This ghost town was originally named “Rock Island” but was later changed by the Rock Island and Pacific Railroad to “Glenrio” or “Glen Rio”. The name was a curious choice, however, since “glen” means “valley” and “rio” means “river” – neither of those geographical features are anywhere near this town that sprung up in the early 1900’s.
The area was opened to farmers for settlement as early as 1905 with 150-acre tracts of land for sale. A railroad depot was established the following year, and with farmers and ranchers settling in the area, freight and cattle shipments and the introduction of farming created the need for other businesses.
This article has been enhanced and published in the June 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine. Other articles in this issue include: “On a Whim and a Bet: America’s First Coast-to-Coast Road Trip”, “Victorian Pastimes: Girdling the Globe”, “Victorian Fashion: Bicycles, Bloomers and Suffrage”, and more. Preview the issue here or purchase here.
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