The Cherrelyn Gravity and Bronco Street Railway
Yesterday.....
The Cherellyn Horse Car Line, part of Denver's first transportation system, was built in 1883 by the Southside Investment Company as a tramway which ceased service in 1892. That year, M.C. Bogue and his wife Harrietta proposed running a horse car on the old tramway tracks. A car was found, which was about to be scrapped by the Denver City Railway, because they had converted to cable operation. The small car, No. 55, was manufactured by the Woeber Carriage Works of Denver, and was pulled by a single horse. The line consisted of one and one half miles of track on a fairly steep incline beginning at Hampden and Broadway. Travelers rode at a leisurely pace to the far end of the line where a small shopping district called Cherrelyn awaited. At this point the horse, since it obviously could not pull the car back DOWN the hill, was unhitched. A ramp was put in position and the horse was backed up onto the cars rear platform. Using gravity, the car would than coast back down the hill to its starting point with the cars operator handling the brake. The trip up the hill was said to take fifteen minutes, while the return trip only took three. The fare to ride was five cents, but was later raised to a dime. A number of horses pulled the car, the most famous being 'Old Dick'. 'Old Dick' was the last to pull the car and died just a few weeks after the line was discontinued in 1910, some say from a broken heart. The line had several drivers, including Mr. Bogue, Robert Haddow, John Matthews, Stan Lassla and James O'Brien. O'Brien took over daily operations for Mr. Bogue in 1902 and bought the line from him in 1908. It continued in service for two more years until its franchise expired and was not renewed. The line ceased operations in 1910. In 1911, the horse car was sold to Mr. Liebhart. His children used it as a playhouse for many years. In 1950, Mr. Liebhart's heirs offered the car to the Englewood Rotary Club, who spent $500 to refurbish it and gave it to the City of Englewood. As evidenced by the famous postcard above, the Horse Car was a popular attraction to both riders and photographers alike, as many various pictures of the line in operation survive.

Above: a white horse believed to be "Gladstone", awaits his ride back down the hill.


The Car:
Length: 18 feet
Width: 6 feet
Height: 10 feet
Carried on a 4 wheel truck with iron wheels, measuring 5 feet from center to center
Exterior: painted yellow with brown trim, stained glass clestory windows
Front platform: 31 inches by 63 inches
Rear platform: 46 inches by 33 inches
Interior: one eleven foot long seat on each side, covered in flowered cloth
7 feet from floor to ceiling at the tallest point

Above: was this "Old Dick", the last horse to pull the car?


Today.....

Today the car is beautifully displayed in the lobby of the Englewood Civic Center along with historic photographs and other memorabilia, safe from the elements, where it can be enjoyed by all.



"Lets take a trip, on memory's ship, back to the long ago.
Back to the days, and old-fashioned ways, Mother and Dad used to know.
Let's take a ride on the old horse car, that goes up to Cherrelyn.
Oh the horse pulls you up, then he gets inside, and he rides back down again.
You wear your best Sunday bonnet, I'll bring my old mandolin.....
And we'll take a ride on the old horse car, that goes up to Cherrelyn."


----The Old Horse Car (That goes up to Cherrelyn)
Music and lyrics by Forrest Johnson and Ozie Waters


I would like to extend my thanks to the City of Englewood Colorado, especially representatives of the City Managers office, for making possible my visit to document and photograph the car as it is today. The kindness I was shown and the access I was granted in order to gather this record is gratefully acknowledged.

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