Last year the Elbert County Museum opened a new exhibit on the Smoky Hill Trail. The exhibit started with the Native American Indians, then to the Trail’s beginning in 1859 as the shortest, though most dangerous route, for the gold seekers to get to the Rocky Mountains.
This year we opened the second phase of the exhibit covering the ending of the Trail by introducing the railroads. Elbert County had three railroads. The first railroad to enter the county was the Kansas Pacific (KP) in 1870. The next railroad to enter the county was the Denver, New Orleans and Gulf (DNO) in 1882. And the last railroad, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (RI), came in 1888.