A hundred miles east of Denver is a rise that, at around 5,900 feet, is the highest point between Denver and Kansas City -- or between Denver and Chicago, or between Denver and New York, depending on who's doing the measuring and who's doing the bragging. This rise marks what has traditionally been a busy travel hub: Wildlife have long beat a path to a nearby spring; cowboys brought their Texas-Montana cattle drives to that same spring in the 1860s; and an early stage route came by, too. The trains soon followed: As railroads headed west across the plains, optimists placed a boxcar just east of the rise for a depot and platted a town there.
At first it was called Creech, after a Rock Island executive; when that didn't catch on, the name was changed to Cable, but that moniker also fell flat. As the story goes, the burg got its next -- and final -- name when a dying Italian railroad worker told his friends that he wanted to die back in his home town in Italy. He never made it back to the Old Country -- but he did die in Genoa, Italy.
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