Ovid & Sedgwick, Colorado

  • Interviews By
  • Grace Hood
  • Photos By
  • Hart Van Denburg
  • Map
Mayor Sullivan on the tracks
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Ovid Mayor Mike Sullivan on the railroad tracks in Ovid, east of Julesburg. Ovid grew up as a sugar beet processing center between the two world wars, and during World War as many as 400 German prisoners of war were housed in the town and put to work harvesting beets and potatoes.

McCoy and Mason
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Ovid Mayor Mike Sullivan’s sons,  McCoy, left, and Mason are two of the youngest residents of Ovid, a town with a population of 315. They took a break from their jobs at the local meat processing plant. “That’s part of the beauty about living out here. I don’t really have to really pay attention to the whole political aspect of everything. I’m not much for politics,” said Mason Sullivan, who voted for Trump. “Republican was the way I grew up.”

Lucy’ Place
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Lucy’s Place, a busy mom-and-pop cafe at the Sedgwick exit on Interstate 76 west of Julesburg, sits beside an adjacent gas station. They’re the only services for motorists on the busy highway at this exit after a Stuckey’s Restaurant closed.

County Rd 15 Sedgwick
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

County Road 15 stretches off to the north towards Sedgwick at sunset, from its intersection with Interstate 76 in Sedgwick County. At left, empty frames are all that’s left on a pole that once advertised businesses. The county is an agricultural stronghold, but it has struggled in recent years with keeping other businesses, and its tax base. County commissioners there are ask voters this November for a sales tax increase, the revenue from which would, in part, go toward economic development.

Kurt Hodel
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Sedgwick Alternative Relief general manager Kurt Hodel stands in front of his shop in Sedgwick, Colorado. “We’re a border community. The majority of our population lives in Julesburg which is closest to Ogallala [Nebraska],” he said. Hodel believes that a proposed county sales tax increase in front of voters this November would significantly hurt his business, and others. “We will continue to see more of our Colorado dollars spent in the state of Nebraska, and it will be more of a net loss.”

Jumbo Reservoir Kyle Strecker
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Kyle Strecker from Sterling fishes with his family at Jumbo Reservoir east of Sedgwick. “I don’t vote at all because of the politics. There’s too many different things going on. It’s too much for my mind to handle. I can’t complain because I didn’t vote. So if a president does something I don’t like, I can’t really say anything because I didn’t put in my effort to get the other person.”

Jumbo Reservoir David Gray
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

David Gray from Denver takes a break after catching catfish and walleye at Jumbo Reservoir outside of Sedgwick. “We’ve done pretty good fishing and that’s why we come here,” said Gray who’s fished at Jumbo for decades. “I’ve been a diehard Republican all my life. I almost always vote Republican. To me there’s a balance between what’s good for the pocketbook and the recreation part. I believe in Colorado we’re rich in public lands. It doesn’t seem to be lacking to me.”

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