Exploring Colorado’s Eastern Plains, 5 Things to Know About Cope
In my lifetime, I haven't encountered many folks who have ever been to Cope, Colorado let alone that have heard of it.
There's nothing extraordinary about the tiny town of Cope, though it is certainly an intriguing place. It's possible this is exactly what the middle of nowhere looks like.
My father was born and raised on a farm just outside of Cope, and so my childhood was filled with frequent visits to Cope and to the farm to visit grandma and grandpa. One of the highlights of a stay at the farm was a trip into town with grandpa to get fresh milk in a big glass jar at the dairy. Of course, Sunday mornings always meant a visit to the Cope Assembly of God Church.
Over the years, we've held family reunions in the Cope Community Building and tossed horseshoes in the town park. The only issue I have with the town is that when you get a hankering for tacos or a spicy chicken sandwich, it's a long way to the nearest drive-thru.
I still get back to Cope on a rare occasion, though the farm is all but gone. Still, this place brings back precious memories. It's unlikely you'll ever visit Cope, but at least let me give you five little factoids about this tiny Colorado town and enjoy a few Cope photos.
Cope is located in Washington, County in northeastern Colorado, about 45 miles from the Kansas border on Highway 36. Though you can probably find some gas or food in nearby Joes or Kirk, the nearest real commerce is 40-60 minutes away in towns like Yuma, Akron, and Burlington.
The town of Cope was named for Johnathon C. Cope. He was a railroad employee sent there to homestead a terminal site. There has been a Cope post office since 1889.
The population of Cope is 169 and dropping, according to the most recent figures. In 2007, the population was reported to be near 600.
Historically, tornado activity in the Cope area is above the state average, and about 17% above the national average. In 1993, an F3 tornado near Cope injured six people and caused thousands of dollars in damage. In 1996, another category F3 tornado caused $300,000 in damage.
Cope is so small, the commute time to work is measured in seconds not minutes. The town is so small, you can enter and leave the city limits simultaneously.