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Founded near where the Union Pacific tracks cross the often dry Big Sandy River and given the misspelled Spanish name for a dry gully, Aroya, like so many other small high plains towns, is struggling to stay on the map even though the post office has closed. As if to signal the town's distress, resident sculptor Owen Moreland used scrap iron and other rusting relics of the plains to construct a 35-foot-high lighthouse that has become the town's landmark. The notable schoolhouse, now abandoned, is a clapboard building with a hipped roof rising to an open bell tower with a flagpole and separate, arched entrances for boys and girls at the front corners. Many western schools did away with the eastern school custom of separating the sexes; this is a rare Colorado example of front-door discrimination.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Aroya", [Hugo, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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