Many sites throughout Colorado give glimpses back into the Centennial State's storied past. Certain places, such as worn-down saloons and abandoned schoolhouses, historic cemeteries, and vintage hotels, all of which are still standing throughout the state, immediately transport people back in time.

Another significant example of Colorado's past can be found in the tiny town of McCoy. Along the scenic Colorado River sits the beautiful Brooks Water Wheel. This historic device was built in 1922 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1977.

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A western rancher named Earl Brooks crafted the impressive wheel from jackpine logs using just hand tools. Its purpose was to push water from the Colorado River up to his ranch. Water scooped by the wheel fills irrigation ditches back at the ranch - 600 gallons at a time! The wooden buckets have openings that collect the water, which goes around to the top. From there, water travels into troughs and through underground pipes that lead up to the ranch. This process is still used today.,_Colorado)#/media/File:Waterwheel_McCoy_Colorado.JPG Waterwheel McCoy Colorado by Jeffrey Beall via Wikipedia/ CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED,_Colorado)#/media/File:Waterwheel_McCoy_Colorado.JPG
Waterwheel McCoy Colorado by Jeffrey Beall via Wikipedia/ CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED

The Brooks Water Wheel is 46 feet high, 6 feet wide, and weighs 5,962 pounds. According to 9News, it takes one minute for the wheel to spin a full revolution. Over the years, high water has damaged the wheel, and thousands of dollars went into repairing the device each time this happened.

RELATED: What's the Story Behind the Big Wooden Wheel in Idaho Springs, CO?

This wooden structure is historically significant because it's the last surviving water wheel on the Colorado River. More than a hundred years after it was built, the Brooks Water Wheel now showcases simpler times in the Centennial State.

Historic Victorian Mansions Around the U.S.

Most people either love them or hate them. To some, they evoke the charming, cute house from Disney's Lady & the Tramp. To others, they're creepy and haunted. But what makes this style stand out from others? Popularized during Queen Victoria's long reign (1837 to 1901), everything from fashion to furniture was influenced by rapid industrialization and urbanization. Victorians were a flex for middle and upper class families to flaunt their wealth.

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore

11 Historic Places Found On Colorado’s Longest Continuous Street

Colorado's Colfax Avenue is America's longest and most continuous street. At nearly 50 miles in length, Colfas runs East-West from Golden to Strasburg, Colorado. Along the way are some of Colorado's coolest historic places. Keep going to check out what you'll find along one of Colorado's most popular roads.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

12 of Colorado's Most Historic Hotels You Can Stay In Tonight

Take a trip back in time to the gold rush era when many of Colorado's historic hotels were first built. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s construction was completed at the following twelve hotels. Take a look at when each one was built, and find out more about the rates at each location below.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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