Established 1869

Sandwiched between the prairie farms to the south and east, and in the west the railyard, water treatment plant, and South Lake, a holding pond filled with contaminated water and sewage, SOCCs served as the city’s bowels, the lowest point where all that flows downhill finally arrives. No one sets out to live in SOCCs, but the unlucky few find they have no options.

History of SOCC


The Midland-Central Railroad established a terminus at Central City and connected the growing settlement to the main line a few hundred miles south. The railyard became a hub for the entire north country. The railroad workers established a tent city in what would become SOCCs. 1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization - Government, Business, and Industry


In 1892, a fire ripped through SOCCs, and the clapboard houses had to be rebuilt, often on concrete foundations. 1852-1894: Competing Forms of Civilization - Government, Business, and Industry


SOCCs, the rail yards, and The Docks annexed by the city.

1894-1950 Development of Standards, Tradition, and Expectation


In the 1950s, the city introduced several initiatives to develop the area, and the rising economy spurred sporadic construction. Ultimately, however, those homes were built cheaply and had begun to fall into disrepair again by the 1980s. 1950-1980: Counterculture


The Eastern section of SOCCs hugs the railyard, water treatment plant, and the marshlands surrounding South Lake, a holding pond to keep contaminated water and sewage from flowing into the Lake Windsor.

The Western section of SOCCs is broken into two districts, The Indian Lands and The Holy Lands. Both sections of SOCCs are named for the streets that run East-West through the neighborhood. Streets in The Holy Lands are named for biblical locations. Streets in The Indian Lands are named for Indian Tribes.

The Corner refers to the area sandwiched between South Street and The Yards. The Corner is the worst part of SOCCs. Once populated by barrelhouses and dive bars that served workers on their way home from the factories and warehouses on The Docks or the plants and companies of Commerce City, The Corner gradually became the home of squatters and transients. The homes fell into disrepair and were never fixed. Many cops won’t enter The Corner.

The Yards is the railroad depot, the end of the line for the railroad. Three tracks link The Yards to The Docks, and when a train reaches The Yards, the cars are unloaded and reloaded or held, checked, and stored to be turned over to the port authority and placed on a ship. 

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