The small town of Ovid rests in the far northeast corner of Colorado near the Nebraska border. While its modern amenities are limited to a couple of restaurants, a grocery, and a gas station, the town retains a significant historical landmark: the gleaming white storage silos containing beet sugar from what once was the Great Western (GW) Sugar Company’s finest factory.
Built during the booming sugar economy of the early 1900s, Ovid’s huge GW factory was built with coal, steam, and mules. The town incorporated in 1925 during the factory’s construction, and by 1940 had grown to a resident population of 650—twice the town’s current population. Unfortunately, Colorado’s sugar economy died off with the expiration of the Sugar Act in 1974, and the factory closed two years later.
By September 2006, the entire domestic beet-sugar industry had become grower-owned. Amalgamated Sugar, a cooperative of sugar beet farmers, bought the Ovid property in 2002. It had been abandoned except for the warehouse and silos, which were still in use. Amalgamated Sugar did not anticipate the liability they had taken on along with the purchase of the property.
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