Jerry Chubbuck, 2007.
Jerry Chubbuck, 2007.

Jerry Chubbuck, Wonder Tower Owner-Curator, Dies

Genoa, Colorado

Wonder Tower curator-owner Jerry Chubbuck passed away on August 4, 2013.

The Wonder Tower.

Born in 1930, Jerry was a local cattle rancher and amateur archaeologist when he fell under the spell of the Wonder Tower: a rambling 22-room attraction built in 1926 by Charles W. Gregory. The tower, 60 feet high, stood on what Gregory said was the highest point between New York City and Denver (although it looks just as flat as everywhere else in eastern Colorado), and the attraction's slogan was "See Six States." Amazingly located right next to a major east-west highway, the Tower was enhanced with a gas station, restaurant, motel, dance hall, and outhouses.

Jerry became the Tower's keeper and caretaker at age 37, a job he held every day -- and loved -- for the next 46 years. The Tower was abandoned when Jerry arrived, so he filled every one of its rooms with things that he found, mostly within walking distance of the Tower: arrowheads, rusty tools, an eight-toed pig, and countless old bottles -- thousands of them. Everything was for sale, which allowed Jerry to keep the Tower's admission price at $1. Every item had a story, and Jerry could talk for hours about the rooster eyeglasses or the two-headed calf.

The way to the Tower.

The 87-step climb to the viewing platform at the top of the Tower was not for the weak, but Jerry offered encouragement along the way with hand-painted signs such as, "You can make it: thousands have."

When Jerry turned 80 he began the search for a new caretaker (his three kids weren't interested). But the effort was casual and low-key, and Jerry said that he wouldn't necessarily mind it if he could stay until the end. He did.

[Thanks to Jack Degerlia for letting us know about Jerry's passing. Writes Jack: "Jerry was such a nice man. He will be missed. I will be attending his funeral on Saturday."]

Also see: Wonder Tower | Hall of Immortals

Wonder View Tower

Address:
30121 Frontage Rd, Genoa, CO
Directions:
I-70 exit 371 (Hwy. 109).
Hours:
Owner died in 2013. Tower still stands, but is closed to the public.
Status:
In Transition
Save to My Sights

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