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Howbert is a defunct community that existed from 1887 to 1933 in southeastern Park County in central Colorado. Begun as an outpost of the former Colorado Midland Railway, it was named for Irving Howbert, who was an organizer and officer of Colorado Midland, a former member of the Colorado State Senate, a banker, silver mine owner, and a founder with General William Jackson Palmer of Colorado Springs. Irving Howbert never lived in the community. Howbert and two nearby communities were fully submerged under Eleven Mile Reservoir in Eleven Mile State Park.


Howbert was a ranching outpost, where an eight-thousand-head cattle sale was concluded in August 1907. The community was first called Dell’s Camp, presumably for B. R. Dell, who had opened a general store there before the arrival of the railroad. The United States Post Office opened in Howbert in December 1887. The next year, 125 lots were platted on land owned by James M. Petty. To accommodate growth in the community, Dell constructed a three-story building in 1888. The store and post office operated on the ground level. The basement was used for storage and the upstairs as a church and meeting hall.





Current Status:

Though it had been called “the liveliest town in the county for its size”, little remains of Howbert today. There is a functioning Howbert Campground in the area.


The water needs of the city and county of Denver were increasing as the area grew. The Eleven Mile Canyon Dam was built from 1930 to 1932. The Howbert public school was relocated just before 1930. In 1933, the completion of the dam caused the South Platte River to flood Howbert, Idlewild, and Freshwater Station, as well as nearby ranches. An extension of the dam in 1957 buried more ranch land. The capacity of the reservoir was brought to nearly 98,000 acre-feet of water. The dam was the largest artificial body of water in Colorado at that time. It is one of seven reservoirs which still contribute to the drinking water of the Denver area.