The town of Lamar resulted from an argument between landowners that ended with a railroad crew removing an existing depot, moving it three miles west and renaming it. Although the town's history is spirited, the present-day lifestyle in southeastern Colorado is quite tame.
Located along Route 50 and home to one of Colorado's Welcome Centers, Lamar remains a smart place to start a journey through the state. Staff will not only detail the history of Lamar, but will also give visitors brochures and maps covering the whole state. The welcome center is also a bit of an attraction itself. Located in a restored 1907 train depot, the center features a train engine and 100-year-old windmill and water tank; it's the only location to include all three elements with a historic depot.
Named for the huge cottonwoods that lined the Arkansas River north of town, Big Timbers Museum provides artifacts and information on frontier life, the historic Dust Bowl and the site of the Camp Amache National Historic Landmark, a Japanese-American internment camp. Annual events like the High Plains Snow Goose Festival bring people to town to enjoy Lamar's beautiful plains setting.
Other attractions include the Madonna of the Trail Monument, an 18-foot high tribute to the women of the covered-wagon days. In addition, the public golf course offers 18 holes and year-round fun for the family. Nearby, John Martin Reservoir State Park is a top spot for fishing, boating, hiking and birdwatching. Lamar provides a great location to watch the spring migration of giant white snow geese.