NAME: Bickford
COUNTY: Blaine
CLIMATE: You never know...
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Fall/ Early Spring
COMMENTS: Not much left of this place as the elements seem to have swallowed this small town's history. Only sporatic foundations and open systerns (old water wells) have been found to date. Be very careful in this area as we almost fell in one on our excursion. How creepy.
REMAINS: open cysterns, foundations, artifacts if you looked.
This town was a gypsum mining town just one to two miles north of what is now the north Lake Watonga dam in Roman Nose State Park. The main upper road in Roman Nose that takes you to Lake Watonga used to be the old railroad tracks that led to Bickford's mining operation that used to be right in the middle of Lake Watonga. Nothing remained of the mills when the lake was constructed and later filled in by the Big Spring- any mill remains were cleaned out by CCC volunteers in the days of the Great Depression. The likes of Jesse James, Dalton, Doolin,Black-Yeagar gangs usually stopped into this town when in the area to wet the dust in their throats. The next canyon to the east of Roman Nose canyon is supposed to be fabled of having various hidden caches from these infamous outsiders' successful jobs. We took a team of explorers in one time and looked for any hidden stashes but turned up nothing but an old wagon wheel. The area is alive with artifacts if you keep your nose to the ground. Submitted by: Raymond Fritz