Pop. 944

In 1862, a man known as Mr. Allen opened a way station here that he constructed from the black cottonwood trees growing along the nearby creek. Soon, the outpost had grown to include a hotel, saloon, store, and a stage station entitled “The Cottonwood House.” Although it was established during the gold rush, the settlement became known as a cattle round-up center and wasn’t officially incorporated until 1901. In 1908, the railroad pulled into town, along with a devastating fire that first tore through the saloon before burning the post office and several other buildings to the ground. The fire created $250,000 in damages. However, using the single surviving building (the brick German State Bank) as a foundation, community residents rebuilt their town. Today, the quiet community is a gateway to area recreation and exploration.

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