Next in the northeast Colorado beet sugar factory series is Eaton, the third factory in our area, and it was built in 1902 (the same year as the Greeley factory). It was ready to operate for the fall beet harvest of that year (called a "campaign" in sugar factory terms).
Eaton is just eight miles up the road from Greeley, on US-85, and is named after the tenth governor of Colorado, Benjamin Eaton, whose family was an early settler of the Poudre valley area in Weld County. Eaton went on to master irrigation and built some notable canals and reservoirs in his time. He is reported to have donated the sixty acres on which the Eaton sugar factory was built.
Funded and built by the Eaton Sugar Company and costing $750,000, it too was eventually bought and consolidated into the Great Western Sugar Company in 1905. The full processing capacity of the Eaton factory was 600 tons of beets per day.
The Eaton factory from around 1918, with the "shoebox" look, puffing out black smoke from its coal plant. The long flat structure on the right is the warehouse that was used to store the manufactured sugar.
The Eaton sugar factory was closed in 1977, giving it a lifetime of 75 years. It still stands today in 2009, in ruins, just east of downtown. Notice that the water tower is still apparently intact.
The always-present factory administration building up front:
Many of the sugar factories have these black stars on the brick. If you know what these are for, or what they signify, let me know!
Eaton's factory is in the same class as the one in Loveland and ours in Longmont: redevelopment has thus far been too expensive and no plan has been put forward yet that can outweigh the the environmental cleanup and demolition costs.
This factory was rare in that in had two residences on the property, perhaps for the factory manager or foreman, and an assistant. At least one other factory had dormitory rooms on the top floor of their administration building for the same purpose.
The obligatory sugar factory "railroad tracks to nowhere" picture. The Eaton factory was served by the Union Pacific line.
Another sight you'll sometimes see at old sugar factory sites are white mounds of lime. Limestone was brought in by the train cars (Wyoming was a common source), heated up in onsite kilns, and crushed to make lime powder that was used in the factory sugar extraction process. After being used, it was it was dumped outside:
One more look from the back:
Continuing series on the northeast Colorado beet sugar factories: