Welcome to Branson, Colorado
The Southernmost Town In Colorado.
Branson, Colorado is located in Las Animas County, approximately 0.3 miles north of the New Mexico border on State Highway 389. Surrounded by a mesa on the Great Plains, Branson is the southernmost town in Colorado.
Known initially as Wilson Switch, the settlement's name came from a nearby switch in the Denver, Texas, and Fort Worth Railroad that followed a minor route of the Santa Fe Trail. In 1915, a post office opened, and the settlement then became known as Coloflats. In 1918 a depot was established on the townsite that Josiah F. Branson platted, and the settlement's name became Branson in his honor.
At the time of Branson's incorporation as a town in 1921, Branson had: a bank, a bean elevator, a drug store, a general store, a meat market, two blacksmith shops, two dry goods stores, two hardware stores, two lumber yards, three garages, three hotels, and seven grocery stores.
The population peaked at 1,000 in 1923 before the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression changed everything. The population was recorded as 57 by the 2020 Census.
Sights Around Branson, Colorado
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Welcome To Colorful Colorado
Located a quarter-mile south of Branson, Colorado, this Welcome To Colorful Colorado sign is one of forty-two signs that welcome travelers to Colorado.
These signs date back to 1950 when the State Publicity Director decided that Colorado needed unique signage to help establish the State's identity. The Colorado State Penitentiary created the wooden signs with white lettering, and the first sign went up at Raton Pass.
After forty years, many of the signs were shot up and worn out. So the State tried to replace the old welcome signs with new weatherproof signs designed by a college student that had won a contest. Unfortunately, there was considerable public outcry over this change. So, eight years later, the Colorado Department of Transportation brought back the classic Welcome To Colorful Colorado signs.
Have you ever stopped to take a selfie in front of one of these signs?