Grave of the Toll Road Dog
Before 2009, along busy US Hwy 36 there was a little razor bump in a wide, freshly mown area, sloping between the eastbound highway and the Broomfield onramp. It was the grave of Shep the Toll Road Dog.
US 36 used to be a toll road. Back in 1951, when there was no suburban sprawl or strip malls along it, the job of toll collector was a lonely one. So when a black and white mutt pup showed up to keep the collectors company, he quickly won their hearts. Over the years, he became their official mascot. Motorists would leave food and extra change to take care of him.
Finally, old age and arthritis took their own toll. For a time, Shep had to be carried into the booth in the mornings. And in August, 1964, he was put to sleep.
The Colorado DOT decided to officially bury Shep, and local merchants donated the fence and headstones -- there were two. The larger one says "Shep. 1950-1964. Part Shepherd. Mostly Affection." The smaller one just read "Shep. Our Pal."
The site was maintained for decades, grass cut and weeds yanked, with little American flags flapping, until highway interchange construction finally interceded. In 2009 the graves and fence were moved to the Broomfield Depot Museum grounds and reconstructed.
A portrait of Shep still hangs outside the CDOT commissioner's auditorium in Denver.