Car 211 departed for restoration August 17th, 2022
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History of Car 211
The town of Lake City was incorporated in 1874, a year after the Brunot Treaty with the Ute Indians represented by Chief Ouray. Lake City’s population exploded as silver and gold were discovered and mines sprung up throughout the county. Ore transportation from the mines was paramount to the success of those operations. In 1889, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) completed the 36-mile Lake City branch up the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River from Sapinero to Lake City. The railroad line transported U.S. Mail, ore, freight and passengers in early years but ore movements diminished following the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 which devalued the price of silver. With this, fewer people and freight came to Lake City and it was necessary for the railroad to optimize cars. Although originally constructed in 1881 as a narrow-gauge passenger coach, in 1900, Car 211 was converted to a combine passenger/freight car. It operated on the Lake City Branch in the early 1900’s as Lake City began promoting tourism and continued in service until 1933.