Pine Elk Creek Improvement Association

Pine Grove History Park

The quest to create a small public park in Pine Grove began many years ago. In 2013, an opportunity appeared that allowed the Pine-Elk Creek Improvement Association (PECIA) to begin the actual creation of a park. After several years and help from many, PECIA was able to purchase a small .76 acre of land from the North Fork Fire Protection District, which owned it at the time. After additional work, the Pine Grove History Park was officially created on February 11, 2020.

The land was originally part of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad (later Colorado and Southern RR) and nothing remained in Pine Grove except original and visible narrow gauge rail beds. The railroad arrived in Pine Grove in 1878 and the town grew in this sunny wide spot of the river valley. The town was formed in 1886 when Charles and Nancy Dake visited and fell in love with the beauty of the area. Extra helper engines, coal chutes, a wye and train depot were important parts of that railroad system in Pine Grove. The town became a tourist destination in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Fish trains came from Denver and many folks camped and fished along the steep Platte Canon until 1937 when the train system shut down.

In 1973, The North Fork National Historic District (NFNHD) was created and placed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Pine Grove anchors the west side of the district while the South Platte Hotel is on the east part of the district. The area was recognized for its contribution to transportation, agriculture, commerce and tourism. This history park complements other recent improvements to NFNHD such as the Pine Grove Community Center, the Pine Grove Cemetery and the Westall Monument. Other restoration projects in the historic district include the Blue Jay Inn and the South Platte Hotel.

The Pine Grove History Park is continuing to improve. Previously, volunteers re-built the narrow-gauge tracks and two rail cars were donated and placed on the tracks; the cars have been painted and re-lettered. A fenced parking area has been created. Two park benches and a picnic table are part of the park.

In 2023, volunteers plan to place educational signs and a main sign in the park. Some landscaping and flower beds will be planted.

The Pine-Elk Creek Improvement Association would like to sincerely thank the people and organizations that have been instrumental in bringing the Pine Grove History Park to life.

Donors / Helpers

South Platte Enhancement BoardTom and Denise KlingerJason Midyette
The Denver FoundationClifford Beem, attorneyDave Rainey
Coalition for the Upper South PlatteJune Wegener, realtorBob and Patty McIlvaine
Rocky Mountain Railroad Historical Foundation/ Rocky Mt. Railroad ClubDeborah Andrews, historical architect; former Jefferson Cty. Historical Commission chairwomanMichael Sahlin
Colorado Railroad MuseumFred Lantz, traffic designerRuss Wilsey
Jefferson County CommissionersAndrew ToddLarry Mizner
Jefferson County Planning and ZoningLarry and Shelly MeansSteve Ward
Jefferson County Historical CommissionJim McCoyDebera Johnson
Jeffco Open SpaceEarl BoyerConifer Excavating
SRC ExcavationMichelle Rache, Denver Water Comm. OutreachStacy Miller, professional painter
Argyle Mining COCliff and Laurie BaumerMr. Lindsay Ashby
Howard and Tricia McCarthyLeonard and Linda WalmsleyRonnie Newman
Mr. Bob Schope, president, Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad Historical SocietyJohn Hallinan, descendant of C&S railroaders

Park Landscape Workers

Joan MacDonaldEileen DukesAnn Thran
Jen ReillyDeb JohnsonNancy Kaskel
Mary HarrisPatty McilvaineBrandy Aagenes
Dolores SynovacJames SynovacBethany Cowell
Ashley ChristiansenKari TornowKristin Reffett
Carly MartinShelly MeansRuss Wilsey
Todd HeringJohn GravesLarry Mizner