Tucked away in the rolling hills of Eastern Colorado are the remains of a Fondis. A once thriving ranching, logging community. There are a few building still standing and a couple of families still inhabit a couple of the old buildings. The corner church has been made into a nice home and one of ranch houses if fixed up.
Located at the end of a T intersection, Fondis looks like a mountain town. Yet it is on the high plains of Eastern Colorado. Here the elevation ranges between 6000’ to 8500’, Keeping the summers cool but a cold snowy winters. The growing season is short, so not much farming but with the winter snows it is great tree country.
Tall majestic Ponderosa reach to the tickle the clouds, lodge pole clamor for their space. Cattle graze the rich grasses in the meadows and Fondis grew up to meet the needs of these people. There were numerous lumber mills in the area and the lumber was being hauled to the cities along the Front Range. Well didn’t the mountains to the west have trees, one would think. Yes they did but they were scrawny and not ideal trees. The slopes of the mountains were to steep for holding much soil or moisture and in the meadows not much grew there. As Denver grew the demand for lumber grew. It was a busy time on the plains.
Times change, luber was cheaper from other parts of the country and there was not enough ranching to support the local businesses.
The General Store now looks across and empty valley. A state of disrepair from neglect. Time blown winds rattle through the vacant windows. Snow howls through the openings, beating the store down. A silent sentential it overlooks yesterday.
Across the street stands another abandoned store. It appears to of been used longer and had some care. Someone has bought the land behind and began building a compound. The lot next door has been dug out and will weaken the foundation of the old structure. With the ravages of nature and the fiddling of man it will probably soon be a rubble pile in its cellar.
Down the road further is another building. It appears it had some recent care but now sits empty. Many people dream of living in places like this and fix them up, only to find out how hard it is to live in the country and at times be isolated. Unless a person is ready to live without electricity for a few days. Winter can be pretty tough on the unprepared. There are not stores within several miles and the nearest neighbors are way over there.
It is an interesting place to go out of the way to visit. The ride is nice, through forested rolling hills, albeit dirt roads. Most changes are for the deteriorations of the area. Although the corner church residence has gotten a new coat of paint since when I drove through here some years back.
Being on the eastern plains, few city folks venture out. Dirt roads also give many to pause. It is nice though to travel the roads and only meet the occasional car.
There are few other old structures in the town, some real neat ranches in the area and oh yeah. Over that a way a few miles in another ghost town and down that a way are some other old relics and couple of other ghost towns. Maps talk so much more then the hi-tech of GPS.