An eastern journalist once wrote that Julesburg was “the wickedest city in the West.” In 1867, Union Pacific deemed the town the “end of track” and the frontier outpost immediately became one of Colorado Territory’s biggest towns, teeming with swindlers, prostitutes, bounty hunters, and other Western rogues. Storefronts lining the dusty streets were dominated by saloons, brothels, and gambling dens. Amidst all the drinking and whore-mongering, a guy known as “Blacksnake” used to whip cigars out of people’s mouths. But soon Cheyenne became UP’s new end of track, and most of the wickedness moved on.
So where does modern Julesburg rank on the wickedness scale? Not very high. On my research trip, only one bar was identified, and zero brothels.