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Title: Unique Ghost Towns and Mountain Spots
Author: Bancroft, Caroline
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Unique Ghost Towns and Mountain Spots" ***

                 Unique Ghost Towns and Mountain Spots

      Copyright 1961 by Caroline Bancroft. Seventh edition, 1973.

_All rights in this book are reserved. It may not be used for dramatic,
     television, motion or talking picture purposes without written

               Johnson Publishing Co., Boulder, Colorado.

                               The Author

                       [Illustration: D.K.P. 1960]

Caroline Bancroft is a third generation Coloradan who began writing her
first history for _The Denver Post_ in 1928.

Her long-standing interest in western history was inherited. Her pioneer
grandfather, Dr. F. J. Bancroft, was a founder of the Colorado
Historical Society and its first president.

His granddaughter has carried on the family tradition. She is the author
of the interesting series of Bancroft Booklets, _Silver Queen: The
Fabulous Story of Baby Doe Tabor_, _Famous Aspen_, _Denver’s Lively
Past_, _Historic Central City_, _The Brown Palace in Denver_, _Tabor’s
Matchless Mine and Lusty Leadville_, _Augusta Tabor: Her Side of the
Scandal_, _Glenwood’s Early Glamor_, _Colorado’s Lost Gold Mines and
Buried Treasure_, _The Unsinkable Mrs. Brown_ and _Colorful Colorado_.

A Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, she later obtained a Master of
Arts degree from the University of Denver, writing her thesis on Central
City, Colorado. Her full-size _Gulch of Gold_ is the definitive history
of that well-known area, which includes Nevadaville, the scene of the
accompanying photo. She is shown with Daniel K. Peterson who drew the
maps and took most of the contemporary pictures for the new booklet on
ghost towns.

                                                 STEPHEN L. R. McNICHOLS
                                                    Governor of Colorado

                               The Cover

The Dumont boarding house in North Empire, unique for its ground-level
dormer windows, was built about 1872 for miners working on the Benton
lode, owned by John M. Dumont. In 1897, with a date still on the wall,
it was bought by a Mrs. Bishop who painted the building a purplish blue.
She operated it as a boarding house until about 1906 when she took over
the Peck House (Hotel Splendide) in Empire. Still later, in the 1930’s,
Waldemar Nelson lived in the “Blue House” and used one section as a
machine shop. A forge was still there in 1960. Photo by Dan Peterson.

                              GHOST TOWNS
                             MOUNTAIN SPOTS

                           CAROLINE BANCROFT

                           DANIEL K. PETERSON
                    (Cartographer and Photographer)


                       Johnson Publishing Company
                           Boulder, Colorado

                        _Personal to the reader_

I love the high country of Colorado—and in a less effusive manner, so
does Dan Peterson. Partly for your enjoyment and partly for our own,
this booklet represents the crystallization of our mutual enthusiasms.
We hope that it will serve as a useful guide for you and others who
thrill to the heights and diverse grandeur of our Colorado Rockies.

But first, a word of warning: if after reading this booklet, you add one
act of vandalism, or carelessly cast one burning cigarette to the winds,
or messily leave a beer can in a crystal creek bed, the whole purpose of
our publication has been defeated. We have written about ghost towns out
of love of their dramatic past and a reverence for their present
fragility. If you follow in our footsteps to these mountain spots, we
entreat you to go in the same spirit.

When I said this booklet represented a “crystallization” of our mutual
enthusiasms, I could not have spoken more truly. Dan is still “hurting,”
as he phrases it, because Gladstone, his favorite ghost town, had to be
left out due to limitations of space. In order to appease his hurt, I
have agreed that he can sneak in its location on the Silverton map and a
short paragraph of description in the text.

And what have I had to sacrifice? Too many pets, such as Beartown,
reminder of the brave history of Stony and Hunchback Passes; Mineral
Point and its lonely sentinel, the San Juan Chief shaft house still
perched across a fork of Poughkeepsie Gulch and seen as one jeeps up to
thrilling Engineer Pass, and Mayday, where I have never been but am
intrigued by its romantic sound.

Our booklet does offer you forty-two “ghost towns” in photograph and
story, plus passing mention on a map or in the text of a few others.
These forty-two are reached from twenty-two attractive mountain towns
where it is possible to obtain good accommodations. All but three of our
final choices may be visited by ordinary car. For Lulu City, you will
have to walk a three-mile trail or ride a horse; for Bachelor, you may
take your car most of the way but will have to walk the last mile or
jeep the whole distance, and for Carson, you will have to go by jeep or
horse from Lake City. For the most part our forty-two towns are easy to
see and in their separate ways unique.

Here, another word of warning: there are almost no ghost towns any more.
In the true sense of the word they are gone. If you had been able to
ride a horse or were willing to punish your Model T Ford, I could have
taken you in the 1920’s to dozens of true ghost towns no farther away
than along the Front Range. Even in the late 1940’s, when jeeps first
came in, I could still have guided you to many true ghost towns. But no

What has happened? Tourists (a mixed blessing) and natives who have no
regard for Colorado’s appealing past, have stolen from them, vandalized
them, destroyed buildings, and carted whole towns away. Another killer
in the form of fierce high-country winters has levelled them under tons
of heavy white snow or pulled them apart with snatching, tearing wind.
Whether desecrated by humans or eroded by nature, I am constantly
reminded of Charles Kingsley’s lines, painted on the Tabor Grand Theatre

  _So fleet the works of men, back to the earth again,_
  _Ancient and holy things fade like a dream._

In other cases the ghost towns have undergone a metamorphosis. Some
settlements have changed into summer resorts because of the charm of
their buildings or the picturesqueness of their settings. Sometimes
their ghost town status was lost by a new industry moving in, such as
the sawmill at Lenado; or a new motor road has been strategically built,
such as the Peak-to-Peak Highway which redeemed Ward. These towns,
although peopled only by ghosts for many years, once again throb with
life today. Many of the summer-resort group are alive only in the warm
months. When the aspens have lost their fluttering gold in the autumn,
they return to ghost towns.

We have included some of each type. All were true ghost towns once, and
all had ghostly reminders still extant in 1960. But if you, as you visit
them, should fail to leave everything as you find it, there will soon be
nothing left for anyone to see. A sad and forlorn example of what can
happen in only a short time is the formerly beautiful Lee House at
Capitol City. When I first saw it in 1955, the house was still a true
mansion, and its atmosphere eerily evoked the great and pretentious
dreams of its builder. But in 1960 despoiling tourists had changed it to
a horrid ruin.

So go forth in the true spirit of adventure to see and to enjoy, and may
this little book add to your enjoyment!

A plan for touring the whole state and a large folded-in map of Colorado
serve as introduction to the special towns and separate tours that
follow. On the large map, the towns suggested for starting points are
shown as black dots and are numbered to correspond with the numbers of
the individual tours. The ghost towns appear as red dots. On the smaller
maps the starting points are shown as squares, and the ghost towns as
solid circles. Dan has drawn them all with the double purpose of being
accurate and helpfully clear.

But however clear the plan and maps, real enjoyment in visiting these
sites can only be had if the viewer has adequate knowledge of the people
who built these towns and the times they lived in. Before setting out on
the trips recommended here, some general knowledge of the state’s
history is a _must_. To this end no quicker method exists than a reading
of _Colorful Colorado_, a good companion volume.

The photographs, employed throughout the present booklet as
illustrations, carry credit lines which should be plain to all except
where initials have been used. DKP stands for Daniel K. Peterson; CHS,
for Colorado Historical Society, and DPL, for the Western History
Collection of the Denver Public Library.

My own part in the production of this work needs no explanation. My
first visit to a ghost town was in 1904 when, as a toddler, I was
carried on horseback by my father to Alice (then a thriving little
spot). Alice was my father’s headquarters for building a reservoir
system from five high mountain lakes that emptied into a sixth. These
lakes (one, _Lake Caroline_) lie some four to six miles beyond Alice.

Since that distant day I have never ceased to travel to Colorado’s
mountain towns, and I frequently describe myself as a “hillbilly.” No
matter where I have been, it has always been the mountains of faraway
lands that have had the greatest drawing power for me—the Jotunheim
range of Norway, the Highlands of Scotland, the Alps in France and
Switzerland, the Apennines in Italy and the Himalayas in India.

Yes, I can say along with Keats:

  _Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,_
  _And many goodly state and kingdoms seen...._

            * * *

  Yet none speaks so well of romance untold
  As our high ghostly towns, still and serene.


            [Illustration: George J. Bancroft, 1904; D.P.L.]

                          [Illustration: MAP]

                            ⇐_PLAN OF TOURS_

     1.  CENTRAL CITY        Nevadaville, American City, Kingston      8
     2.  IDAHO SPRINGS       Alice, North Empire                      14
     3.  GEORGETOWN          Waldorf, Sts. John                       20
     4.  BOULDER             Caribou                                  24
     5.  ESTES PARK          Ward                                     26
     6.  GRAND LAKE          Lulu City                                28
     7.  STEAMBOAT SPRINGS   Hahns Peak                               32
     8.  GLENWOOD SPRINGS    Fulford, Crystal City                    34
     9.  ASPEN               Lenado, Ashcroft                         40
    10.  LEADVILLE           Independence, Stumptown                  44
    11.  FAIRPLAY            Buckskin Joe, Como, Mudsill, Leavick     48
    12.  CRIPPLE CREEK       Altman, Bull Hill Station, Goldfield     52
    13.  CANON CITY          Rosita, Silver Cliff                     56
    14.  SALIDA              Turret, Bonanza                          59
    15.  BUENA VISTA         St. Elmo, Winfield                       63
    16.  GUNNISON            Tin Cup, Gothic                          66
    17.  LAKE CITY           Capitol City, Carson                     70
    18.  CREEDE              Spar City, Bachelor                      75
    19.  DEL NORTE           Summitville                              82
    20.  SILVERTON           Eureka, Animas Forks                     84
    21.  OURAY               Red Mountain, Ironton                    88
    22.  TELLURIDE           Pandora                                  92

                           From Central City


Nevadaville is unique for many reasons. It was part of the historic 1859
“Pikes Peak or Bust” gold rush. In 1861 the town was larger than Denver.
In 1863 one of Nevadaville’s mines, the Pat Casey (later the Ophir), was
sold by its illiterate Irish owner in New York to Wall Street
speculators for a fancy sum which started a boom in Gilpin County mines.
Stock shares of Nevadaville’s mines were thus the first of Colorado
corporations to be quoted on the “big board.”

When John H. Gregory found the first lode gold of Colorado in Gregory
Gulch on May 6, 1859, other prospectors immediately pushed up all the
tributary gulches. By the latter part of May a number of good claims had
been staked on Quartz Hill above Nevada Creek. This creek joins Spring
Creek at Central City and together they join Eureka Creek to make the
mile-long Gregory Creek. It, in turn, joins the North Fork of Clear
Creek at Black Hawk. The closest source of water for the mines on Quartz
Hill was Nevada Creek. A camp sprang up immediately, and was named
Nevada City.

A great deal of confusion followed this naming. Some referred to it only
as Nevada and some as Nevadaville. When the townspeople petitioned for a
post office they were given Bald Mountain because of a similarity with
Nevada City, California. Nevertheless, increasingly through the years,
the residents continued to call it Nevadaville and few people today know
of its other names.

The earliest good finds were the Illinois by John Gregory, the Burroughs
by Benjamin Burroughs and his brother, and the Casey (or Ophir) by Pat
Casey. The Burroughs and Pat Casey were among the founders of

The town had a long and boisterous life. It was settled largely by
Cornish at the western end and by Irish at the eastern. These two groups
waged a prolonged and skull-cracking battle with each other until the
1890’s. Then they found it expedient to unite against an influx from the
Tyrol of miners who threatened to undercut their wages.

The Cornish (Cousin Jacks) built two charming little churches, an
Episcopalian and a Methodist. (Both are now gone.) The Irish drove or
walked down to mass at St. Mary’s-of-the-Assumption in Central City,
over a mile away. But however earnest their church attendance on Sunday
morning, it never altered their beer drinking at Nevadaville’s thirteen
saloons that afternoon nor the fights and murders that followed. Two of
the latter, both Cousin Jacks killed by Irishmen, were notorious in the
annals of Colorado law and were eventually carried to the Supreme Court.

I have told the town’s story at considerable length in _Gulch of Gold_
to which the reader is referred for rollicking details. Nevadaville’s
ghost status began in 1920 and worsened for twenty-five years. On the
bleak scrubby side of Nevada Hill more and more buildings fell down or
were torn down. By World War II only two permanent residents remained,
and finally there were none.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    This view looks northeast across Nevada Creek to the main street,
    which continues at the right on down to Central City and Denver.

               [Illustration: A. M. Thomas, 1900; D.P.L.]


    The population of Nevadaville was twelve hundred in 1900 when the
    upper photo was taken. The Union Bakery wagon was delivering bread
    and pastries; an ore wagon was heading up toward Alps Hill, and a
    number of residents, both on this side of Nevada Creek and the
    other, were interested in the photographer’s work. In 1960 no one
    was around to be curious; the lower bridge was gone, but the slopes
    were the same.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

Nevadaville, similar to all gold camps in Colorado, had a renascence
during the 1930’s when the price of gold rose from $20 an ounce to $35.
During this period a number of its mines were re-opened including the
Hubert, which was worked by Frankie Warren. Frankie was one of the
delightful Cousin Jacks left from the old days and could tell dialect
stories by the dozens. I spent a number of delightful evenings in
Nevadaville listening to his reminiscences and was particularly amused
by his ‘ant’ (haunt) stories. One of these was about the Bald Mountain
cemetery (a charming spot west of the settlement and worth a side trip)
where the parents of Estel Slater had installed his photo on his
tombstone and covered it with glass. On moonlight nights a ghost moved
in the cemetery. Frankie went up to investigate and discovered the
reflected light. I, too, followed Frankie’s example and was startled by
the effect—I hope they are still there for you to see. There is always
the danger that they have been vandalized. But let us return to

Of recent years hardy souls who did not mind coping with the meagre
water supply have renovated the remaining houses. In 1960 parts of
Nevadaville presented a spruce appearance. But the mines which were once
rich and storied, contributing a large part of Gilpin County’s
$106,000,000 production, are ruins. The ghostliness that they cast and
the derelict Main Street were little affected by the neat cottages. It
does not take much imagination on a still afternoon to hear a Cornish
“tommy-knocker” or to see why Nevadaville rates first among the ghost

Farther on toward the continental divide, past Apex and a sign
erroneously marked _Private Road_, is American City. A mixture of
occupied and deserted buildings, the town lies hidden on the wooded side
of Colorado Mountain overlooking a glen. A number of the deserted cabins
and pretty sites may be bought from the county for back taxes. But
others are in fine repair and lovingly cared for. Be wary in American
City not to cast yourself in the role of “trespasser.”

American City’s history is not long and dramatic like Nevadaville’s. But
its story is unique for glamor, gayety and culture. After the crash of
silver in 1893, desperate efforts were made to find as yet undiscovered
gold, and new strikes were made in the Pine Creek Mining District of
Gilpin County. By 1895 Apex had reached sufficient stature to be listed
in the Colorado Business Directory, as the district’s principal town,
having two hotels and a general merchandise store. By June 1896 the
_Denver Times_ was saying, “American City is very dressy.”

A year later the _Denver Republican_ described the main stockholders of
the American Company who were from Illinois and Iowa. It added that this
company was in good financial condition, was running two shifts of
miners and had opened a library in their office in American City which
“now numbers 503 books and the miners appreciate the courtesy on the
part of the company.”

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                       AMERICAN CITY HUGS THE TREES

    The mill (which was built by a master carpenter of the German
    shipyards) was in ruins, but the Hotel del Monte (second in the
    trees) stood.

On July 3, 1897, a newspaper called the _Pine Cone_ began publication at
Apex and carried frequent delightful items about American City. Captain
E. M. Stedman, one of the principal stockholders, was also manager. On
April 28, 1900, it reported that he was becoming an expert at “skeeing”
since “he made the distance on Tuesday from his residence in American
City to Apex, about a mile and a half, in five minutes.”

One of American City’s proudest possessions was its mill built by Gus
Meyer in 1903. Meyer was a master craftsman from Germany and did
contract work in Denver. He was the boss carpenter on the Barth Block.
Because of his excellent work on the business building, William Barth
gave him $100 in gold coin in addition to his contract money.

In the succeeding years up to around 1910 the Stedmans frequently
entertained at house parties, using their own palatial cabin and
overflowing into the cabins of other Eastern stockholders as well as the
Hotel del Monte. My mother and father were present at a number of these
affairs, and I can remember the fuss of getting all the luggage packed
with a correct riding habit and a number of evening gowns for Mother to
dress for dinner. It was indeed a glamorous place.

Then the gold petered out, and American City was abandoned. For years it
was almost lost to view and to memory. Only the late wealthy Mrs. John
Anthony Crook maintained a summer cabin there. In the 1930’s she was the
lone resident. Finally a few others followed her lead until the town was
partly saved....

Nugget, on the way to Kingston, had a few remnants in 1960. But uncared
for, the fierce elements were wreaking havoc on the buildings as they
also were at Kingston. The havoc was more serious at Kingston because of
the beauty of the dormer-windowed boardinghouse close to the London mill
and mine and because of the unusual latticed log cabin down on Secreto
Creek at what is humorously called South Kingston.

In the late 1890’s and early 1900’s there were many residences along the
ridge that runs between Pile Hill and Kingston Peak, and down the banks
of Mosquito Creek. In 1960 some of these were still partially standing
and many of their foundations were intact; but all were deteriorating
fast. Kingston, like American City, was purely a mining, milling and
residential town and depended on Apex for commerce, merchandise and a
newspaper. But the details of its history are lost. Kingston is unique
because of its mystery.

                       KINGSTON IS IN TWO SECTIONS

    Shown are the London boardinghouse, mill and mine (far right). More
    miners lived down in Secreto Gulch to the left of this high ridge.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                          _From Idaho Springs_


Alice was rich in gold—particularly placer gold. But oddly and uniquely,
no one found these placers until long after other Clear Creek placers
had been worked out. Apparently no prospector was thorough enough in his
search on upper Fall River and its little tributary, Silver Creek, to
make a strike during the placer excitements of 1859 and the early
1860’s, although some silver was uncovered. When rich gold was finally
found in 1881, the discovery was made by a party working west from
Yankee along the road that ran from Central City, the county seat of
Gilpin County, past the side of Yankee Hill, down Silver Creek and Fall
River, and on to Georgetown, county seat of Clear Creek County.

Alice was described in Denver’s _Rocky Mountain News_ August 24, 1881,
as a colony of fifteen or twenty tents near Silver City, a camp slightly
higher up Silver Creek. Colonel A. J. Cropsey of Nebraska was the
superintendent of the Alice Mining Company, and he was banking sums of
twelve and fifteen hundred dollars every two weeks in the First National
Bank at Central City.

The summer and fall production proved so successful that the following
February the capital stock of the company was increased from $1,000,000
to $2,000,000; a second ditch was built to bring water for hydraulic
mining; log cabins and a mill were erected; the eleven-mile road to
Idaho Springs was improved, and the company banked $2,500 or $3,000 in
Idaho Springs every fortnight.

Hydraulic mining continued through the early 1880’s and proved
consistently profitable so that Alice absorbed Silver City (if it had
ever been anything more than a cluster of tents). As the placers were
worked out, lode mining developed in a number of mines, especially in
tunnels that led away from a pit torn out by hydraulic hoses. The
population was around thirty-five until after 1903 when it rose to fifty
or sixty. In 1908 a more modern mill was built, and production continued
steadily until 1915 when the mill shut down. Soon the ghosts took over.

Four people lingered on, including the E. J. Harpers. He had been
postmaster in 1904 (see the photo at the end of my introduction) and had
conducted business from one end of their own cabin. She served meals at
the other. On inspection trips to the Loch Lomond reservoir my father
and I used to tie our horses outside this cabin and have a delicious
lunch. In 1960 it was being used as a summer cottage but its exterior
lines were identical with Father’s 1904 photo.

In 1934 Alice, like many other Colorado gold camps, experienced a
renascence. (This was because of the price of gold rising from $20 to
$35 an ounce.) The sturdy log cabins were re-roofed; the mill started,
and the pit was turned into a real glory hole. Today Alice is unique
because of its abandoned glory hole—the only summer resort-ghost town to
boast of one within its town limits....

Returning to Clear Creek and driving farther up its course, is another
tumbling tributary, a creek also coming in from the north. Originally
this creek was called Lyon’s, but now Lion. It flows through the town of
Empire about which the splendid historian, Ovando J. Hollister, said in
1866, “Of all the towns brought into existence by the famed Cherry Creek
Sands, Empire bears away the palm for a pretty location and picturesque
surroundings.” This statement is particularly true of North Empire,
about a mile and a half up Lion Creek and its fork, North Empire Creek.

Bayard Taylor (the renowned nineteenth century lecturer and travel
writer) and William N. Byers, founder and editor of the _Rocky Mountain
News_, also visited the two towns that same year and were much impressed
with their settings. Byers reported North Empire as “a hustling busy
little hamlet right amid the mines. It has three or four mills.”

He also mentioned by name a number of prosperous mines, especially the
Atlantic owned by Frank Peck who was later the founder of Lower Empire’s
Peck House (now the Hotel Splendide). Byers was interested by an arastra
in the gulch which was operated by water power and “was pointed out as a
paying institution.”

Lower Empire was organized in the spring of 1860 by a band of
prospectors who came up from Spanish Bar (then on the south side of
Clear Creek close to its junction with Fall River). The first gold was
discovered on Eureka Mountain, northwest of Empire. A find of rich
placers and lodes soon followed on Silver Mountain, north of Empire. It
was these mines that caused North Empire to spring up on the side of
Silver and the flanking mountainside to the east, Covode.

              [Illustration: E. S. Bastin, 1911; U.S.G.S.]

_Too late to alter: now proved to be Russell Gulch._

                     ALICE BOASTED OF ITS GLORY HOLE

    In 1911 two mills, the Anchor and Princess Alice, and six mining
    companies were operating when this view was taken. It looks
    southwest along the road that runs past the Glory Hole and
    eventually to the Loch Lomond Reservoir system, built and owned by
    G. J. Bancroft in the early 1900’s. The 1960 view of the Glory Hole
    shows three roads at upper right: two up to Yankee and St. Mary’s
    Glacier, and one off to Idaho Springs.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

            [Illustration: George Wakely, circa 1868; D.P.L.]


    The town was built on the side of Covode Mountain nearly opposite
    the Silver Mountain mining properties and equidistant between the
    two boardinghouse relics, the Dumont and the Conqueror. The 1960
    shot of the Copper Cone (or Gold Fissure) mine was taken from
    approximately the same location, but looking north rather than east.
    The various levels of streets and a few foundations may still be
    seen through the trees.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

North Empire led a prosperous existence during the 1860’s and ’70’s but
died out during the 1880’s. Then in 1890 John M. Dumont, who had made
money at Mill City (now Dumont after him) and Freeland, bought the
Benton lode (named for Thomas Benton, the mountain man). Dumont
attempted a resurrection of the town. The collapse of silver in 1893
added momentum to his efforts, and North Empire enjoyed a lively life
for over a decade.

Again it was left to the blue jays and mountain rats until the 1930’s
when once more the mines and mills throbbed. When World War II drafted
its miners, the mills shut down and the mine shafts filled with water.
The town died forever—or until the price of gold again changes.

Nonetheless, the picturesqueness of North Empire’s setting, commented on
by all, lives on. The view to the south over Empire and Clear Creek to
the meadow made by Bard Creek, on over Union Pass to the valley where
Georgetown lies hidden, and on up to Guanella Pass against the skyline,
is unsurpassed for its soft charm. North Empire remains unique for its


    The south wing of the Conqueror’s boardinghouse was built by W. S.
    Pryor in 1910. The original wing (at the right) dates from the
    1870’s. Unfortunately, vandals have since burned down this
    picturesque relic.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                           _From Georgetown_


Waldorf is unique because, single-handed, it was caused and named by a
mining magnate who built his own little railroad—the Argentine
Central—to create the town.

Edward John Wilcox was another of the many colorful characters Colorado
has produced. He was full of quirks and idiosyncrasies. A former
Methodist minister, he decided he could serve the church better by
making money and tithing than by staying on with any of his former
parishes in Longmont, Denver or Pueblo. Success attended his decision,
and by 1905 he was the owner of some sixty-five mines on Leavenworth
Mountain, south of Georgetown. But the mines were high in the East
Argentine district where it was difficult to transport machinery in and
ore out.

So on August 1 (Colorado Day), 1905, Wilcox began building his railroad,
starting over eight miles away at Silver Plume and planning to grade
switchbacks over Pendleton Mountain, the western wing of Leavenworth. By
Colorado Day of the next year, the railroad had reached nearly eight
miles beyond Waldorf to a point almost at the top of Mount McClellan. A
second ceremony was held which included driving a gold spike. (The first
had been held on reaching Waldorf.) Immediately afterward trains began
operating to haul freight and tourists. But not on Sunday. Wilcox would
not degrade the Lord’s day!

A post office was opened in Waldorf at 11,666 feet in altitude claiming
to be the highest in the United States, and Waldorf was prepared for a
great future. It had already had a considerable past, if not under the
name of Waldorf. The silver mines in both the West and East Argentine
districts had been working since 1866 and been supporting two mills. One
mill and a camp called Argentine (from the Latin word for silver,
_argentum_) were fairly high in Leavenworth Gulch on the way to
Argentine Pass. Their location was beside the stagecoach road from
Georgetown to Montezuma. But now a large boardinghouse, several
residences, a store and a depot clustered about the Waldorf and Vidler
tunnels and their mills. Thus the new camp of Waldorf was born.

Everything went well at first for the town and railroad—even despite the
ban on Sunday tourists. The little railroad made a great impression, and
Wilcox was as proud as a racehorse stable owner as he added little Shay
engines to his rolling stock. Early in 1907 a British syndicate offered
$3,000,000 for his holdings around Waldorf including the railroad.
Wilcox refused despite the enormous profit involved.

But 1907 turned out to be a bad year. A depression started gathering
momentum in the East. During the last six months of the year the price
of silver fell thirteen cents, and Waldorf ore was not worth hauling. By
1908 Wilcox was badly in debt and was forced to liquidate where he
could. According to the railroad historians, Elmer O. Davis and Frank
Hollenback, Wilcox sold his $300,000 railroad for $44,000. The new
management took over in 1909 and made a bid for the tourist trade which
naturally included trains on Sunday.

Still the railroad did not pay, and was sold again in 1912. Ironically,
the buyer was William Rogers of Georgetown, the same Rogers who had
suggested the idea of the railroad to Wilcox in the first place. Now he
had his railroad all built and operating for only $19,500! Rogers
founded a new company.

But the mines had never come back after the blow of ’07. The tourist
trade was not adequate to support the railroad with no freight to haul
other than coal for the power company’s maintenance station at Waldorf.
The last Shay engines were sold in 1914, and gasoline engined cars
replaced them. Even this drastic measure did not suffice. The income for
the 1917 summer season was too lean for the company to continue. In 1920
permission was granted for abandonment, and the next year track was
taken up.

Waldorf was truly dead. Since then, from time to time, assorted lessees
have operated the Waldorf tunnel and the Santiago mine northwest of
Waldorf on the side of Mount McClellan. While they were working, they
took over some of the old buildings for a year or two as residences. In
the 1950’s Waldorf had two bad fires which destroyed the last of the big
buildings and the habitable dwellings. In desperation the man who was
working the Santiago mine in 1958, erected a Quonset hut for his home.

It stands as a sad commentary on these high towns where water is so
precious and the menace of fire, an ever-present reality. Most Colorado
mining camps have experienced terrible fires more than once, and Waldorf
is no exception.

             [Illustration: L. C. McClure, 1905-11; D.P.L.]


    The upper view was taken with a telescopic lens and shows the Vidler
    mill in the foreground, the track from Vidler tunnel and one of its
    ore cars to the right, a team of horses to the left, and at Waldorf
    proper, a railroad coach and a boxcar on a siding. In both photos
    the road around to the Santiago mine and its power line across the
    hill are prominent. The Argentine Pass horseback trail goes off to
    the left.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

The hut’s shiny newness makes Waldorf unique for still another
reason—our only ghost town with a Quonset hut!...

To reach Saints John, less than eight miles away as the crow flies, you
have to take a long circuitous route. But it is a scenic ride, and the
pastoral seclusion of Saints John should be worth the trip. The town
lies between Glacier Mountain on the southeast and Bear Mountain on the
northwest. It snuggles along the banks of Saints John Creek which runs
into the Snake River at Montezuma. At the head of Saints John Creek is
Bear Pass which leads over into the Swan River, a tributary of the Blue,
and on to Breckenridge.

It was from that direction that discovery of Saints John was made. A
prospector by the name of J. Coley came over Bear Pass from Breckenridge
in 1863 and found silver ore on the crest of Glacier Mountain about a
thousand feet up from the town. He smelted his find in a crude furnace
with a flue built from a hollow log encased with rocks and clay obtained
from the lode for mortar. The outlines are still there.

According to Verna Sharp, Montezuma historian, Coley took his ingots
into a bar in Georgetown and showed them around. Promptly other miners
came flocking in and made more finds on Glacier Mountain. They called
their little settlement Coleyville until a group of Free Masons arrived
in 1867. This group altered the name to Saints John, for John the
Baptist and John the Evangelist, patron Saints of Masonry.

The camp already had a sober upright character and had welcomed a number
of traveling preachers. Prominent among them was Father John L. Dyer,
the Methodist minister who is remembered in Colorado for his fine book,
_The Snowshoe Itinerant_, as well as for his good works. Father Dyer
came by the way of Swan River in 1865 and staked some claims on Glacier
Mountain. His route was chosen for the mail between Montezuma and
Breckenridge which began tri-weekly service in 1869 and was carried by
horseback via Saints John.

In 1872 some of the claims on Glacier Mountain were combined into one
property by a company backed with Boston financing. To handle the ore,
the Boston company built the best milling and smelting works their
Eastern engineers could devise. Later they acquired all the mines on the
north side of Glacier Mountain. Their next project was to erect a
suitable company town in place of the ramshackle camp. Their plans
called for a two-and-a-half story boardinghouse, a company store, an
assay office, an ornately trimmed guest house, a mess hall, a foreman’s
home, a superintendent’s home, and residences for the miners. (But oddly
there was no school, and the children had to walk to Montezuma.) In 1878
the company town of Saints John was completed.

Unique among mining camps, it boasted that it had no saloon. Instead
there was a library of three hundred volumes, donated by Boston friends.
Eastern and European newspapers were also sent regularly from the home
office. The culture of this pretty, silver town was to be emulated by
the gold town of American City—but not its sobriety.

The superintendent lived in town about seven months of the year. During
his absence his house was cared for by the manager of the boardinghouse.
She permitted a few of the residents to view its wonders. The house was
completely furnished with Sheraton furniture, Lenox china, plush
draperies, oil paintings, and _objets d’art_ on what-nots added the last
touch of elegance.

But then came over-production of silver, followed by the silver panic of
1893. The Boston Mining Company shut down, and the superintendent walked
out of his home without bothering to lock the door, leaving the
furnishings intact. The house was still standing in 1960 but the
contents had long since been stolen or vandalized.

The Saints John mine was re-opened and worked in the 1940’s and early
’50’s. But no one lived there. The town of Saints John has been a true
ghost town for over half a century, and is unique in our collection for
its former decorum, for its being the only company town of the lot, and
for its pastoral prettiness.


    The superintendent’s house was in the best condition of buildings
    left standing in the former company town. Note fine smelter stack at

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                             _From Boulder_


Caribou’s fame lives on despite most of its buildings being gone because
it had the richest silver mine of the Front Range and because bullion
from Caribou formed a $12,000 walkway in April, 1873, for a President.
This was at Central City when President U. S. Grant stepped from his
stagecoach into the Teller House.

Two mines, the Caribou and the Poor Man, were discovered in August,
1869, by two prospectors working out of Black Hawk. According to
historian Don Kemp, they were searching for the location of a float
where Samuel P. Conger had picked up a sample of rock. Conger had been
on a hunting trip near Arapaho Peak and been attracted by the baffling
quality of some unusual boulders.

The two prospectors were lucky. They found the float, staked claims, and
set to work during that fall and winter. Their first shipments brought
$400 a ton and caused a rush to the area. Many other mines were found,
and a city was started—Caribou City. Subsequently, the Caribou mine was
sold in two lots for $125,000 to A. D. Breed of Cincinnati. Breed resold
the mine and his mill in 1873 to the Nederland Mining Company of Holland
for $3,000,000.

Caribou continued until the Silver Panic, and a few residents lingered
on into the twentieth century. But after the Caribou mine shut down in
1884, the population fell off. None of the other mines hired such large
crews, and gradually they, too, closed. Efforts were made from time to
time at re-opening; but because of excessive amounts of underground
water, the ventures all failed.

Still, Caribou’s silver riches were once glorious and even trod upon by
a President!

             [Illustration: J. B. Sturtevant, 1887; D.P.L.]

                      WINDY CARIBOU NEARLY BLEW AWAY

    In the 1870’s and early ’80’s Caribou grew to a population of nearly
    five hundred residents. It established law and order, built a
    Methodist church, opened a school, organized a Cornish band,
    instituted regular stage service to Central City, and added props to
    buildings in an effort to withstand the frequent gales. The above
    ably depicts the wind problem. The lower photo shows Caribou as it
    looked in 1960 from the same angle on Goat Hill. Arapaho Peak and
    Baldy are in the background. In the lower photo only the dump (upper
    left) remained of the famous Caribou mine. The stone foundation
    (right) and another (too far north to show) were constructed later
    in an effort to solve the wind problem without props. Whenever old
    pictures were available, the layout of this booklet endeavors to
    follow a “then” and “now” presentation.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                           _From Estes Park_


Ward, at an altitude of 9,253 feet, was named for Calvin W. Ward who
discovered gold in the vicinity in 1860 after prospecting up Left Hand
Creek. From 1865 to ’67 when the Ni-Wot and Columbian properties were
booming, it had a population of six hundred. (In both pictures on the
facing page they may be seen as the two big mines or dumps, high on the
mountainside to the left.)

The camp stayed in minor operation during the ’70’s and ’80’s and
thrived in the late 1890’s. It was then that the penniless Horace Tabor,
who had been one of the richest men in Colorado, tried to stage a
comeback. His fortune had been made in Leadville silver; now he tried
Ward gold. He owned a mine called the Eclipse. (The dump may still be
seen on the Lodge-of-Pines property.) With a borrowed $15,000 from W. S.
Stratton of Cripple Creek, he and Baby Doe set to work, living at the
mine. But they were unsuccessful, and it was with relief that during
January, 1898, the news reached him in Ward of his appointment as
postmaster of Denver.

Six months after Tabor left Ward, a narrow gauge railroad, the Colorado
& Northwestern (later D.B.&W.), arrived. It attracted many tourists. An
added inducement was that the train stopped long enough to take the
stageline to scenic Lake Brainard.

The trains also hauled ore for a while but this business fell off. When
the big blizzard of November, 1913, and a cloudburst in July, 1919,
damaged the track, abandonment soon followed.

Ward was deserted in the 1920’s. But the building of the Peak-to-Peak
highway in the late 1930’s saved it. The town has survived as a summer
resort although its year-around population is only fifteen.

It is unique for having been the scene of Tabor’s brave stand.

  [Illustration: “Rocky Mountain Joe,” 1902; M. R. Parsons Collection]


    In 1902 Ward had a population of three hundred fifty and advertised
    that it had six stamp mills in operation as well as good schools and
    churches. The Columbia Hotel opened that year on the street just
    below the charming Congregational Church (prominent on the hill).
    Just above the church on the highest street level was the railroad
    depot of the Denver, Boulder and Western, now a cafe on the
    Peak-to-Peak highway.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                           _From Grand Lake_


Lulu City is the first of our ghost towns to carry the inevitable “city”
in its formal title. Adding “city” to the name of any little group of
four or five log cabins was a habit dear to the hearts of the pioneers
who took part in the trans-Mississippi West movement. Filled with
optimism, they envisaged any stopping place as a sure metropolis.
Witness the number of minute settlements with the imposing adjunct
dating even from 1858, the year before the gold rush to Colorado. For
example there were Montana City, Denver City, Golden City and Boulder
City. Of these the first settlement disappeared completely, and the
three survivors dropped the grandiose appendage.

Lulu City, like Montana City, is the disappearing type. In 1960 it was
not completely gone, but almost. It was platted in 1879 by Ben F.
Burnett who named the town for his oldest daughter. Lulu had only one
good year, but hung on until 1883. After that a few die-hard prospectors
remained. In the four years of Lulu City’s belief that its abundant
silver ore would be rich, it had a large hotel, a store, several
saloons, homes and a small red-light district. Mixed in with the silver
ore found in the mines on the mountainsides to the west, was a little
placer gold flecked through the sand of the long meadow. But neither the
silver nor the gold were worth much. Lulu City’s post office was
discontinued in January of 1886.

According to Mary Cairns, whose 1946 book _Grand Lake: The Pioneers_
pictured much more of Lulu City than can be seen today, one of the
town’s prospectors was so discouraged he said:

“Some day you’ll see nothing but a foot trail along this street.
Raspberry bushes and spruce trees will be growing through the roof of
the hotel yonder.”

                  [Illustration: Unknown, 1889; D.P.L.]

                  LULU CITY BECAME A GHOST EVEN BY 1889

    Impossible to imagine now: When the town was platted in a park at
    9,400 feet altitude, it had one hundred numbered blocks and nineteen
    streets. The Forest Service and National Parks System have no regard
    for history and are letting all the nineteenth-century buildings
    within their boundaries deteriorate as fast as possible. The two
    high mountains in the background are Lulu and Neota, and the cut is
    the Grand Ditch.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                                BEAR TRAP

    One of the few remaining sights in Lulu City is this unusual device
    for deluding Mr. Bruin. A piece of meat was set inside. While he was
    nosing his food, a trip hammer released the door which fell and
    caged him well.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

His prophecy has come true in full measure—only you can’t see the hotel
at all! If you count carefully, you can discover the foundations of
twenty-three buildings in the main part of town. Some five hundred feet
farther north, there is a lone remote ruin in a grove on a point jutting
west. This belonged to the town prostitute.

Lulu City’s most distinctive relic is at the southern entrance to town—a
former bear trap which gives Lulu City its uniqueness today.

The town also had uniqueness in the past. It took part in one of the
bloodiest county-seat wars in Colorado history, a war that resulted in
the death of four men on July 4, 1883. This carnage was followed by the
suicide of a sheriff and the escape of an undersheriff.

Grand County, when created in 1874, was a very large county. Hot Sulphur
Springs was the only settlement of any size in the area and was given
the county seat. Shortly afterward, gold and silver were found in the
mountains which led to the founding of Lulu City, Gaskill and Teller.
This mountainous section decided that they should have the county seat
and that it should be at Grand Lake. They agitated for an election on
the change of county seat and won in 1881.

Many antagonisms and animosities were built up in the course of this
contest that kept on festering. Two years later one county commissioner
was allied with the sheriff and deputy sheriff while the two other
commissioners were allied with the county clerk. In the midst of a
Fourth of July celebration, when the morning was already full of noise
of firecrackers and of people sending shots of jubilation out over the
lake, a mortal fight began at an ice house near the Fairview Hotel.

By the time people on the hotel porch reached the ice house, two men
were dead and two were dying, one of whom claimed he had been attacked
by the deputy sheriff. The sheriff and the deputy sheriff fled. The
deputy sheriff disappeared, and his end is unproved. Less than three
weeks later in a hotel room in Georgetown, the sheriff committed
suicide. Mystery still cloaks the cause of the actual shooting.

Although no one of the six was a resident of Lulu City at the time of
the tragedy, the undersheriff had been previously, and all the men had
been visitors. The dismal affair sounded the death knell of Lulu City.

Not many years afterward the many bears and mountain sheep had the
townsite all to themselves, and the bears could laugh at Lulu City’s
renowned trap.


    A quaint sight and a complete fulfillment of the old prospector’s
    prophecy are these spruce trees growing inside former residences.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                        _From Steamboat Springs_


Hahns Peak is the lowest in altitude of our selected towns—8,163
feet—and the farthest north—almost to the Wyoming line. It is now solely
a summer resort, but a summer resort fully conscious of its mining
history. Two monuments fill a grassy plot in its main street.

One is a large hose nozzle which bears a plaque commemorating the work
that the “little giant” (as the nozzle was called) did in a former
placer operation. The other reads in part: “This monument is dedicated
in honor of Joseph Hahn and other pioneers of this great basin. In the
summer of 1862, Joseph Hahn, and two unknown companions discovered gold
at the foot of this great peak....” After the Civil War Hahn returned
with two friends who named the peak for Hahn. In the spring of 1867,
while Hahn was returning to Empire for supplies, he died in Middle Park
of exhaustion.

Most of Hahns Peak’s production was placer gold, and close to $1,000,000
was extracted around 1901. Previously in the 1870’s the placers were
worked with almost no profit because of the cost of building three
ditches. There was also a silver-lead mine high on Hahns Peak, the Tom

The most amazing bit of the town’s history occurred in the winter of
1898 when Hahns Peak (then the seat of Routt County) was the scene of a
real “Wild West” TV script. Sheriff Charles Neiman, after a sensational
and tricky chase, succeeded in incarcerating two outlaws, Harry Tracy
and David Lant, in the Hahns Peak jail. By a ruse they escaped, leaving
the sheriff for dead; were recaptured and escaped again. The astounding
story is told with full details by Wilson Rockwell in _Sunset Slope_ and
gives Hahns Peak its unique TV character.

                  [Illustration: Unknown, 1902; D.P.L.]


    The store at the left is labeled C. E. Blackburn, General
    Merchandise. Blackburn was in business there during 1902 and ’03. In
    1904 he was also postmaster. Previously the same building had held
    the bank. The large building in the center of the photograph (with
    two windows facing this way) was the Larson Hotel. The three-roofed
    building was the courthouse. It obscures the jail which stood behind
    it in 1898, in a direct line with Hahns Peak. On a night that was
    twenty-eight degrees below zero, Lant and Tracy, outlaws and
    escapees from the Utah penitentiary, beat and bound the sheriff and
    left him senseless in the jail. They crossed the street to the
    livery stable and stole the tired stage team. Courageously captured
    a second time by the same sheriff, the outlaws escaped again and
    left Colorado. Details of their story make a thriller. The upper
    photo was taken by a panoramic camera and makes the main street
    appear much wider than it really is. It also diminishes the height
    of Hahns Peak in the background. A number of buildings are identical
    but appear different because of the two types of cameras. Poverty
    Bar, the placer and flat which was worked with hydraulic hoses and
    yielded close to a half million dollars, is off to the left behind
    the Blackburn Store in the upper photo and the school house in the
    lower. Herman Mahler, Hahns Peak’s oldest resident, worked the
    placer around 1913. In 1960 he was still faithful to the town for
    five months of the year. Hahns Peak is completely deserted through
    the long harsh winter months.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                        _From Glenwood Springs_


Fulford was originally two towns, Camp Nolan and Polar City. They date
from the spring of 1887 when prospecting began up East Brush Creek from
Eagle. In June of that year William Nolan accidentally shot himself, but
his friends continued to call the camp after him because he had been the
original leader. It was located on a small slope beside White Quail
Creek before it joins Nolan Creek. As rich mines were opened up on New
York Mountain, some bearing free gold, Camp Nolan grew until there was
no more room.

Newcomers settled farther down in a meadow through which Nolan Creek
runs and called the new settlement, Polar City. This name commemorated
one of the richest mines on New York Mountain, the Polar Star. Other
good producers were the Iron Age, Richmond, and Cave.

Both towns grew side by side until New Year’s Eve of 1891. At that time
it was the custom of all miners “to take to the hills” on the last day
of the year, and 1891 was no exception. Any tenderfoot would immediately
ask, “Why?”

The answer lay in the mining laws which stated that any claim, not
proved up on by midnight of the fiscal year, was open for relocation.
Anyone intrepid enough to get there and drive new stakes could own the
property. Miners would eye a good claim enviously and keep tabs to see
if the owner was doing the required amount of work. If he was not, woe
to him! A new claimant would be driving stakes on his mine while he
toasted in the New Year at some saloon.

In 1891 Arthur H. Fulford was a popular resident of Eagle, well-known
there and in Denver. He had mining interests throughout the county and
knew of a good property across New York Mountain and down Bowman Gulch
that would be open for re-staking. Accordingly he made an engagement to
meet a friend in Camp Nolan the last day of the year so that they could
make the difficult hike together.

      [Illustration: W. Mackey, 1902; Harriette Daggett Collection]


    The Lanning Hotel and the Daggett Store may easily be located in
    both the “then” and “now” shots. In the upper photo New York
    Mountain (with two elevations) is in the background. White Quail
    Creek may be seen running down its sides to join Nolan Creek whose
    banks show in the foreground, this side of Lower Fulford. The road
    which connected the two towns crosses the hill behind the prominent
    hotel and store.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

The two friends greeted each other enthusiastically at the Lanning Hotel
(which at that time was in the upper town) and had a sumptuous noon
meal. They toasted the New Year and promised themselves great riches
from the location they were about to make on the sly. But one hitch

The friend had ordered new skis to be made by hotel-keeper Henry Lanning
who was the master craftsman of the camp. As they dined, Lanning
informed them that the skis would not be ready until the next day. The
friend said he would follow in the morning, bringing supplies for a
leisurely return trip, and the two men selected a place to rendezvous.
Fulford set out alone.


    The original assay office (right), just a few steps from White Quail
    Creek, supported an enormous ridge pole which in turn held a sod

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

He was never seen alive again. The next day, when the skis were in good
order, the friend followed Fulford’s tracks with no difficulty until
beyond Bowman Gulch. Then evidence of an enormous snowslide came into
view, and the footsteps went no farther. The friend retraced his path
and enlisted the help of one hundred men to plumb the depths of the
slide. Two days later Fulford’s body was found in a sitting position,
his eyes still wide open with surprise.

Shaken by the loss, the rescue party determined to rename their towns.
From that time on the camps were known as Upper and Lower Fulford. They
were incorporated in January, 1896, with a townsite comprising
fifty-nine acres. Lower Fulford grew in popularity, and gradually the
post office and many businesses moved down to the more roomy location.

Fulford’s mines were profitable until about 1903 when the camp died
away. The town had another big boom ten years later when one of the
prospectors who had stayed on made a new lucky strike. The place was
crowded, every empty cabin was appropriated, and the hotel bulged. One
mine was named the 1913 Tunnel in honor of its $200-a-ton ore—and then
in a few weeks everything fizzled out again.

In 1960 most of its log cabins had been moved down to ranches on Brush
Creek. A few old buildings in Lower Fulford had been adapted for hunting
and fishing cabins, and the rest were deserted. Upper Fulford was
completely ghost. The 1906 wooden bucket for spring water, halfway
between the two camps, was still in place, and its water still

But the story of Fulford was almost lost. People were more interested in
the nearby cave than in the history of the town. Nonetheless the camp
seemed unusual in that the names of Fulford and Nolan preserved the
memories of two accidents, so typical and so hazardous in the lives of
Colorado mining towns—a unique duo....

Crystal City, the other ghost town to be reached from Glenwood Springs,
is a long, but scenic drive away. The route via the Frying Pan, Roaring
Fork and Crystal River Valleys, is especially scenic but to be
undertaken with caution (as shown on the map). The ride up the Crystal
River, whose bed has been carelessly strewn with great slabs of marble
by former cloudbursts, is a fascinating preparation for the special
charm of Crystal City. The town lies tucked into a green valley at the
forks of the Crystal River and until 1955 could only be reached afoot or
on horseback—an isolation helpful to preservation.

On the way up Crystal River the visitor passes through two storied towns
that have their own dramatic pasts—Redstone and Marble. Near Marble was
the quarry which supplied the white stone for the Lincoln Memorial in
Washington, D.C., and the block for the Unknown Soldier’s Grave at
Arlington, Virginia. A standard gauge railroad, The Crystal River and
San Juan, served the town and there connected with a four-mile electric
line that served the quarry. In many places along the embankment of the
river the roadbed has been riprapped with marble, a strange sight. Our
ghost town is five miles farther up the Crystal River than the marble
finishing plant (now Marble’s special ghost).

                 [Illustration: Unknown, 1880’s; D.P.L.]


                  [Illustration: Robert Symonds, 1954]

Crystal City had its beginnings in 1880 when prospectors, working north
from Gunnison through Gothic and Schofield, drifted down the south fork
of the Crystal River. They found outcroppings of transparent quartz shot
with crystallite and called the river and their little settlement,
Crystal. From that year until 1885, about seven good silver mines were
opened up in the surrounding mountains, notably the Lead King in Lead
King Basin, the Inez, the Harrison Farley, the Catalpa, the Sheep
Mountain tunnel and the Black Queen.

Isolation was Crystal City’s greatest problem. Shipment of ore had to be
by long jack trains along treacherous trails either via Schofield to
Gothic or down the Crystal River to Carbondale. The trails were harassed
by both rock and snowslides, and the miners who wintered there were
completely snowbound. In 1883 a four-mile road was completed from
Schofield. Crystal City’s population mounted to about three hundred that
year and to about four hundred by 1886.

The town had several stores, two newspapers, the _Silver Lance_ and the
_Crystal River Current_, the usual saloons, two hotels, a barber shop,
pool hall and a renowned club—the Crystal Club. It also had a very
unusual mill used at different times in its history by the Black Queen,
the Sheep Mountain tunnel (which was over half a mile long) and the Lead
King. The last time the mill was used was in 1916 when an attempt was
made to re-open the first two mines, but the ore was not rich enough for
consistent profits.

Crystal City’s population fluctuated radically as did that of all mining
camps. After the Silver Panic people moved out until in 1915 there were
only eight residents. The next year the count rose to over seventy-five
because of Black Queen and Sheep Mountain tunnel mining activity. But
when this venture failed, Crystal City died completely.

In 1954 Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Neal of Indiana, who were enthralled with
the beauty of Crystal City’s setting, allied themselves with Mrs. Helen
Collins in a movement to preserve the remaining buildings of Crystal
City. In 1960 the town was a summer resort, accessible by an automobile
road from Carbondale and by a jeep road from Schofield Park and Gunnison
County towns.

Its unusual mill stood, if increasingly dilapidated, the most
picturesque mill in Colorado, and lent delightful Crystal City a unique

                              _From Aspen_


The drive to Lenado (which the natives incorrectly call Lenade-o—see
over for pronunciation) will take you through a colorful red sandstone
area that looks unmineralized. But close to the head and on the south
side of Woody Creek were two rich tunnels—the Aspen Contact mine and the
Leadville. The unusually rich zinc-lead-silver vein from which they stem
was found in the early 1880’s by A. J. Varney who climbed out of Aspen
up Hunter Creek, over Red Mountain and around the lower reaches of Bald

Varney formed the Varney Tunnel Company, and a settlement of some three
hundred people grew up below the tunnels. They erected log cabins, some
frame houses, a store, a boardinghouse, two saloons, a sawmill, a mill
for the ore, and a big log barn to shelter the mules used in the mines
and for transporting concentrates to Aspen and on to Leadville. The road
followed the approximate route Varney had taken when he found the

About 1888 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (which had arrived in
Aspen the year before) graded an eight-mile roadbed up Woody Creek from
the Roaring Fork Valley. But later it was decided shipments of ore from
Lenado would not support a branch line. Lenado continued operating as it
had been until the Panic of ’93 when the sawmill, mill and mines shut
down. Around the turn of the century they were started up again and ran
until 1906.

Then Lenado lapsed to ghost status until 1917 when lead and zinc were
needed during World War I. The Smuggler Leasing Company built a new
boardinghouse, rebuilt some of the old houses and opened the sawmill and
the mines. Trucks were used to transport the ore for milling and
smelting elsewhere.

               [Illustration: J. E. Spurr, 1898; U.S.G.S.]

                      LENADO BEGAN AS A SILVER CAMP

    At the time geologist Spurr took the upper photo he remarked that
    Lenado was in a rather dilapidated condition, having been badly
    affected by the Silver Panic. His picture was taken from above the
    Leadville mine, both higher and farther to the left than the 1960
    shot. The latter shows the dump of the Aspen Contact mine, the
    original old barn for the mine mules and one of the old houses
    dating from the 1880’s.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                       LENADO’S NAME MEANS “WOODED”

    A busy sawmill has saved the town from death in full prophecy of the
    unknown man who gave it a Spanish name (pronounced Len-yah-do).

When the need for strategic metals waned, Lenado folded again. In 1935
Jack Flogaus opened up the sawmill to run continuously thereafter. In
the summer of 1960 he employed thirty-three men, five of whose families
stayed the year round and ten of whose families were summer residents.
The cutting of lumber was done on U. S. Forest Service land on Larkspur
Mountain and was limited to spruce only.

Lenado is unique because of its sawmill—the only mining camp that was
revived from a ghost town by woodcutting....

The story of Ashcroft can almost be told by the Colorado Business
Directory which listed its population thus: 1881, 200; 1883, 1,000 in
summer, winter, uncertain; 1884, 500; 1885, 100; 1890, 50; 1910, 60.

The first prospectors arrived in the summer of 1879 over Pearl Pass,
staked some claims and decided to winter at the site of Ashcroft. The
town’s boom followed in 1882 when Jacob Sands and partners found rich
ore in the Montezuma-Tam O’Shanter mines and obtained their financing
from Horace Tabor. The town’s favorite story is of the big day in the
spring of 1883 when the Silver King arrived on an inspection trip with
his bride, Baby Doe. A twenty-four hour celebration was held, including
a banquet, ball and free drinks at the thirteen saloons.

Ashcroft’s fortunes followed the pattern of other small silver camps
with minor variations. Its uniqueness today stems from later
developments. The Stuart Maces established the most unusual lodge in
Colorado there after World War II. They specialized in Toklat Husky
dogs, conducting dogsled rides in winter and kennel tours in summer.
Toklat Lodge has become internationally famous.

Although the Mace’s own building is new, they have tried to foster
preservation of the old buildings. In 1960 fifteen of these were still
standing, despite the fact that the heavy snows were felling them fast.
The Forest Service had established six camp sites nearby with tables and
garbage cans but were ignoring everything historical.

Ashcroft is also unique because some of its old buildings were used in
filming of the Sergeant Preston TV series, popular about 1956-’57.

(_History of the Roaring Fork Valley can be more easily understood if
the visitor reads_ Famous Aspen _and_ Glenwood’s Early Glamor.)


    Ashcroft had two outlets; one over the passes, Taylor and
    Cottonwood, to Buena Vista’s railhead, the other over Pearl Pass to
    Crested Butte.

                    [Illustration: Franz Berko, 1958]

                            _From Leadville_


Independence is the town of many names—and yet it never had an official
post office of “Independence!”

It happened this way: the camp was started in the spring of 1879 by a
group of prospectors from Leadville, headed by Billy Belden. They found
an excellent gold placer at the head of the Roaring Fork and settled
down to mine. They called the placer and their camp Belden. On the
Fourth of July they made another big strike a few yards away and in
their jubilation renamed their holdings, Independence, because of the

Meanwhile their camp had attracted newcomers who were resented by the
first arrivals, and feuds began to flare. The placer claims led to lode
discoveries, and by 1880 the Farwell Company of Leadville had secured a
dozen of the best properties. They began construction of a mill. At the
same time a town promoter, William Kinkead, moved in and changed the
name to Chipeta in honor of Chief Ouray’s wife. In January, 1881, he
secured a postmaster’s job for himself with a post office called Sidney.

The Farwell Mining Company disliked Kinkead’s action, and six months
later they obtained a post office under the name of Farwell. A third
group, antagonistic to both the first petitioners, obtained a post
office in February, 1882, under the name of Sparkhill. That same year
the first two post offices were discontinued, and Sparkhill won. But
half the residents still called the settlement Independence.

The town flourished with some four hundred residents until 1887 as both
a mining camp and stage-stop on the road between Aspen and Leadville.
But when the D. & R. G. and the Colorado Midland railroads arrived in
Aspen, people started to move away. In 1888 Independence had a
population of one hundred. The remaining residents first changed the
name to Mammoth City, then Mount Hope, and then in 1897-’99, during a
revival of the mine and mill, back to Chipeta.

After 1900 there was only one resident—the caretaker of the mill, Jack
Williams, who called his home, Independence. In 1912 Williams departed,
and so died Belden-Independence-Chipeta-Sidney-Farwell-Sparkhill-Mammoth
City-Mount Hope-Chipeta-Independence—a town unique in nomenclature....

Before sightseeing around Leadville the visitor should read _The
Unsinkable Mrs. Brown_, _Silver Queen_, _Augusta Tabor_ and the
_Matchless Mine_ and _Lusty Leadville_. No mining camp in Colorado can
equal Leadville for the drama of its history, and it is impossible to
catch the region’s unique flavor without some preparation beforehand.

There are a number of ghost towns in the environs. The most historic is
Oro City in California Gulch, but we have chosen Stumptown because of
its association with “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” a musical comedy. To
the south are Ball Mountain and fabulous Breece Hill where J. J. Brown
was an eighth owner of the Little Jonny.


    This, the easiest ghost town to see, is viewable from a parked car
    and presents a host of interesting shots for the artistic

                    [Illustration: Franz Berko, 1957]

The Little Jonny was probably Leadville’s richest mine. Properties such
as the Robert E. Lee made more fantastic shipments—during a
seventeen-hour stretch in January, 1880, some $118,500 was extracted—and
others such as the Tabors’ Matchless have had more publicity. But the
Little Jonny was rare in being both a gold and silver mine in a
predominantly silver camp.

Its principal owner was John F. Campion (“Leadville Johnny”) who
employed Jim Brown as a superintendent until Brown was clever enough to
find a gold belt in the workings of the mine. This was just at the time
that the price of silver was falling and the Panic of 1893 was casting a
pall on the silver camps. In return for this stroke of luck the grateful
owners cut Brown in for an eighth share of the mine.

Jim Brown had married Maggie Tobin, an illiterate Irish waitress, in
1886. In order to be close to the mines that he was managing at the
time, he had taken her to live in Stumptown.

One historian has contended that Stumptown is really Stumpftown, named
for Joseph Stumpf. This seems unlikely as Stumpf was reportedly engaged
in placering north of Leadville in the lower reaches of Evans Gulch some
six miles from Stumptown on the Stumpf placer in the 1890’s. In 1897 he
obtained the job of hoistman at the Little Jonny mine. At that time,
seventeen years after Stumptown’s beginnings, Stumpf went to live in
Stumptown to be close to his job at the mine. Apparently he lived in the
same two-room log cabin (now gone) on the north face of Breece Hill that
had been formerly occupied in 1886 by Jim Brown and his bride, Maggie
(later “The Unsinkable”). The cabin may very easily have been the
property of the Ibex Mining Company, owner of the Little Jonny.

Stumptown began in 1880 with a main street that ran parallel to South
Evans Gulch on the west side of the creek. It grew up around the
activities of such mines as the Little Bob, St. Louis, Louise, Gold
Basin, Winnie, Ollie Reed and Little Ellen (all of which were in South
Evans Gulch). Above it on the face of Breece Hill were such famous
producers as the Fanny Rawlings, the Big Four, the five shafts of the
Little Jonny, the Modoc and the Eclipse.

As “suburbs” of Leadville went, the town was fairly conservative. It was
largely residential with a number of saloons, a pool hall and a fine
school house. This building may still be seen in Leadville at the
southwest corner of Sixth and Hemlock Streets where it was moved to
serve as the Union Hall.

Stumptown has only two dwellings left and is a complete ghost town, but
unique because of “The Unsinkable,” an Irish lass who survived the
sinking of the _Titanic_.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    Stumptown lies in South Evans Gulch, east of Leadville. It was the
    place where Maggie Tobin Brown lived as the bride of Jim Brown,
    manager of the Little Jonny mine. It is also where she is supposed
    to have lost a fortune by hiding paper money in a stove and having
    it burned. The upper photo looks west toward the Sawatch Range past
    the Ollie Reed mine; the lower, toward Mosquito Pass and the burro
    race trail.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                            _From Fairplay_


Buckskin Joe and Leavick are the principal trips here although Como and
Mudsill are circled on the map because of photos (over). Buckskin Joe
was a famous placer camp discovered in August, 1859, by eight
prospectors led by Joseph Higganbottom. Since he was a mountaineer who
habitually wore clothes of tanned deer skin, his nickname was “Buckskin
Joe.” The diggings were named after him.

The town flourished under this name and Lauret for most of the 1860’s,
having in 1861 a population of five or six hundred including twenty or
thirty women. At least half the residents made their living from
saloons, hotels, gambling dens and variety halls which caused Buckskin
Joe to be described in the _Rocky Mountain News_ as South Park’s
“liveliest little burg.” By 1874 its population had dropped to fifty,
and several years later it was dead. Its creation of the Silverheels
legend makes it unique, and people say her cabin still stands in the
trees across the creek....

Leavick is unique because it existed sixteen years as a settlement
without a name. From 1880 to 1896 there was a group of miners, sometimes
as high as two hundred, living in the shadow of Horseshoe Mountain (see
photos) close to the Last Chance and Hilltop mines and their mill. The
settlement had two saloons, stores, a house of ill repute, and no name.

Finally when the narrow gauge railroad arrived in 1896, the town was
named after Felix Leavick, prominent mining man of Leadville and Denver,
who owned properties in the Mosquito Range. Leavick had a sporadic life
until 1910 with occasional fake bursts after that. Today most of its
buildings have been moved to South Park City, a tourist town on the edge
of Fairplay.

               [Illustration: George Wakely, 1864; C.H.S.]

               DID “SILVERHEELS” DANCE HERE IN THE 1860’S?

    Buckskin Joe was the mining camp that created one of the most
    delightful Colorado legends. Silverheels was a beautiful dancehall
    girl who stayed to nurse the miners during a smallpox epidemic after
    all the other women fled. Later, when the miners raised a purse to
    reward her, she could not be found. Smallpox had attacked and
    ravaged her beauty; so she disappeared. In memory, Mount Silverheels
    was named for her.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                     [Illustration: _D.K.P., 1960_]


    At Mudsill the wye of the Denver, South Park and Hilltop narrow
    gauge is all that remains of a small camp created by the activities
    of the Mudsill mine. Below is the sad, abandoned D.S.P. & P.
    roundhouse at Como.

                   [Illustration: Michael Davis, 1960]

                     [Illustration: _D.K.P., 1960_]


    The Leavick terminus of the Last Chance and Hilltop mines’ tramway
    was at the above mill. Ore buckets swung in the second story
    (right), emptied and back along the towers. Below is an arastra in
    Buckskin Creek.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                          _From Cripple Creek_


Next to Leadville, the Cripple Creek district has the most fascination
for the preterist. It had the most fabulous gold production of any camp
in Colorado—nay, in the United States. According to historian Marshall
Sprague, the district created twenty-eight millionaires as a modest
estimate. One of those who made a million was lumberman Sam Altman.
Formerly he ran a sawmill in Poverty Gulch but in 1893 he founded a
town, Altman.

His town was close to three big producers, the Pharmacist, Victor and
Buena Vista, and to his own mine, the Free Coinage on Bull Hill. By
November of 1893, the town was supporting four restaurants, six saloons,
six groceries, several boardinghouses and a telephone. A school house
and two hundred frame or log houses had been erected, and the loyal
citizens claimed a population of twelve hundred.

From its high perch Altman could look down on Independence, Goldfield,
Cameron and many another mushrooming settlement that burgeoned in the
Cripple Creek excitement of the early ’90’s. It was not a dressy camp,
but a workaday place peopled solely by miners. These miners were
workers—hard workers—and they thought they should be more justly
rewarded for their labor.

One of Altman’s miners was John Calderwood, a Scotsman and a graduate of
the McKeesport School of Mines in the class of 1876. He elected to be an
organizer for the Western Federation of Miners, a newly formed union
born in Butte, Montana, in May, 1893. He was no firebrand but a
dignified conscientious worker. Within two months he had signed up every
Altman miner for his Free Coinage Union No. 19, W. F. M., and promised
them a standard eight-hour three-dollar day.

                [Illustration: T. H. Routh, 1894; D.P.L.]


    Altman was platted by Sam Altman in 1893 on the short saddle between
    Bull Hill and Bull Cliff and soon had a population of fifteen
    hundred (including Midway a hamlet to the northwest). Its altitude
    was 10,620 feet. It claimed to be the highest incorporated town in
    the world and probably was, in North America. Both upper and lower
    shots were taken near the crest of Bull Hill with Pikes Peak looming
    in the background. Bull Hill was the scene of one of the early
    skirmishes of labor-capital battles and was notable as the first
    significant victory for labor. Part of the maneuvering was comic
    opera and part, raw violence.


The mine owners were enraged at his demand. In February, 1894, twelve of
them banded together in an agreement that their mines would operate
solely on a nine-hour three-dollar day. One of the signers was Sam
Altman who sat back to see what the residents of his town would do next.

Under Calderwood’s bidding five hundred men walked out of the nine-hour
mines. Bull Hill, practically in Altman’s back yard, was one of the
areas most affected because a number of nine-hour mines were located

Calderwood organized a central kitchen at Altman to feed the out-of-work
miners. He collected funds, trained pickets, assessed the working miners
and addressed daily meetings. By March the Bull Hill mine owners were no
longer scoffing. Winfield Scott Stratton, richest operator in the
district, sent for Calderwood and offered a compromise of $3.25 for a
nine-hour shift by day and the same wages for an eight-hour shift by

Calderwood accepted the compromise and signed a contract. A contract
with a union leader was an unheard of thing in that day and stirred the
whole state into editorials and epithets. It made the mine owners of
Bull Hill bull-headed, and they attempted force to re-open their mines.
But Calderwood made a fortress out of Altman.

He kept order but he also kept anything in the way of a scab or a mine
owner out. The mine owners appealed to Governor Waite for militia which
arrived and was withdrawn, leaving Calderwood in possession of Altman
and Bull Hill. Unfortunately, Calderwood decided to tour the state on
behalf of the miners’ cause. Without his calm wise leadership the
criminal element drifted in and violence took over.

The final peace treaty was signed at Altman on June 10, 1894, after one
hundred and thirty days of the strike—the longest in American history up
to that time. The nine-hour mine owners gave in on the question of an
eight-hour day.

The Battle of Bull Hill was over, and Altman went back to the business
of mining. Later on it was the hang-out for the Jack Smith gang and saw
some shootings. But mostly the town just mined until the second Cripple
Creek strike occurred a decade after the first.

It maintained a steady population until that time. But after the ill
effects of the second strike, mines shut down and miners moved out. In
1910 its population had dropped to one hundred. After that it fell off
consistently until there was no one.

Altman is unique in our collection—and in the United States—as the scene
of the first major strike war and of the first workers’ victory—a truly
unique presage of the twentieth century.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    Goldfield was platted in January, 1895, and had a population of
    thirty-five hundred. It served rather as a suburb to Victor but did
    build a few substantial buildings, including this fire house. Its
    quaint engine has been removed to Victor for display. The Bull Hill
    station (below) is a reminder of three railroads that formerly
    served Cripple Creek and also of the Independence station blown up
    by Harry Orchard, 1904.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                           _From Canon City_


Two interesting mountain spots may be seen in this locality. Rosita,
which dates from 1873, is a true ghost town with no one living there in
1960 save the postmistress. But Silver Cliff is no ghost, despite the
fact that it was for a decade or more from 1910 on. Both are former
county seats of Custer County, and both lost the honor as their silver
mines gave out.

Silver Cliff is five years younger than Rosita and experienced a much
greater boom than any other mining camp in Colorado with the exception
of Leadville. Its first shipment of ore from the gargantuan and unique
silver cliff (site of both photos) was in 1878. The population rose to
some fifteen thousand in 1881 at the peak of its three-year rush. The
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reached there in May, 1881, and was
welcomed with celebration.

Its fire department, established in 1879 in the Town Hall (the lonely
building facing this way in the 1960 shot, and now a museum), soon
distinguished itself as a frequent winner in the state tournaments of
hose cart races for volunteer firemen....

Rosita (which means “Little Rose” in Spanish) was the principal town in
the Wet Mountain Valley for five years before Silver Cliff and Westcliff
(now the county seat) usurped its priority. It had the honor of being
the subject of an article written by Helen Hunt Jackson and published in
_Scribners Monthly_ for May, 1878. The author (“H. H.”) claimed there
were three hundred mines at the time—but she probably did not know a
mine from a prospect hole. She stayed at an inn called _The House of the
Snowy Range_, and her descriptions made Rosita and its setting sound as
poetically unique as its name.

             [Illustration: W. Cross, circa 1890; U.S.G.S.]


    In the 1890 photo the ornate two-story house (seen below) stood at
    the righthand end of the main street, facing this way. In 1960 the
    house next was gone except for some lumber on the ground; the third
    house still stood. The mansion bore a sign Post Office which was
    tacked up in 1957 during the filming of _Saddle the Wind_, a movie
    that starred Robert Taylor and used Rosita for atmosphere. Both are
    now gone.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

            [Illustration: L. C. McClure, 1900-1909; D.P.L.]


    Silver Cliff boomed in 1879 to such an extent that it rivaled
    Leadville for a decade. For a short period it was the third largest
    town in Colorado and it has never been a true ghost town, although
    much fallen from its former opulence. What has never changed is the
    view from the silver cliff, facing the town, across the Wet Mountain
    Valley to the spectacular reddish Sangre de Cristo Range (Blood of
    Christ in Spanish).

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                             _From Salida_


Turret was a gold camp that was discovered very late—in 1897—and
experienced a boom the following spring. It was located on the south
side of Nipple Mountain (which is a spur of Turret Mountain) in a valley
at the head of Cat Gulch. The _Rocky Mountain News_ for May 14, 1898,
carried a long article describing the excitement in “Turret City” and
the possibilities of the various lodes.

Houses were going up fast, and lots were in great demand. Stores, an
assay office and saloons were doing business, and a hotel was planned. A
post office was open, and daily mail was arriving from Salida. The
article was exuberant at the gold showing in hematite, jasper and schist
and spoke of the Monterrey lode as having great promise.

The town’s population, after the usual boomers and drifters departed,
was around three or four hundred. In 1900 the _Denver Republican_ ran an
article devoted largely to Turret’s mines and spoke of the
mineralization being in the “Salida Copper Belt” and of the Gold Bug
mine’s fine shipments of ore. The town was prospering.

By 1907 the population had slipped to two hundred fifty. Still it hung
on with a steady flow of gold, gradually lessening to a trickle, until
1939 when there were but twenty-six residents. In 1941 the post office
was discontinued, and finally Turret died.

Steve Frazee, prolific Colorado author, two of whose books have become
films (_Gold of the Seven Saints_ and _Many Rivers to Cross_) and whose
1961 offering was _More Damn Tourists_, has this provocative

      [Illustration: N. W. Meigs, 1902; Virgil Jackson Collection]


    The cliffs which gave Turret its name are to the rear of the
    photographer in both shots. These photos look across the Arkansas
    Valley to Shavano and Antero Peaks. When the 1902 picture was taken,
    Turret had a population of one hundred ninety-five and was reached
    by stage from Salida. Note the residences on the hill at the far end
    of the main street where the 1960 shot caught a sod roof and amateur

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

“When I went to Turret in 1932 to operate a mine, there were
thirty-seven inhabitants, three of whom were old timers, since they had
been there from the 1890’s. One, Pete G. Schlosser of Illinois, claimed
to be the first man to eat tomatoes and thus prove they were
non-poisonous. Another, Emil Becker of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had
been the most active prospector of all, discovering mines and selling
them. He was a former big league ball player, having pitched to Connie
Mack. One of his old teammates, Billy Sunday, visited Becker when the
latter was running a saloon in Turret, and that is a story in itself.”

In 1960 Turret had fifteen houses standing. The largest (which may have
been the Gregory Hotel) was painted white, cared for, and evidently
inhabited as a summer home. Two or three others appeared also to have
been redeemed from the mountain rats by weekend sojourners. But the
remainder were true ghosts.

Turret has a stimulating view of Shavano and Antero Peaks and the
Collegiate Range. It is unique for the castle-like cliffs which stand
guard to the east and which gave the town its name....

Bonanza, or Bonanza City, dates from early in 1880 when gold was found
along Kerber Creek. An episode occurred about the naming of Bonanza
which is probably unique in the annals of Colorado. The city fathers
decided on Bonanza City as a name. In consequence the town was so
incorporated in December, 1880, but they changed their minds. One month
later, in January, 1881, the town was re-incorporated as Bonanza. This
has led to considerable confusion during the years—some historians
claiming that Bonanza is one of Colorado’s seven incorporated
“cities”—which it is not.

The town’s boom began in the summer of 1880 when there was a rush to
Kerber Creek. Four towns sprang up of which Bonanza is the sole
survivor. For a few it had a population of some fifteen hundred while
thirty-two businesses tended to Bonanza’s needs. But the district’s ore
was a disappointment—far from bonanza. It proved to be low grade and
also refractory. In the mid-1880’s the town almost died.

Then Mark Beidell imported new machinery for the Michigan mine and mill
and proved that the ore values could be recovered for small but adequate
profit. Slowly others emulated this example, and by 1900 the Bonanza,
Exchequer and Eagle mines had been re-opened. More mines such as the
Wheel of Fortune, St. Joe and K. O. also produced steadily. The ores
were largely lead, zinc and silver with a little copper.

Bonanza has never died. In 1910 it had a population of one hundred. Some
thirty people were still living there the year around in 1960, the men
actively mining and hoping for the price of metals to rise. Many
buildings were standing, at least half of them deserted.

Bonanza is unique in our collection because of the anomaly of its name—a
real misnomer.

           [Illustration: Charles Goodman, mid-1880’s; D.P.L.]


    Bonanza City was actually no bonanza. It had many mines and
    quantities of low-grade ore which supplied some good fortunes but no
    millions. It spread for over a mile along Kerber Creek and absorbed
    an early rival, Kerber City.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    The 1960 shot was at the upper end of Bonanza and depicts the
    farthest house in town, opposite a well and the Wheel of Fortune
    mine dump.

                           _From Buena Vista_


A drive up Chalk Creek around the south side of Mt. Princeton and past
the Chalk Cliffs (as famed in their way as those of Dover) will bring
you to St. Elmo. This mining camp was located first as Forest City in
December, 1880, but shortly after received a post office under the name
of St. Elmo. Its main reason for existence was the Mary Murphy mine
which had been located five years before and was sold in 1880 to a St.
Louis company. There were other gold and silver mines in the locality,
such as the Brittenstein group, but many did not warrant the capital

St. Elmo’s second reason for existence was the arrival of the narrow
gauge, Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad, which was building
toward Gunnison. The grade required a tunnel under the continental
divide, west of St. Elmo. In the face of howling blizzards and much
labor trouble, work on the Alpine Tunnel went on while St. Elmo acted as
a supply depot. The tunnel was completed the following year in December,
1881, and regular service through the tunnel commenced in the summer of
’82. According to the Colorado Business Directory, St. Elmo’s population
was three hundred in these years but dropped to two hundred and fifty
when some of the mines proved to be mirages.

But the Mary Murphy held up through the years, employing around one
hundred men. According to Louisa Ward Arps (Chalk Creek historian), its
peak year was 1914 when a crew of two hundred and fifty was hired. The
mine had a tramway nearly 5000 feet long which ran down Pomeroy Mountain
from the tunnel outlet at the fourth level to the railroad grade in the
gulch. The Mary Murphy finally ceased operation in the 1920’s with a
total production of around $14,000,000.

                [Illustration: Unknown, 1884-90; D.P.L.]

                      SAINT ELMO HAD A CLIFTON HOTEL

    The upper view shows one of the two main blocks that was destroyed
    by fire in 1890. The Clifton Hotel was the large white building in
    the center of the upper view. The white building at the right was a
    saloon—note bartenders with white aprons and man holding a beer keg.
    In the original picture, the stage road to Tin Cup Pass can just be
    discerned, wending its way up through the timber at far left.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

During its heyday St. Elmo was a little hub, having in addition to its
railroad, toll roads west to Tin Cup, north to Aspen and south to
Maysville. Accordingly it was a favorite spot with the miners for
Saturday night celebrations. But when trips through the tunnel stopped
in 1910, and trains up Chalk Creek were halted in 1926, St. Elmo was
doomed. Finally there were only two residents of St. Elmo, Annabelle
Stark and her brother, Tony, who were to be the subject of many
articles. Until their deaths, each one’s mounting eccentricities made
them legendary, and St. Elmo unique....

Winfield started in 1880 and had a post office, one store, two hotels,
two saloons and enough cabins to make a population of around thirty. By
1883 it had a number of mines operating which were shipping their silver
and copper ore to Leadville for smelting. One of these mines was the
Augusta, owned by Jacob Sands (the lover of Baby Doe who brought the
beautiful Colorado divorcee to Leadville). Jake was a friend of Horace
Tabor’s and eventually lost his sweetheart to the Silver King (as Tabor
was called). But what made Jake name his mine after Tabor’s first wife?
Probably Tabor gave him some money for development since the claim was
located on May 10, 1880, several weeks before Tabor and Baby Doe met.
The mine is a long crosscut tunnel in Hummel Basin about two miles
northwest of Winfield. The Augusta made money for a while but produced
no fortune.

Still, the strange puzzle of the mine’s name and hidden history does
give Winfield a unique quality.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    The Clear Creek district of Chaffee County had seven mining camps
    rivaling each other in 1881. Only two survived, Vicksburg and
    Winfield. Today both have been changed into summer resorts where
    fishing is the principal sport and main attraction.

                            _From Gunnison_


Tin Cup was “a wild ’un.” Probably Creede, Leadville and Tin Cup
attained the worst reputations (and rightfully) of Colorado’s many
mining camps. Tin Cup was particularly hard on marshals. The first two
officeholders were weak and completely under control of the vice element
who ran the gambling dens, sporting houses and saloons full tilt. The
marshals’ orders were to give an appearance of law and order so as to
make it easier to fleece the suckers.

Finally conditions grew so bad that a sincere attempt was made to
straighten up the corruption. The first strong marshal, Harry Rivers,
was shot in a gun battle. His successors were shot, resigned, went
insane, or got religion and changed their calling to that of the pulpit.
Their infamous story has been very ably portrayed by Rene Coquoz,
Leadville historian. “Frenchie,” the saloon keeper who shot one of the
marshals, ran a place across from the Town Hall at Washington and Grand
Streets. The saloon still stands.

Tin Cup’s history begins very early in 1861. A prospecting party that
consisted of Jim Taylor and two companions was camped on the Taylor
River. One of the men brought back to camp some promising looking gravel
in a tin cup which suggested the idea of a name for the region. They did
a little placering; but in the next years the Civil War curtailed mining
activities throughout Colorado. Nothing much happened in the region
until the late 1870’s when strikes were made on the Gold Cup, the Tin
Cup, the Anna Dedricka and the Jimmy Mack. Immediately there was a rush
to the area, and in 1879 the town of Virginia City was surveyed and

                  [Illustration: Unknown, 1906; D.P.L.]


    During Tin Cup’s revival a Town Hall was erected in 1906 and used
    for a variety of community affairs. The Town Hall was renovated and
    re-painted in 1950 by the Civic Association. Tin Cup had no church.

                  [Illustration: Bryant McFadden, 1960]

Frank Hall, one of Colorado’s most eminent historians, says in Volume IV
of his comprehensive work that the surface ores were high grade silver,
ranging from 114 to 600 ounces of silver per ton, and that all had
admixtures of gold. In addition there were some excellent placers and
gold lodes. In 1880 the Gold Cup mine sold for $300,000, and the town
was firmly on its way.

By 1881 when George Crofutt wrote his _Grip-Sack Guide of Colorado_ he
reported that Virginia City had changed its name to Tin Cup to conform
with the name of the region. He added that Tin Cup was a prosperous
mining town of six hundred population with twelve stores, several
hostels and one smelter. (He omitted the more flagrant business
emporiums.) He stressed that game was very abundant and gave the fare
for the daily line of sleighs running to St. Elmo.

The Colorado Business directory puts the population figure for 1881 at
five hundred, a hundred less than Crofutt. It is interesting to note on
this matter of population that present-day writers have a habit of
enlarging the figures enormously, especially so-called historians of
ghost towns who generally add a zero to any number they encounter. If
Colorado’s hundreds of mining camps had as many people living in them as
is claimed by post-World War II writers, the state would have been as
populous then as it is now. But it was not.

Tin Cup, despite the fact that it has had enormous publicity through
Pete Smythe’s radio and TV show of the same name and through the
building of an amusement park west of Denver called East Tin Cup, must
be seen in the same light. It was just another mining town, although
colorful in its own way, and by the late 1880’s was very much in

In 1891 it had a revival and kept going fairly well through that decade.
It picked up even more after the turn of the century when the gold mines
put on larger crews and when dredging machinery was moved in to operate
the placers. But following the usual pattern of these towns, World War I
ushered in a growing paralysis, and by 1917 the Gold Cup mine, Tin Cup’s
mainstay, shut down.

Tin Cup slumbered on in a complete trance except for an occasional
sportsman. Little by little its quaint charm, including fire hydrants
that date from 1891, attracted more people. By 1960 it was a substantial
summer resort with more people taking over the many deserted cabins and
buildings and telling of its unique wild past....

Gothic is reached by returning down the Taylor River to Almont and
taking the road up the East River to its junction with Copper Creek.
Crofutt described it in 1881 as the most important mining camp in
Gunnison County with a population of nine hundred and fifty. It was
established June 8, 1879, and made rapid progress, having many large
stores, hotels, restaurants, saloons, shops of all kinds, a public
school, a smelter (which Frank Hall says never operated), three sawmills
and a weekly newspaper. Shortly its population rose to fifteen hundred.

But, as one old-timer recalled, the Gothic district was the paradise of
prospectors but not of miners. It was streaked on every mountainside
with protruding veins of quartz. A blind man could locate a claim. But
the ore values were not high enough for exploitation. The district had
only its unusual beauty amid its surrounding peaks—Treasury, Cinnamon,
Galena, Baldy, Belleview and Italian—and to the north the towering Elk

Gothic died. Only one resident remained until Dr. John C. Johnson, a
former dean at the Western State College in Gunnison, saw its
possibilities in 1928 for a fully accredited six-weeks summer school—the
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory—and bought the two-hundred-acre
town. Each year its distinguished staff of scientists invites other
eminent scholars in the biological field to a conference and symposium
at the end of the regular teaching session. Such topics as “The Living
Balance Between Flora and Fauna” are discussed. The laboratory has
brought Gothic into a national prominence never attained by its mines.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory with its nine hundred and five
acres of primitive spruce and fir land, which sweep up the side of Baldy
Mountain, made Gothic unique in 1960. It was the only ghost town that
had turned into a school.

                  [Illustration: Bryant McFadden, 1958]


    Garwood Judd, variously known as “The Man Who Stayed” and “Mayor of
    Gothic,” lived off and on in the Town Hall until his death in 1930.

                            _From Lake City_


Capitol City is unique for two reasons—the odd spelling of its name and
the sad ruin of one man’s dream to have his town the capital of
Colorado. He was George S. Lee, a mill and smelter operator.

Frank Fossett wrote in 1880 in his _Colorado_ that Capitol City was
located at the junction of the two forks of Henson Creek, nine miles
west of Lake City, in a park most of which was embraced by the Lee
townsite patent. The park was surrounded by rugged, towering San Juan
peaks, rich in silver, lead and iron ores. Two smelters were in
operation at each end of town. Fossett added:

“Right here ... where one would least expect to find it is the most
elegantly furnished house in Southern Colorado. The handsome brick
residence of George S. Lee and lady, distinguished for their
hospitality, is a landmark of this locality.”

George Lee suffered from the same disease that characterized so many of
the pioneers—a compound of boundless optimism and grandiose ambition. He
pictured his remote town as the capital of the state and his home as the
governor’s mansion. Perhaps it was an idea spoken in jest; perhaps it
was his sincere dream. Folklore leans to the latter version—but he never
campaigned for his idea nor introduced any bill into the legislature.

The name of his town is equally confusing. After Lake City was started
in 1874 and platted in 1875, prospectors streamed up Henson Creek, and a
town was built at its forks. The newspapers of 1876 and ’77 referred to
the town as Capital City, and the Colorado Business Directory for the
late 1870’s used interchangeably the two spellings of _Capital_ and
_Capitol_. Yet in 1961 the Postmaster General’s office in Washington
wrote that “a search of the records for 1876 and ’77 reveals that the
spelling of the town referred to was Capitol City.” To confuse matters
still further the Colorado State Archives office has recorded a
communication, dated May 2, 1887, from the county commissioners of
Hinsdale County in which they petition for permission to change the name
of Galena City to Capitol City.

Why is this petition eleven years late? Poor Capitol City—the whole
situation seems as confused as George Lee’s dream! And who was it did
not know that “capitol” is a building, not a town?

According to the historians, Jean and Don Griswold, Capitol City had two
prosperous periods when mining and smelting were booming—a silver boom
in the mid-1880’s and a gold boom around the turn of the century. Two
factors prevented Capitol City from attaining any major growth. Early
litigation discouraged and slowed up the first business activity of the
late 1870’s and early 1880’s, and later the gold deposits of the 1900’s
were not very large. The population of around three hundred in 1880
became discouraged and drifted away. In 1885 there were but one hundred
people residing there, and in 1900 there was the same number again.

In 1960 there were not many remaining signs of human habitation in
Capitol City. Above the junction of North Henson Creek with Henson Creek
there were some log cabins in what used to be the upper end of town. On
the townsite proper there was only the derelict mansion which was being
destroyed from every angle. Henson Creek had altered its course and was
eating away the embankment on which the Lee house stood while at the
same time human hands were carting away souvenirs. At the lower end of
town only the foundations could be seen of the smelter on which George
Lee had based his great dream.....

Continuing up Henson Creek in the direction that the stagecoach used to
travel from Lake City to Ouray, the visitor will come to the ruins of
Rose’s Cabin. Henson Creek was named for Henry Henson who prospected the
valley in 1871 prior to the Brunot Treaty of 1873 which took the land
away from the Utes. Rose’s Cabin was named for Corydon Rose who built it
in 1874. It was a hotel and bar with outlying stables and shed and
served as a welcome stage stop on the hard ride over Engineer Pass, the
most spectacular pass in Colorado, the road now altered to another ridge
to make a popular jeep ride....

Returning to Lake City the visitor will pass the Ute and Ulay mine. At
one time this was such a large operation that a town grew up around its
workings. The mill is disused and defunct, and the dam which supplied
its water power is broken. But the superintendent’s house is occupied by
a caretaker who guards the property summer and winter.

     [Illustration: From “Colorado” by Frank Fossett, 1880; D.P.L.]


    The elaborate layout of George S. Lee was depicted in Frank
    Fossett’s 1880 publication. The outlying barns, pastures and corrals
    are now gone. It is evident from this sketch that the course of
    Henson Creek must have been at the southern limit of Capitol Park.
    Today Henson Creek is flowing so close to the mansion that it is
    about to undermine the foundation. The 1960 view looks up the valley
    toward Rose’s Cabin.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

The Ute-Ulay is now part of the holdings of the powerful Newmont Mining
Company which also owns the Idarado Mining Company of Ouray and
Telluride and the Resurrection Mining Company of Leadville. There is
always the off chance that the price of metals will rise, and, should
this be the case, many a Colorado mining property would throw off its
ghostly pall and throb again with activity....

From Lake City a number of ghost towns can be seen but the most exciting
one requires a jeep. This is Carson which during the years of its
history was also known as Carson Camp and Carson City. Since Carson
City’s population during the score or so years of its existence from the
1880’s to the early 1900’s was at no time more than fifty and generally
around twenty, one is inevitably reminded by Bayard Taylor’s words:

“I only wish that the vulgar snobbish custom of attaching ‘city’ to
every place of more than three houses, could be stopped. From Illinois
to California it has become a general nuisance, telling only of swagger
and want of taste and not of growth.”

Bayard Taylor wrote these words in 1866. The “city” that called forth
his ire was Gate City, or Golden Gate City, a string of four or five
cabins, at the mouth of Tucker Creek on the stagecoach road to Central
City. He included these words the next year in his book _Colorado: A
Summer Trip_, and I first quoted the passage in my 1943 Master’s Thesis
about Central City for the University of Denver. In 1960 when I was
re-visiting many ghost towns, I thought of Bayard Taylor’s wish
frequently and smiled because Taylor never attained his wish. The vogue
of adding “city” to the name of any little hamlet continued unabated
through the whole nineteenth century and even into the twentieth.

Carson, or Carson City, deserved its appendage more than some at the
time of its naming and particularly deserves it today. Of all the towns
in our 1960 selection it gave the greatest feeling of being a ghost
town. Its buildings have been preserved by the cold and by the fortunate
fact that it is in an unusual spot which is not subject to snowslides.
This aspect is very rare in the San Juans where thundering snow is man’s
greatest enemy.

J. E. Carson discovered a mine in 1881 on top of the continental divide
some sixteen miles southwest of Lake City on the headwaters of Wager
Creek. He staked claims on both sides of the divide, the claims on the
south side being at the head of Lost Trail Creek which flows south into
the Rio Grande River. With the arrival of other prospectors the Carson
Mining district was organized, and in 1882 a camp started. The Griswolds
in their _Colorado’s Century of Cities_ have remarked that Carson was
thrown like a cavalry saddle across the continental divide with one
stirrup hanging on the Atlantic slope and one on the Pacific—a most apt

The construction of both segments of Carson is very good—all the
buildings are nicely shingled and show care in their carpentry. But the
Atlantic slope, or higher, section of Carson is in much greater
disrepair and will not survive very long.

In the ’80’s Carson mined silver, and after the Panic of 1893 the camp
mined gold. But the problem of transportation to a town which lay at
various levels from 11,500 feet to 12,360 was almost insoluble. Its ore
was gold, ruby silver and copper, running sometimes as high as $2,000 a
ton. Despite the richness of the ore the deposits ran in pockets,
occasionally as high as $40,000 in a pocket of only forty feet depth.
But when a pocket was stoped out, then the ore was completely gone.
Among the best mines were the Maid of Carson, Big Injun, Saint Jacob,
Dunderberg and Lost Trail.

And today Carson, although it is unique in its preservation, is a place
where riches are indeed a lost trail!

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    This section of the town lies on the Pacific slope side of the
    divide and is in much better condition than the camp on the Atlantic

                             _From Creede_


Bachelor’s beginnings followed the silver rush to the Creede area in the
autumn of 1890. The town was heralded by an amusing paragraph in the
_Creede Candle_ for January 21, 1892, which ran:

“The latest townsite excitement is in a park on Bachelor Hill, around
the Last Chance boarding house. Two saloons and a female seminary are
already in operation and other business houses are expected soon. It is
to be called Bachelor.”

By April the 10,500-foot-high town had a post office (Teller, because of
a conflict with Bachelor, California), a theatre, eight stores, a dozen
saloons and several boardinghouses, restaurants and hotels. A number of
two-story buildings were being erected. By June the town had been
incorporated and was holding an election of officers. By December it had
a new opera house which was packed when the Bachelor City Dramatic Club
presented the drama _Wild Irishman_, interspersed with several
divertissements and followed by a dance, in an effort to raise money for
a Catholic church.

But the efforts of the better people failed. The character of Bachelor
remained tough. At the height of its population of around twelve
hundred, two hundred residents were prostitutes. It was a nightly custom
for patronage of the soiled doves to include not only the local boys,
but miners from Creede, North Creede and Weaver, who tipped the hoistmen
of the Last Chance and Commodore to lift them up to the wild, brawling
and drunken delights of Bachelor.

The crash of silver in 1893 affected the whole Creede area. The
population of Bachelor (according to the Colorado Business Directory)
was down to eight hundred in 1896 and one hundred and fifty by 1910.

                  [Illustration: Unknown, 1910; D.P.L.]


    The mining camp was already declining when this picture was taken.
    Its population had fallen from twelve hundred to one hundred and

Still Bachelor hung on as a town after that for a number of years. But
the winters were so harsh, and transportation over the two-and-a-half
mile road that climbed nearly two thousand feet up was so difficult that
in the ’teens the last residents gave up. They moved down to Creede.

In 1960 there were only three cabins left standing on what was formerly
Bachelor’s residential street and a few remnants of the boardwalk on its
main street. Among the trees on the east side of the meadow, where
Bachelor once lay, was a narrow picket-fenced grave, shaded by trees. A
local story says that three bodies are buried there, one on top of the
other, because of the difficulty of digging in the frozen ground the day
after the tragedy that claimed all three.

It seems that a reforming minister, determined to alter the town’s ways,
moved to Bachelor at the height of its wickedness. He was a widower with
a sixteen-year-old daughter. Hardly had they become settled in their
cabin, than the girl caught bronchitis, and the minister was called down
to Del Norte to conduct a funeral. As he left, the father cautioned the
daughter to stay in the cabin, keep warm and admit no one, since he was
afraid of the town’s violent riff-raff.

When the minister returned three nights later, he was alarmed to see a
saddle horse tied outside their door. He rushed inside and found a
strange young man bending over his daughter who lay in bed. Whipping out
a gun, the minister shot and killed the stranger. His daughter screamed
and explained that the man was a doctor who had come to tend her. In her
father’s absence her bronchitis had deepened into pneumonia. Worn out by
the effort of speaking, the girl fell back on her pillow and died
shortly after. In remorse the minister turned the gun on himself. The
three bodies were found together the next morning and buried amid
swirling snow.

Bachelor’s site is still tossed by storms. You can leave Creede with the
top of your jeep down and the world bathed in sunshine to arrive in
Bachelor forty-five minutes later beneath racing clouds and pelting
rain. But its location has probably the most magnificent view of our
selected ghost towns. It looks out across the Rio Grande Valley to
Snowshoe Mountain and down the river to Wagon Wheel Gap. From here the
gap shows more pictorially than from any other angle. On the return trip
there is a perpendicular sight of Creede and a view of the continental
divide with its mountains around Wolf Creek Pass and Summitville. This
is a breathtaking experience when the autumn colors are at their height.
Yes, you will find Bachelor unique for its view....

Spar City’s location may also be seen on the Bachelor trip. It lies on
the south side of the Rio Grande River up Lime Creek, about fourteen
miles from Creede. It was originally named Fisher City after John Fisher
who went prospecting in June, 1892, and found a rich float of silver and
lead by climbing up Palo Alto Creek to the lower reaches of Fisher
Mountain. The news electrified the latecomers to Creede, and a rush
ensued. By August the boomers had changed the original name to Spar City
because of quantities of spar (or feldspar) in the area.

                   [Illustration: Lonny Rogers, 1960]

                               MAIN STREET

    This photo was taken fairly late in the afternoon and shows what is
    left of the main street—just a few timbers of the boardwalk. No
    matter what time of day you are in Bachelor you run the danger of
    bad weather.

                   [Illustration: Lonny Rogers, 1960]


    These two houses used to ornament the residential street which ran
    parallel to the main street. The one in the rear has a covered
    walkway to the attached privy, a porch to the well, finely mortised
    and plastered walls and real flooring.

The population was between five hundred and one thousand, and cabins
were going up fast. On September 24, the _Spar City Spark_ started
publication, and on October 29 a preliminary meeting of the town council
was held. Six grocery stores, two restaurants, three livery stables,
four saloons, two dance halls, a post office, a school and an assay
office, besides the newspaper, were all going full tilt on the promise
of great things to come. But the promise was never fulfilled. The Emma’s
ore proved too lean in values to ship. By the following year the Silver
Panic cast a pall over all mining camps dependent on the white metal.
Spar City lasted only through 1894 with people departing as hurriedly as
they came. The editor of the _Spar City Spark_ fled, leaving his fonts
of type and issues of the paper. By 1895 the town’s population mustered
only twenty.

One of the prospectors who lingered on was Charles Brandt. On November
20, 1899, he filed on a homestead covering the entire townsite, and for
a number of years Brandt was the sole owner. In 1908 backed by Charles
King of Hutchinson, Kansas, he started the Bird Creek mine. Some ore was
taken out; but it was the Emma’s story over again. The ore was not rich
enough for profitable operation.

On August 14, 1913, Charles King and other Kansas friends took over the
townsite as a club for summer residents. They hired a caretaker for the
property and set up rules for its thirty-five members. In 1955 the club,
with its same limited membership, was changed to a corporation. Now a
share of the stock goes with the sale of a cabin although the rules
remain the same. No new cabins are permitted, and to buy an old cabin
you must be passed on by the board of directors.

Spar City has a charming location with a view to the northwest of
Bristol Head and beyond to the continental divide. It has three fishing
and boating ponds and a community hall made from the old hotel. Here the
annual banquet for members is held. The place is a going concern, aided
by an informative history of the club, written by S. Horace Jones of
Lyons, Kansas, designed to keep Spar City’s traditions straight through
the years of progress.

Some of the older members, like Dorothy Ruehling and Dr. O. W. Longwood,
preserved copies of the _Spar City Spark_, the minutes of the town
council, and other historical mementoes which were graciously shown to
visitors interested in the town’s development.

In 1960 Spar City was the least ghostly of our ghost towns despite the
fact that once it had been a genuine ghost town for some fifteen years.
Yet it found a place in our booklet on two counts—a mining town that
never shipped a ton of ore and a boom camp that metamorphosed into a
sedate well-ordered club. In each instance no stranger dispensation of
fate could be imagined.

             (_Photos of Spar City on following two pages_)

                  [Illustration: Orin Hargraves, 1960]

                                ODD GRAVE

    In this quiet, pretty spot three bodies are said to lie, buried on
    top of each other as the result of an early tragedy. In the woods
    off to the left, or east, the old dump of the Last Chance mine shows
    alternating hues of amethysts and gold.

                  [Illustration: O. W. Longwood, 1960]


    These views are both taken looking north toward the continental
    divide. The old hotel may plainly be seen as the only two-story
    structure of the group. Many of these original cabins have been
    added to but the members of the club are required to keep the
    additions in the style of the original architecture. The lower photo
    shows one of the three fishing and boating ponds and a pony for the
    children, curious and alert.

                  [Illustration: O. W. Longwood, 1960]

                  [Illustration: O. W. Longwood, 1960]


    The main street was actually named North Street. The _Spar City
    Spark_ for May 27, 1893 reported that the Free Coinage Hotel was
    being built and would have furniture from Denver. When it was
    changed into a Community Hall, bedroom doors on the second floor
    were removed which read “Rose—$1.00; Marie—$1.50; Ruth—$3.00,” etc.
    The owner of the old jail has kept its original bars intact over one
    of the windows.

                  [Illustration: O. W. Longwood, 1960]

                            _From Del Norte_


Summitville was next to the earliest of the San Juan mining camps. Yet
gold is still tenaciously being mined there, and for that reason the
town is unique.

In 1870 James L. Wightman went prospecting and placering up the Alamosa
River from the San Luis Valley. When he came to rugged Wightman Fork
Creek, he staked placer claims along its tumbling six-and-a-half mile
length to Summitville, and then spent a snow-bound winter there at
11,000 feet altitude. From 1872 to ’74 Summitville experienced a rush,
and many lode claims were found on South Mountain. In 1875 the first
amalgamation mill was erected and spearheaded decades of activity. By
the late 1890’s there were twelve separate stamp mills pounding noisily
on Summitville ore.

In 1900 the mines closed down; operated again, 1911-1913; 1926-1931; and
for about fifteen years after the mid-1930’s. In 1948 two mills were
vibrating, two stores and a large school were open, and sixty to seventy
residences were fully occupied. The large boardinghouse had room for
nearly three hundred men. At its height Summitville’s maximum population
was around fifteen hundred with about nine hundred men on the payroll.
Lately the summer residents have been two.

In the early days three perilous toll roads led into town; the first
from Jasper on the Alamosa; the second over the continental divide from
Pagosa Springs, and the third from Del Norte. In 1960 the Forest Service
was building a good new road that takes off a few miles above South Fork
and will add to Summitville’s accessibility.

Summitville’s appearance may be stark and desecrated, but its gold is
uniquely alive.

          [Illustration: Joseph Collier, early 1870’s; D.P.L.]


    Nearly ten million dollars have been extracted from its mines, which
    cover seven hundred-odd acres and stem from four main veins—the
    Tewksbury, Hidden, Copper and Little Annie. In 1960 the property was
    three-fourths owned by Mrs. George Garrey of Denver (daughter of A.
    E. Reynolds) and one-fourth by B. T. Poxon of Creede, and was leased
    to Jack Rigg whose crew commuted from the San Luis Valley.

                     [Illustration: Jack Rigg, 1960]

                            _From Silverton_


Eureka is the oldest of the San Juan camps, dating from 1860. That was
the summer of the great placer excitement at Oro City (later Leadville).
An enterprising prospector by the name of Charles Baker set out from Oro
City on an exploration trip, backed in part by Samuel B. Kellogg.
Kellogg had arrived in California Gulch (the site of Oro City) in May as
a member of Horace A. W. Tabor’s party and had become acquainted with

Baker and six companions made their way down the Arkansas River, over
Poncha Pass, through the San Luis Valley, up the Rio Grande River, over
Stony Pass, and down into the valley of the Animas River. Here they
found a large park extending from just below Silverton, up past
Howardsville to just beyond Eureka. They forthwith named it Baker’s
Park. They also found some placer gold which would yield about
twenty-five cents to the pan. This seemed encouraging enough for others
to follow, and a settlement was established, called Baker City (now
Silverton). Their diggings and some brush shanties were nine miles above
at what was later Eureka.

But the placer gold proved disappointing. Baker spent one terrible
winter in his park and remained for the summer of 1861. Then he
retreated to Fort Garland rather than attempt the hardship of a second
winter. Here he heard about the Civil War and went home to Virginia to
enlist in the Confederate army.

Years went by. Finally in 1874 Henry Gannett, leader of a detachment of
the famous F. V. Hayden Geological Survey party, came down the Animas
River, climbed over an enormous rockslide and “came out into a thick
clump of trees in which were several log cabins, bearing on a flaring
sign board ‘Eureka,’ evidently intended for the name of a town that was
expected to be, though what had been found there to suggest the name was
not immediately apparent.”

What was not apparent to Henry Gannett was the Sunnyside mine. It was
staked in 1873 and had gathered around itself the cabins he encountered.
The mine was so rich in gold that it operated continuously until 1931.
Despite the richness of the Sunnyside, Eureka attained no greater rating
in the Colorado Business Directory than “a small mining camp in the San
Juans” until 1896 when Otto Mears’ railroad, the Silverton Northern, was
completed, and more people moved in for a time. Again there was a boom
period in 1918 when the Sunnyside mill was rebuilt, and a large crew was
hired. Eureka’s population rose to two hundred and fifty.

Until 1931 no great change occurred. Then for six years, from 1931 to
1937, it was a ghost town. When the mine and mill re-opened in 1937,
Eureka had about two years of new life only to die again because of a
strike by the miners which the owners refused to settle. Again people
moved away, and finally the Silverton Northern was sold and junked in
1942. By 1960 the town was almost leveled—and its unique jail towered
alone—one of the most unusual buildings in Colorado. This odd jail gives
Eureka its quality of uniqueness....

Five miles farther up the Animas is Animas Forks which supported three
mills and was close to many good mines—the Iron Cap, Black Crow, Gold
Prince, Eclipse and others. In 1877 it was a stagecoach stop on Otto
Mears’ toll road from Silverton to Lake City. According to George
Crofutt’s _Grip-Sack Guide of Colorado_, published in 1881, Animas Forks
also had two stores, a hotel, a number of saloons and several small
shops. Its population was then close to two hundred. But through the
years its location at 11,200 feet altitude was extremely unfortunate
because of snowslides. Dispatches frequently told of injuries and deaths
to men only a short distance from town. Nevertheless, the Silverton
Northern was extended to Animas Forks in 1904, and the town lived on in
spurts until World War II.

In 1960 its jail, two of its mills, scattered outlying cabins, and a
substantial residence with an impressive bay window were still standing.
A number of erroneous tales have grown up around this house, saying that
Thomas F. Walsh built it and that his daughter was born there. Actually
Walsh’s San Juan interests were all centered around Ouray and the Camp
Bird mine.

But this house gives Animas Forks the uniqueness to enter our
collection—a spot of pure folklore—Animas Forks. So don’t believe what
you hear while there!

               (_Photos of both towns on next two pages_)

                  [Illustration: Unknown, 1918; D.P.L.]


    The Sunnyside mine and mill were served by one of Otto Mears’ three
    little railroads, the Silverton Northern. Gladstone, a similar
    mining camp to the west of Eureka and now also a ghost town, was
    served by its own railroad. The tall building at the right of both
    photos is the jail from which all the bars and bolts have recently
    been vandalized. The road that crosses below the dump at the right
    leads up to Animas Forks.

           [Illustration: Joseph Collier, circa 1878; D.P.L.]

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


    On these two pages the usual order of the “then” photo at the top of
    the page and the “now” photo at the bottom of the page has not been
    adhered to because of the size of the pictures. Eureka is at the top
    of both pages and Animas Forks at the bottom. Evalyn Walsh McLean
    testified in her book _Father Struck It Rich_ that she was born in
    Denver on August 1, 1886 (see page 3). The local legend is quite

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                              _From Ouray_


On the way over Red Mountain Pass two unusual ghost towns may be seen by
slight northerly detours from the Million Dollar Highway. Originally
known as the Rainbow Route, this highway was Otto Mears’ toll road from
Silverton to Ouray, and later the grade of his Silverton Railroad which
ran as far as Ironton.

Red Mountain began first as a mining district in 1831 and then blossomed
into two settlements, Red Mountain City and Red Mountain Town. There are
also three separate Red Mountains to add to the confusion. But Red
Mountain City, on the Silverton side of the pass, died an early death,
and Red Mountain Town dropped the “town” a few years later. This left
three mountains and a town with the identical name.

It was in the summer of 1881 that John Robinson and two companions found
the Guston mine, according to Ernest Ingersoll in the 1885 edition of
_Crest of the Continent_. The Guston’s ore was low grade, but did have
an excess of lead which was wanted by the Pueblo smelter. So the three
continued working it. In August of the next year Robinson was hunting
deer and carelessly picked up a small boulder. He was astonished at the
weight, broke it open, and found solid galena. This led to the discovery
of the Yankee Girl only a dozen feet below the surface.

A month later they sold their prospect hole for $125,000. The new owners
had to pack the ore on burros all the way to Silverton, and still the
ore yielded a profit of $50 a ton. The Yankee Girl’s final production
figures were around $5,000,000. But long before that, the mine caused a
rush, and the town of Red Mountain was platted in June of 1883. By 1800
it had a population of six hundred, a water works, school house, weekly
newspaper, saloons, business houses and shops—and dozens of stories of
fluke discoveries.

The most sensational of these discoveries was that of the National Belle
whose popularity and allure soon outshone that of the Yankee Girl. In
1883 some miners were working in an underground tunnel and accidentally
broke through the foot wall into a cavity. One man took a candle and
climbed down into an immense natural cavern. The flickering flame showed
up effulgent pockets of gold and silver galenas, chlorides and
carbonates—a veritable treasure cave. The National Belle became one of
the most celebrated mines of the San Juans with a long,
preciously-guarded life and production figures of close to $9,000,000.

Red Mountain was plagued by fires and was completely destroyed in June,
1895. It also changed its location once in 1886 to be close to the toll
road, later the railroad. When trains began to reach Red Mountain in
September, 1888, the depot had to be placed inside the wye because of
the narrowness of the site.

In 1960 only the dump and shaft house of the National Belle gave any
idea of the lively Red Mountain that once was—nonetheless a unique town
because of its National Belle....

Ironton was three miles below Red Mountain and was as far as the
Silverton Railroad could go because of the impossibility of laying rail
in the precipitous confines of Uncompahgre Canyon on its way to Ouray.
Ironton was founded in 1883 and platted in 1884 over a long oblong
running beside Red Mountain Creek. Its main business was freighting and
transportation for the many mines such as the Saratoga and Silver Belle,
dotting the mountainsides above it. This was especially true after the
Silverton Railroad began full operation in 1889. In 1890 its population
was three hundred and twenty-two, around half that of its neighbor, Red

As time went on, Ironton’s more salubrious location won out. Ten years
later Red Mountain had only thirty residents, and Ironton, seventy-one.
Gradually they both melted away, although Ironton did not completely die
until 1926 when the railroad track was removed.

In 1960 only ten or twelve houses remained. Two of them had been
renovated by employees of the wealthy Idarado Mining Company which has
consolidated all the mining activities of the Red Mountain district into
one big operation. In addition the company has driven a long tunnel
under the mountains to Pandora, close to Telluride. On the Red Mountain
side Idarado’s surface buildings are impressive enough to give hope that
Colorado will make a comeback as a mining state.

Ironton won a place in our collection because when the Silverton
Railroad was completed to this point, Otto Mears decided in celebration
upon a new and unique railroad pass for his friends—a silver engraved
watch fob.

               [Illustration: Unknown, circa 1887; D.P.L.]


    The upper photo was taken before the Silverton Railroad reached Red
    Mountain in 1888. The National Belle was already in profitable
    operation as can be seen from the size of the dump. In 1960 nothing
    remained of the town, and only the shaft house was standing. If you
    are traveling by jeep, there is a most picturesque alternate road
    into Red Mountain which leads out of the valley around the ridge to
    the right.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                [Illustration: T. M. McKee, 1886; D.P.L.]


    It was here that passengers on the Silverton Railroad transferred to
    a four-horse stage to continue their journey to Ouray. Actually the
    Silverton Railroad was later extended some two miles farther down
    the creek to Albany Gulch to pick up ore although Ironton was
    considered the real terminus. The railroad grade may be seen as it
    circles in the heavy timber at the left beyond this log cabin and to
    the town at right.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]

                            _From Telluride_


Pandora, two miles east of Telluride, was settled around 1881 and was
briefly called Newport. But in August of that year, when a post office
was established, the name was changed to Pandora. Undoubtedly this was
because of the Pandora Mining Company which in 1883 already had a
forty-stamp mill, a boardinghouse and offices in profitable operation,
according to the Colorado Mining Directory of that year.

Pandora is unique in Colorado history for its annual snowslides, for its
long aerial tramways, and at present for its amazing jeep trail.

As early as March 20, 1884, the _Rocky Mountain News_ was reporting:

“The Pandora snowslide which comes down every winter, and which has been
looked for for some time came down Monday, sweeping everything before it
and making a total wreck of the Pandora sampling mills. Quite a number
of Telluriders visited the effects of this slide this week. Some say it
was not the Pandora slide, claiming it came over the Ajax Mine,
following for some distance the former course of the Pandora slide. At
all events, it was a terror.”

But this devastating freak of nature did not discourage the pioneers.
They rebuilt the mill, and through the years there has always been a
large mill at Pandora. Twice it burned down but was always replaced. The
Telluride Mines Company operated the mill up until 1956 when it was
liquidated into the Idarado Mining Company, which also acquired the
Tomboy Mines Company in the same year. Seventeen years after its
inception Idarado thus consolidated all the big mining properties in the
Pandora area under its own banner. These included the Pandora, Black
Bear, Imogene, Barstow and the towers of the two spectacular trams into
Pandora—the Tomboy from Savage Basin and the Smuggler Union. The
Smuggler tramways landed at a site close to Ingram Falls from which ore
was hauled to the mill past the Bridal Veil Falls and the present power
plant down a two-thousand-foot cliff. In 1960 this old ore road had been
converted into the last leg of Colorado’s most fantastic jeep ride.

For many years Pandora was a sizable town. In its heyday the Rio Grande
Southern Railroad had a spur from Telluride that passed through and
reached the mill under stoutly built snow sheds. In 1960 the hauling of
ore from the mill was done by trucks, and only three or four families
were living there.

The actual site of Pandora is about half a mile down the San Miguel
River from the mill, and its superb setting is now marred by two
enormous tailings ponds between it and the river. But the town’s
backdrop of Ingram Peak with its two sets of falls, Bridal Veil and
Ingram, cannot be matched anywhere in Colorado. Pandora is truly unique.

              [Illustration: Joseph Byers, 1902-16; D.P.L.]

                       PANDORA’S SETTING IS SUPERB

    In 1902 the population of Pandora was one hundred. Whatever its
    size, no town in Colorado can match its magnificent backdrop and
    jeep trail.

                     [Illustration: Jack Rigg, 1960]


    In saying farewell to the unique high-country places, you are left
    with many dramatic memories other than of towns alone. There are
    shaft houses or portal-houses like that of the Copper Vein mine at
    Summitville which provided Thomas M. Bowen with wealth to defeat
    Horace Tabor in his bid for the seven-year term for U.S. senator; or
    aerial tramways like the Tabasco mine’s crossing Cinnamon Pass to
    its mill.

                      [Illustration: D.K.P., 1960]


If you have read this far, we hope that you have attempted one or more
of the short trips. Perhaps you have done the whole suggested tour
around Colorado and seen all forty-two of our selections. Whichever you
have attempted, you must have come away awe-struck by the prodigious
energy and enterprise of the pioneers. Their feats of transportation
over villainous terrain, and of building shaft houses, dwellings and
even towns on the face of cliffs or at the top of mountains, were so
herculean as to seem incredible.

The pioneers’ amazing accomplishments lie crumbling now. What cost them
so much are largely regarded today as mere relics for curiosity or spots
for souvenir-hunting—an attitude that raises my blood pressure to the
danger mark. No one would think of chipping off a piece of tile from a
fireplace in Spain or a bit of wood from a Tudor cottage in England. Yet
they will do the equivalent in Colorado.

True, our past and our heritage are much closer to us here, but they
should be no less dear. For my part, they are even dearer for being just
around memory’s corner and being almost within touch. When I stand on
the rock dams of Lake Caroline (which my father named for me) and think
of what effort a man would need to expend, working alone at 11,800 feet
altitude with only a couple of hired workmen and a team of horses to
build these dams, I cannot bear for one rock to be dislodged.

There were not only the rock dams of Lake Caroline but the concrete and
rock dams of Ice, Ohman, Steuart, and Reynolds Lakes and the great
earthen dam of Loch Lomond, the main lake of the reservoir system. I
cannot remember the actual building of these dams; but I can remember
the many horseback rides in later summers when my father and I went to
check on the head gates and on what serious damage the severe winters
had done to his engineering work.

And then there were those many shaft houses that I knew as a child and
girl where my father was the consulting mining engineer. I cannot
remember the shaft houses being built; but I can remember them later
with the whir of the hoists, the sharp sound of the bell signals, and
the clang of the primitive ore buckets and go-devils as they took us
down the shafts. I can remember the speed of the go-devil in the Little
Jonny mine near Leadville when in 1927 John Cortellini (then mayor of
the town and superintendent of the mine) ushered us down with his
courtly Italian manner. He expected me to be frightened at being brushed
so rapidly past the crooked rock wall. But I thought it was fun.

I do not think it is fun today when I hear that the silent and deserted
Little Jonny shaft house has been broken into and some of the machinery
stolen. I know at what human and financial cost that machinery was put
there. It should be left in peace until that rosy day when precious
minerals and base metals are once again in demand.

Speaking of cost, no visitor to our collection of towns but must have
wondered about finances. Only a gambler could understand them. It is my
private contention that more money has been sunk into the mountains of
Colorado than any wealth they have yielded up. But this is the practical
and prosaic view of one who has heard too often about the millions that
would pour in tomorrow when the vein widened out or when the drift was
extended just ten more feet. Mining and narrow gauge railroading were
for gamblers, and no one pretended otherwise. They had no illusions
about its being an industry or a business. My father and his cronies
always spoke of “the mining game.”

But for a game it carried a deal of heartbreak. If you take time to look
at the cemeteries of the mining towns, you cannot fail to notice the
numbers of babies who could not survive in this harsh land nor the
number of young men killed by accidents other than shootings, nor in the
“Boot Hills” the number of unhappy young women who went the laudanum
route. There is sadness, as well as serenity and romantic nostalgia,
hanging in the aura of these high-country towns.

Memories of humor—raw pioneer humor—hang there also. The old-timers used
their boundless energy for play and for practical jokes as well as for
work. I remember a passage from the _Silver World_ that was written
about Eureka in April, 1877, which pictured their superhuman efforts at
entertainment. A dance had been scheduled in one of the cabins,
according to the correspondent who described the affair thus:

“Soon the damsels began to arrive, some on burros and some on foot. The
music was provided by a fiddle and a banjo, and the ball opened with the
‘San Juan Polka’ which resembled a Sioux War dance.... Soon the
ironclads of the miners began to raise the dust of the floor so that
before long it was impossible to tell what was what.... Ground hog was
the chief dish at the late supper which also served big ox, gravy,
bacon, coffee, tea, and a large variety of pies and cakes. After this
light repast the dance was resumed till morning.”

                                 * * *

And so, farewell, for the present. Let us hope that in the years to come
both humans and nature will be kind to the high-country towns so that we
may all continue to enjoy these reminders of a way of life that is now
completely lost—a way of life that was the mainstay of Colorado for over
half a century and is now only a mountain ghost.



           (reprinted from the first through seventh edition)

                           For Research Aid:

As in all of my historical work, I want to thank the alert and unusual
staff of the Western History Department of the Denver Public
Library—Alys Freeze, Opal Harber, Katherine Hawkins, Mary Hanley and
James Davis—who have been known to find needles in haystacks. At the
Colorado State Museum, Agnes Wright Spring and Laura Ekstrom are always
generous; as is Lorena Jones at _The Denver Post_.

The Lake City area was made informative and hospitable by the Joel
Swanks and the Lowell Swansons. Hahns Peak research was aided by Maurice
Leckenby of Steamboat Springs and Herman Mahler; North Empire, by Louise
Harrison, “Wise” and Tulley Nelson and Mac Poor; Turret, by Steve
Frazee; Bonanza by Mrs. Olle Olson; Lenado, by Jack Flogaus and his son;
Lulu City, by Carolyn and John Holzwarth; St. Elmo, by Jody Grieb and
Marie Skagsberg; Stumptown by S. L. Logue; Ashcroft, by the Stuart
Maces; Pandora, by Fran Johnson and John Wise; and the Wet Mountain
Valley towns by the Pierpont Fullers.

                           For Proofreading:

Mrs. Bryant McFadden and Beatrice Jordan have kindly helped with the
search for typographical errors and have made suggestions about style.

                            For Photographs:

We, Dan Peterson and I, are especially indebted to Jim Davis of the
Western History Department of the Denver Public Library, and Lorena
Jones of _The Denver Post_ for running down historic photos of our
special ghost towns. When Dan Peterson was unable to go personally for
contemporary shots, numerous other friends helped with picture-taking or
with transportation for research.

Ed Hargraves of Creede loaned his jeep five times for the trip to
Bachelor where the weather was continuously uncooperative. It was
piloted by Orin Hargraves, “Ish” Stewart, Paulette Campbell, “Frenchy”
Slanakin and Lonny Rogers. Dixie Munn and Lillian Hargraves, also of
Creede, drove me on successive trips to Spar City where Mrs. Dorothy
Reubling and Dr. O. W. Longwood aided with research and photographs,
Jack Rigg jeeped down from Summitville to Jasper on the Alamosa River to
fetch and return me, generously giving a whole day to entertainment,
education and picture-taking.

Photos that we lacked were obtained for us by Bryant McFadden, Robert
Richardson, Virgil Jackson, Ed Nelson, J. B. Schooland, M. R. Parsons,
Robert Symonds, and Michael Davis.

This list of friends, in fact, could be extended almost indefinitely—so
best I terminate with a heartfelt “thank you” to all the above, and
sundry unnamed, for many kinds of help.


                         _By the Same Author_:

Gulch of Gold: “Her affection for and pride in Gregory Gulch shows in
every line of this book.... The old photographs and maps are
                               Marshall Sprague in the _New York Times_.

Colorful Colorado: Its Dramatic History: “... a remarkable feat of
condensation ... ought to be a copy in your car’s glove locker.”
                             Robert Perkin in the _Rocky Mountain News_.

Silver Queen: The Fabulous Story of Baby Doe Tabor: “Attractive,
sprightly, well-printed book ... which is more informative and genuinely
human than preceding works giving the Tabor story.”
                                 Fred A. Rosenstock in _The Brand Book_.

Augusta Tabor: Her Side of the Scandal: “Miss Bancroft with bold strokes
has provided the answers to ... Mr. Tabor’s philanderings.”
                             Agnes Wright Spring in _Colorado Magazine_.

Tabor’s Matchless Mine and Lusty Leadville: “Seventh in her series of
Bancroft Booklets retelling segments of Colorado’s history. They are
popularly written, color-packed little pamphlets, and it’s a pleasure to
commend them to native and tourist alike.”
                             Robert Perkin in the _Rocky Mountain News_.

The Unsinkable Mrs. Brown: “Caroline Bancroft’s booklets are brighter,
better illustrated and cheaper than formal histories of Colorado.... The
Unsinkable Mrs. Brown was a delightful person, and I wish I had known
                    John J. Lipsey in the _Colorado Springs Free Press_.

The Brown Palace In Denver: “Miss Bancroft has a sure touch and this new
tide adds another wide-selling item to her list.”
                                                 Don Bloch in _Roundup_.

Denver’s Lively Past: “With zest and frankness the author emphasizes the
dramatic, lusty, bizarre, and spicy happenings.”
                               Agnes Wright Spring in _The Denver Post_.

Historic Central City: “We could do with more such stories of Colorado’s
fabled past.”
                                     Marian Castle in _The Denver Post_.

Famous Aspen: “It’s all here.... Aspenites should be grateful.”
                                        Luke Short in _The Aspen Times_.

Six Racy Madams of Colorado: “This delightful booklet is written both
with good humor and good taste.”
                                                  _Rocky Mountain News._

Colorado’s Lost Gold Mines and Buried Treasure: “The casual reader will
find his own treasure buried in this little booklet.”
                        Claude Powe in _The Central City Tommy-Knawker_.

Two Burros of Fairplay: “The booklet is excellent reading, regardless of
your age.”
                         Rene Coquoz in _The Chaffee County Republican_.

Estes Park and Grand Lake: “This may rank as the best ... of the history
booklets offered by Miss Bancroft.”
                                Dave Hicks in the _Rocky Mountain News_.

                     (_See back cover for prices_)

                             GULCH OF GOLD

A fictionized history, reading like a novel but of the soundest research
picturing the stories of colorful characters who started the state in
Central City. Over 100 photos and maps. Hard cover book. $6.85 prepaid.


The whole magnificent sweep of the state’s history in a sprightly
condensation, with 111 photos (31 in color). Paperback. $2.00.


Her love affair caused a sensational triangle and a national scandal in
the ’Eighties. Illustrated. $1.50.


The infamous quarrel of the 1880’s is told from the viewpoint of the
outspoken first wife. Illustrated. 75¢.


Colorado’s most publicized mine was just one facet of the extraordinary
history of the lusty camp where it operated. Illustrated. 75¢.

                       THE UNSINKABLE MRS. BROWN

The rollicking story of an ignorant Leadville waitress who reached the
top of Newport society as a _Titanic_ heroine. Illustrated. $1.25.

                              FAMOUS ASPEN

Today the silver-studded slopes of an early day bonanza town have turned
into a scenic summer and ski resort. Illustrated. $1.50.

                         HISTORIC CENTRAL CITY

Colorado’s first big gold camp lived to become a Summer Opera and Play
Festival town. Illustrated. 85¢.

                          DENVER’S LIVELY PAST

A wild frontier town, built on a jumped claim and promoting a red-light
district, became a popular tourist spot. Illustrated. $1.00.

                       THE BROWN PALACE IN DENVER

No hotel had more turn-of-the-century glamor, nor has seen such plush
love-affairs, murders and bizarre doings. Illustrated. 75¢.

                      SIX RACY MADAMS OF COLORADO

Biographies of six “ladies of pleasure” (whose parlor houses were
scandalous ornaments to the state) make amusing reading. Illustrated.


Thirty fabulous tales, which will inspire the reader to go search with a
spade, enliven the state’s past. Illustrated. $1.25.

                       ESTES PARK AND GRAND LAKE

The romantic history of the two scenic Trail Ridge Country towns, told
with warmth. Illustrated. $2.00.

                         TWO BURROS OF FAIRPLAY

The charming true story behind two burro monuments, told primarily for
junior-high level. Illustrated. $1.00.

   (_Add 20 cents for mailing one copy; 30 cents for more than one_)

                       JOHNSON PUBLISHING COMPANY
               839 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302

                         _Transcriber’s Notes_

--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

--In the text versions, delimited italicized text (or non-italicized
  text in photo captions) by _underscores_.

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