his office. Making calls to adjoin counties and asking about incidents in their areas, The local sheriff was able to garner some leads. After a year and half of investigation, the Sheriff gained enough evidence and information to arrest a couple from the valley down south.
Two young men were out joy riding and they decided they were going to stop at the gas station, fill up, then rob the owner. During the robbery, they also killed the attendant. Which resulted in a lifetime visit at the Canon City Hotel.
Today, Punkin Center is pretty quiet, the traffic passes through the junction. The north/south flying through. The east/west, pausing to salute the stop sign. The highway dept still has their district shop there and a few folks still call Punkin Center home.
Punkin Center is the home of the World Championship Garden Tractor Pulling. Through the summer, the garden tractors take center stage. There is a pulling course and the garden tractors roar down the track.