Finally completed my collection of representative helmets from all of the major armies that fought on the Eastern Front of World War 2 from 1939-1945. The Red Army of the Soviet Union wore three styles of helmet during the war, the Ssh36, Ssh39, and the Ssh40. Germany fielded three variants as well, the M35, M40, and M42. Hungary, Finland, and Spain fielded their own versions of the German M35/M40/M42 family of helmets which were nearly identical in appearance at first glance, but did have subtle differences which distinguished them from actual German helmets. Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Italy all fielded helmets that were unique to themselves. The tiny Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were largely equipped with surplus WW1 era German M16/M18 helmets. Here are photos of the helmets in my collection with corresponding wartime images of the helmets in use. I prefer battlefield relic helmets or salty representative pieces over pristine lightly used or restored helmets, I want items in my collection “that were there”  Enjoy!

1. Poland Wz31 “Szalamandra”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

poland

Polish dress uniform, Wz31 with “Szalamandra” or Salamander camo texturing

2. Slovakia M32 “Egg Shell”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

slovak

Slovaks under fire, Soviet Union 1941

slovak2

Slovakian troops cross the Dniester River, 1943

3. Bulgaria M36

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

bulg

Bulgarian troop wearing M36 equipped with German MP40 in the Soviet Union, 1942

4. Italy M33

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2.WK.:Sowjetunion, Italienische Beteiligung: Deutsch-italienische Stellung Herbst 1942

Mixture of Italian and German troops, southern Russia

5. Hungary M38 with distinctive belt hook loop on back skirt

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

hungarian2

Hungarian Border Guard

hungarian

6. Spain “Blue Division”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

spanish

Spanish graves in the Soviet Union, 1942

spanish3

The Spanish Blue Division, a combo of Spanish and German helmets can be seen

7. Finland M40

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

finland

8. Romania

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

romanian

Russland-Süd, rumänische Soldaten

9. The Baltic Nations- Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania WW1 German M16/M18 family

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

latvian

Latvian Volunteer in the Waffen-SS

est1

Estonian Waffen-SS Volunteer

 

10. Germany M35, pressed vent, in Winter Camo, from Demyansk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

m35

M35 helmets worn by SS troops during the 1939 Poland invasion

11. Germany M40 stamped vent, from Stalingrad

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

german-soldier-wearing-helemt-2

Fantastic shot of an M40 showing the stamped vent above national shield

 

12. Germany M42 “flared edge”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

m42

M42 with vent

scan0109

Late-war M42 without vent, only a handful are known to exist

 

13. Soviet Ssh36

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sov36

Red Army boy soldier with Ssh36

sov362

14. Soviet Ssh39

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sov39

Officer on the far right wears an Ssh39, most of the others wear the Ssh36

15. Soviet Ssh40

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soviet Soldiers

 

 

Advertisements
G41s

G-41(M) and G-41(W)     Photo Credit: Public Domain

g43x

G/K-43    Photo Credit: Public Domain

German semiautomatic rifles of WW2 are a popular topic and prized possessions among firearm collectors and military history buffs. During the war Germany experimented with several different designs of semiautomatic rifle, all of which aimed to level the playing field with the Soviet Tokarev SVT-38/40 family of rifles, and the American M-1 Garand rifle. The three finalists which German arms designers chose for actual field service were the Gewehr Modell 1941 Mauser or G-41(M) of which only an estimated 6,673 were produced, the Gewehr Modell 1941 Walther or G-41(W) which estimates indicate between 40,000 and 125,000 were produced, and the Gewehr or Karabiner Modell 1943 also known as the G-43 or K-43 rifle which saw an estimated 400,000 rifles produced. It appears that the majority of these German semiautomatic rifles went to the Eastern Front where additional firepower was greatly needed in the brutal fight with the Red Army.

GSA8

German soldiers prepare a Goliath remote-control bomb during the Warsaw Uprising, 1944. A rare G-41(M) can be clearly seen slung over the shoulder of the man center-left, closest to the camera. This is a commonly seen WW2 German Press Corps photograph of which hundreds were printed and distributed during the war.                                      Photo Credit: German Press Corps

Today the G-41 and G/K-43 are highly sought after rifles commanding premium prices on auction sites and from dealers. But even rarer than the rifles themselves are photographs showing the weapons in service during the war. When the first German-made semiautos began to appear in substantial quantities at the front in 1943, Germany was already on the retreat, and men on the run fighting for their lives rarely stop to snap photographs. A number of well-known and often-published photographs of the G-41 and G/K-43 exist and are found all over the web and in numerous print publications going back years. Most of these photos are German Army Press Corps images, taken at the front by professional German Army photographers, charged with documenting the war for the newspapers back home. Private snapshots from the photo albums of individual German soldiers are exceedingly scarce and difficult finds today.

GSA55

A wartime PK Hoffmann Press Corps photo shows German troops trudging through the Pripjet Marshes in 1944. The man second from left carries a G-43 rifle, the soldier third from right is equipped with the Stg-44.                                          Photo Credit: German Press Corps/Hoffmann

Over the past twenty-five years I have collected authentic, original wartime developed WW2 photographs, both mass-produced Press Corps images of which more than one “real” copy exists, and the rare, private snapshots of individuals, of which there is only one “real” photo. I have shared a few of my photographs over the years on websites such as Gewehr43.com and the G/K-43 Forum and therefore you will find some of the very rare, one-of-kind, photo album snapshots from my personal collection shared elsewhere on the web, and sometimes even copies surface on Ebay.

Ebaypic

An image from collection which I posted around a decade ago on another forum which is currently for sale on Ebay as a cheap, modern copy. Anyone can “save” an image and make a copy, I pride myself in owning the originals of these rare photographs. It is discouraging to see others simply “saving” and printing images from my collection, but that is the nature of the web, and why I now watermark the images I post online. Note: There is a chance that this image is a US wartime Press Corps photo, but I have never seen another a period copy to confirm it. Prior to my sharing this image a decade ago, I had never seen it anywhere else online or in print. If anyone can provide evidence of another wartime copy of this image proving it to be a Press Corps shot, I would love to see it and will stand corrected. Until that time, I stand by my claim that I own the “original” and these copies were born of the image I shared years ago.  I encourage people to “save” the images I share, just give my website credit if you share them with others.

Unfortunately, some members of other forums have challenged that fact that I own the actual, original copy of some of these images- It being the opinion of some that no “real” images of German semiautos exist in private hands, and that prior to these rare images “magically appearing” on the internet one day, they simply did not exist. Others have also claimed that I “lifted” the images from the web myself from the old forums, which is absurd, considering you will find me credited as the supplier of these images on the old forums. As is always the case and the risk with anything put on the internet, some have copied my images, reproduced them and have sold them on Ebay and other sites for their own profit. This is an unfortunate reality of the web, and is the cost of sharing your collection with the general public- For every 100,000 people who enjoy your collection, there will be 3 people who attempt to criticize, discredit,  or profit from it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My collection of WW2 German semiautomatic rifle photos, a few are Press Corps, the majority are one-of-a-kind snapshots taken by individual soldiers during the war and kept in their private photo albums- Amazingly, some critics have challenged the fact that I own these, claiming none of these photos ever existed prior to the internet, and all of them are somehow “public domain images” that magically appeared one day out of the ether.                             Photo Credit: JD Eberle

 

I do want to share my collection with the world, and regardless of what a handful of critics think- I own the only “real” copy of a number of very rare WW2 photographs. There are things I know about each of my photos that no one else claiming ownership can possibly know- Things that can not be faked like the soldier’s handwriting on the back of the photo, the paper and glue remnants where the snapshot was removed from the photo album, the brand of photo paper the image is printed on, the name of the studio where it was developed, ink or pencil- These are the things that separate my collection from the others, and prove that I own the “original” prints.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It would be utterly pointless and hard to fake the various handwritten descriptions, hand writing, colors of ink and pencil, censor stamps, wartime German photo paper logos, period inks and dyes, and long-forgotten names of German photo studios lost in the war found on my originals. These details confirm the provenance of my collection.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo Credit: JD Eberle

My apologies for the lengthy disclaimer, but I won’t be called a “fraud” or a “thief” again regarding my photo collection, which I have spent two plus decades and thousands of dollars putting together. So without further adieu, I present my personal collection of WW2 German G-41 and G/K-43 photos for your enjoyment. I have watermarked all “one-of-kind” images that I have purchased over the years. Mass-produced “Press Corps” photos are credited accordingly. Again, you will notice some of these images from other websites, but I assure you I was the original supplier to those sites many years ago, and I have the original photo in my possession.

GSA11

The rare G-41(M) rifle                  Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

 

GSA16

Another G-41(M) can be seen in the background of this 1943 photo, the large,clunky, muzzle cone gives it away.       Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA21 (1)

In this remarkable photo at least SEVEN G-41(M) rifles equipped with a blank-fire device can be seen!                                                 Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA20

Another snapshot from the same group of seven G-41(M) rifles!                       Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA18

A young soldier takes aim with a G-41(W)           Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA15

An older image from my collection, now popular across the web, which I first shared a decade ago shows a soldier armed with a G-41(W) on the Eastern Front, 1944.                                          Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA17

Another image shared long ago and now found regularly on the web. Same soldier as above with his G-41(W) Eastern Front, 1944     Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA12

It appears that the soldier third from the back is holding a G-41(W)                           Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

 

GSA3

Eastern Front 1943, G-41(W)                                                                                          Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection, modern print from original negative

GSA4

Eastern Front 1943                                                                                                Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection, modern print from original negative

GSA13

Volksgrenadiers, Belgium 1944, G-41(W)      Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA14

Volksgrenadiers, Belgium 1944, G-41(W)     Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

GSA19

Soldiers in face paint, 1943. Soldier on right holds a G-41(W)                                                     Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

G41W (1)

G-41(W) Note: No buttplate              Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

G41W2 (1)

Another of the same G-41(W)                     Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

scan0095

Photo discussed earlier showing two U.S. GIs with an array of captured German arms including a G-41(W) and Stg-44                   Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

g432 (1)

Volksgrenadier, Western Front 1945  G-43 slung under arm and two-pocket magazine pouch on belt                  Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

scan0083

German Press Corps photo showing a group of soldiers following fierce fighting on the Vistula River, 1944. Soldier on the right helping wounded comrade has a G-43 rifle slung over his shoulder.                                                        Photo Credit: Hoffmann/WW2 German Press Corps

g433

1945, Soldier on the left rests his hands on a G-43          Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

G431

East Prussia, March 1945, G-43 can be seen hanging from a hook on the rail car           Photo Credit: JD Eberle Collection

I hope you enjoyed this collection!

Stay tuned for more great WW2 photos in coming weeks!

A “share” is always appreciated!

 

 

For over 150 years the legend of “The Reynolds Gang” and their buried treasure has occupied the minds of fortune hunters and history buffs alike, especially those residing in Colorado where the legend is a deeply ingrained part of the lore of the South Park region.

Robbing

In a nutshell, the legend involves a group of bushwhackers who appeared in Colorado Territory in the summer of 1864. These men were under the leadership of brothers John and Jim Reynolds, and soon became known as “The Reynolds Gang.” In late-July of 1864 the band carried out a series of stagecoach robberies between Fairplay and present-day Conifer, Colorado, along the old Denver-to-Fairplay wagon road, which roughly followed the course of present-day Highway 285. Eventually, a posse stalking the bandits grew too close for comfort, forcing the gang to bury an estimated $20,000 to $60,000 in gold, cash, and other valuables (in 1864 prices) taken in their robberies. A day after the treasure was hidden, the gang was ambushed along Geneva Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River- One of the gang was killed, several were taken prisoner over the next few days, and two, John Reynolds and a man named Addison Stowe escaped and made their way to New Mexico Territory. Somewhere high in the mountains near Grant, Colorado the buried loot of “The Reynolds Gang” remains to be found today.

ReynoldsGangRobbing1

Many wildly different versions of the legend, laced with lies and false information regarding “The Reynolds Gang” exist, but one part of the legend which can be found in each different version is that a horse carcass is one of the main clues to locating the treasure- Jim and John Reynolds set out the morning prior to the ambush in Geneva Gulch, riding ahead of the rest of the gang to bury the stolen gold. In a timberline swamp one of the brothers’ horses sunk into the soupy-black muck and could not be freed. The Reynolds brothers left the horse sunk in the swamp, presumably still alive as a gunshot to humanely put the horse down would have alerted the nearby posse hot on the gang’s trail.

In 1871 John Reynolds reappeared in Sante Fe, New Mexico under the alias “Will Willace” and teamed up with another shady character named Albert Brown, the pair began stealing horses in northern New Mexico, and then decided to ride on to Colorado in an effort to retrieve the gold stashed in 1864. Near Taos “Will Wallace” was shot in a gunfight as he and Brown attempted to steal more horses. On his deathbed “Wallace” confided in Brown that his real name was “John Reynolds” and before he breathed his last breath he drew a crude map of where the treasure lay buried and told Albert Brown the following:

“It’s no use pard; the jig is up, and I’m goin’ across the range mighty shortly. If we could have got to Denver, we’d have been alright. I’ve got over $60,000 buried not fifty miles from there in the mountains, and I could go right to the spot Jim and me buried it in 1864. But there’s no use in me wastin’ breath, for I’m to the end of my rope now, an’ I’ll tell you just where it is, so that you can go an’ get it after you’ve planted me deep enough so the coyotes won’t dig me up and gnaw my bones.

Jim an’ me buried it the morning before the fight at the grove on Geneva Gulch. You go up there a little ways and find where one of our horses mired down in a swamp. On up at the head of the gulch we turned to the right and followed the mountain around a little farther, an’ just above the head of Deer Creek we found an old prospect hole at about timberline. There was $40,000 in greenbacks, wrapped in silk oil cloth, an’ three cans of gold dust. We filled the mouth of the hole up with stones, an’ ten steps below there stuck a butcher knife into the tree about four feet from the ground an’ broke the handle off, an’ left it pointing to the mouth of the hole.”

The legend is confusing, as John Reynolds mentions the gold being buried at the “head of Deer Creek” but he also says the gold is buried at the head of Geneva Gulch. Deer Creek and Geneva Gulch are in the same general area, but are separated by a dozen or so miles of very rugged country. The treasure is buried at the head of one, but not both.

Treasure hunters have focused on the Deer Creek headwaters almost exclusively since the “map” to the buried treasure first appeared in the 1897 book “Hand’s Up!” the biography of early-Colorado lawman Dave Cook who had supposedly been given the map by Albert Brown in 1874 following his arrest for stealing donkeys during his search for the treasure. Dave Cook went on to fund his own search for the treasure for nearly a decade before giving up and writing his memoir, where he published the map for the general public to see for the first time.

Map

At the time of it’s publication, the map set off a stampede of treasure hunters to the Deer Creek area, but today a close look at the map reveals several geographic discrepancies, which seem to indicate the gold was buried somewhere other than Deer Creek. Comparing the map and John Reynolds deathbed confession with The Full Statement of Thomas Holliman- Member of The Reynolds Gang also seems to paint a different picture of the whereabouts of the buried gold. Comparing the various statements would indicate that the gold is, in fact, somewhere in the Geneva Creek drainage, and not along the Deer Creek headwaters.

In June of 2011, long before I had ever heard of “The Reynolds Gang” and their buried treasure, I came across some very old and decayed bones, high in a timberline swamp, in a very remote reach of Geneva Gulch. I packed out the jaw bone which I found the most interesting, and left the other bones in the mud and moss, not thinking much of it. Once I had positively identified the bones as a horse, I began to look into old mining records and claims in Geneva Gulch, thinking the bones were likely those of an unfortunate pack animal lost long-ago in the gold rush era when Geneva Gulch was busy with prospectors and miners.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jaw bone of the lost Reynolds horse?

It was during this research that I first learned of “The Reynolds Gang” and their lost gold. Needless to say, my heart stopped when I read John Reynolds deathbed confession for the first time and he mentioned the mired horse in the high-alpine swamp. As I continued my research into the case, separating fact from fiction, the area where the horse carcass and the buried treasure could be narrowed down sharply to an area (which I will keep to myself) encompassing  a circle of about seven miles, which I call the “golden circle” in reference to the secret society the Reynolds brothers were members- The Knights of the Golden Circle.

bones1

Subsequent searches inside my “golden circle” have yielded more clues- Several very old campsites, and odd stone formation made by the hands of man, and a rusted shovel dating to the 1940s where someone else, possibly another fortune seeker had been digging within the “golden circle.” In 2016 I returned to the spot where I found the horse bones and packed the rest out, they now reside in a chest in my closet- I am convinced, based on their age, and location, that these are the bones of the lost horse in the legend, and that puts me within a few hundred yards of the gold.

bonesCSA

I have begun to write a book series “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” which details the true history of events from 1856 to present which follows the trail left by ‘The Reynolds Gang” and their contemporaries, separating fact from fiction, dispelling many versions of the legend and proving false the claims of early fortune hunters who said they found the treasure in the early-1900s. I was interviewed and appeared in a June 2015 article in “Colorado Life” magazine which recounted the legend of “The Reynolds Gang” and the modern day treasure hunters who seek the lost fortune. I’ve published numerous blogs on the topic, and have had my research added to the online Colorado Encyclopedia the first official source to recognize the true story of “The Reynolds Gang” as opposed to one of the various versions of the legend.

bones2

Since I began researching this fascinating topic, I have been approached on several occasions by shady individuals claiming to be descendants of the Reynolds brothers, other treasure hunters prying me for details on the exact whereabouts of my finds, and others posing under a variety of schemes and scams trying to get me to divulge the details that I know, and they do not. It is not worth your time or effort to hound me- What I know puts me closer to the Reynolds treasure than anyone else in the last 50 years and I’m already a fool for sharing what I have. The historical information I have researched and freely published is available to all, and if you are willing to dig deep enough with the right kind of eyes, everything is there that you need to know. The photos I share of the evidence I have found are genuine. That being said, I will continue my hunt in the “golden circle” this coming summer, and I wish the other fortune seekers good luck in their hunts! It is, after all, the thrill of the chase that keeps us going!

My 20 best photos of 2018- A little bit of everything, and in no particular order-

b1621

Abandoned Church, Las Mesitas, Colorado

b16

Twooch aka “Busy Feets”  my polydactyl or “Hemingway” Siamese, she has 25 toes!

b161

Century House, Golden Gate Canyon, Colorado

b162

Somewhere in Colorado

b163

Columbines, near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Masonic Lodge, Victor, Colorado

b165

Hawk, Derry Ranch Placer, Colorado

b166

View of the Collegiate Peaks near Turret, Colorado

b167

Grouse, somewhere in Colorado

b168

Mr. Campbell’s cabin, Campbell Town, Colorado

b169

Wild Turkey, somewhere in Colorado

b1612

Hot Rod Hill Climb, Central City, Colorado

b1613

Miner’s Shack, Freeland, Colorado

b1614

Near Rabbit Ears Mountain, New Mexico

b1615

Mills, New Mexico

b1616

La Liendre, New Mexico

b1617

Sandhill Crane, Pecos River, New Mexico

b1618

Along the Pecos River, New Mexico

b1619

Holman, New Mexico

b1620

Moon over the Sangre de Cristos, near Taos, New Mexico

Just got home from another mini-vacation to Victor, Colorado and was once again impressed and amazed at all of the things I found that I had missed on previous trips. Missing little details is easy to do in a town that once had a population of 12,000 around 1900, which now has about 400 residents. Whatever you do, however, DO NOT call Victor a “ghost town” I made that mistake once and only once. A week’s worth of hate mail and  subsequent explaining and apologizing, and I was back on in good graces with the locals!

VictorColoradopano

Panoramic Painting of Victor circa 1900

 

Victor has always caused me mixed emotions- On one hand it heartbreaking to see so many empty store fronts and vacant properties, I imagine how beautiful and bustling this town must have been in its heyday, when it even boasted a fancy “San Francisco” style trolley line known as the “Victor Inter-Urban Railway.” On the other hand, I love Victor as it is, and would be devastated to see the gentrification that has destroyed so much of Colorado happen here- I want Victor to retain its character, and anymore in Colorado, “character” is too often bulldozed to make way for luxury condos and coffee shops for people with no ties to Colorado and no respect for the State’s history.

Victor

Victor in 1899, the building on the left is the Victor Hotel which still welcomes guests today

A huge amalgamation of abandoned, occupied, old and new (mostly old though) and a sense of a mining boom town suspended in time best describes Victor, Colorado, sister city of the more famous Cripple Creek, just six miles away around a mountain of mine tailings. Preservation efforts have been carried out or started on a number of the buildings around the town, and visitors can still stay in the historic Victor Hotel, comfortable, large rooms, with great views and giant arched windows are available for a very reasonable rate year-round. A couple of small cafes, The Side Door and The Mining Claim 1899, and a the Fortune Club Saloon (the Fortune Club also offers rooms) serve the needs of hungry and thirsty visitors as well as the locals, many of whom work at the nearby Newmont gold mine. A few antique and gift shops, a liquor store, and a tiny general store round out Victor’s business district. The most impressive building to be found in town (in my opinion) is the old Masonic Lodge, be sure not to miss it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view looking west down Victor Avenue, the Victor Hotel is the tallest building on the right. Several blocks of largely vacant storefronts radiate out, north and south, from Victor Avenue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of the Victor business district, note the “Undertakers” advertisement

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Masonic Lodge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A look downtown and you can imagine what it must have been like in 1900

One thing you will quickly notice about Victor are the stunning views of the rugged, snow-capped spires of the Sangre de Cristos Mountain to the southwest- The view of the Sangres can not be beat from the 4th floor rooms of the Victor Hotel.

(Click Here for Victor Hotel Website) 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains from the 4th floor rooms of the Victor Hotel

Another aspect of Victor that first-time visitors may find unusual is the large amount of wildlife that freely roam the town, deer and foxes, unconcerned with the people and cars around them. And, almost as if trained, it seems the wildlife prefers to use the painted crosswalks in town when crossing the road- I have been entertained watching this numerous times! Just a reminder though, never ever, ever, feed the wildlife, they are still wild animals, no matter how tame they might appear. Human food harms wildlife, it also causes wildlife to associate humans with food, which is bad for both us and the animals, just don’t do it. Enjoy the critters from a distance and take only photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This well-behaved fox and its family are regular fixtures in downtown Victor

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From my hotel room window above I watched this fox use the crosswalks every time it needed to cross the streets in town, take it slow driving through, there are lots of animals roaming town!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The deer in Victor have the same street smarts as their fox neighbors

Vintage advertising and forlorn, antique mining machinery can be found all over the town. Adding to Victor’s unique personality is the fact that mine shafts exist right in the middle of town! When you find a rich vein of ore while excavating the foundation for a building, you forget about the building and get into the mining business! One the east edge of town a colossal two-story red brick schoolhouse with an imposing flight of stairs leading to its front door dominates the view. Below the school is the “Gold Bowl” a football field built many decades ago- The entire project was paid for with gold ore excavated while leveling the playing field!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vintage advertising abounds in the streets of Victor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A small fraction of the vintage mining equipment scattered about Victor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An old tractor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This beautiful old Buick watches over things from a ridge above town, deer tracks nearby

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The old Colorado & Midland train station in Victor

North, east, south, and west of Victor’s business district are rows of Victorian era residences. Many occupied year-round, others occupied seasonally, and plenty abandoned and forlorn. You can take one look up and down the streets and sense what a beautiful town Victor was in its prime. The people here lived a good, comfortable life, before the mines went bust.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trapped in time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remarkable woodwork on this old beauty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Withered beauty

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If walls could talk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Craftsmanship which has weathered the harsh winds of time

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mine tailings in the middle of a row of homes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once called “home” by a miner and his family

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The old Texaco at the edge of town hasn’t plugged a flat or changed oil in many years

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A  doe deer inspects the “skinny” house on the east end of town

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And a minute later….the buck deer arrived

Victor, Colorado, now only a shadow of its former glory is truly a gem to visit if you are a history buff or interested in the history of mining. Victor and Cripple Creek, Colorado were the heart of a massive gold-producing district from around 1895 to 1930s. Mining structures, debris, and abandoned and occupied homes and businesses dating to the boom years radiate out in all directions from Victor. Newmont Gold which still operates the sprawling mine nearby along with Teller County and various historic/preservation societies have teamed up to construct a series of walking paths that wind their way through many of the old mining areas, which give visitors an up close look at the structures and equipment used 100 years ago.

Vindicator Miners VLTM

Miners at the Vindicator just north of Victor, today a foot path leads you to the ruins of the mill in he background of this photo, much, much more impressive in person!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The towering remains of the Vindicator north of Victor, a foot path I didn’t care to walk in the snow leads below for an awe-inspiring view of this enormous ghost structure

 

If you find yourself in the Colorado Springs or Canon City, Colorado area, be sure to plan a day trip to visit nearby Victor and soak up this town’s very unique atmosphere and wonderful sights!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Locals

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A handsome fella

2019 Ghosts of Colorado Calendars Only $14.99 CLICK HERE!

cal19

 

PLEASE GIVE ME A SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA IF YOU ENJOYED THIS!

THANKS FOR VISITING!

At first glance it is hard to believe Goldfield, Colorado once boasted a population of over 3,500 residents when the nearby Portland Mine provided ample employment opportunities around 1900.

port

The Portland Mine at Goldfield in its prime around 1900

The ebb and flow of mining is a brutal life of boom and bust, in Goldfield, as in nearly every mining town and camp in the West, the ore played out that coupled with the Federal Government abandoning the gold standard, the town withered and faded away. Today, Goldfield still struggles to hang on, a handful of residents, some retired, some weekenders, some descendants of earlier miners, and a smattering of coyotes, deer, and foxes still occupy a number of homes in this boom and bust town.

 

Newmont Gold is reworking the tailings piles from yesteryear nearby, as well as carrying out new large-scale mining operations which has also brought a few folks back to town, but for the most part, Goldfield is fragile, wind-blown remnant of a forgotten era. The splintered wood and cracked cornices, peeled paint, and shifting foundations stand today as silent witnesses of grander times in Goldfield. The highlight of the town in the City Hall and fire station, built in 1899, which stands guard over the town, its weathered and flaking yellow paint an ode the gold that once brought life to this great Colorado ghost town.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Preserved in a state of “arrested decay” in recent City Hall, built in 1899, looms over Goldfield

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another view of the combination City Hall and Fire Station

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Goldfield’s residential streets are a combo of abandoned and occupied dwellings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A 100-year-old miner’s shack with the Newmont property in the distance, providing work for modern-day miners who rework the tailings piles of yesterday’s mines for microscopic gold which could not be harvested with the primitive  techniques of the 19th Century. Newmont employs hundreds at decent wages, reworking the “waste rock” of 100 years ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little elbow grease and we’d have a winner!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A seasonal home in Goldfield, boarded up for the winter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This beautiful old Ford and the house behind still have lots of promise!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Many years since a fire warmed the hearth of this Goldfield house

2019 Ghosts of Colorado Calendar by Jeff Eberle $14.99 CLICK HERE!

cal19

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If walls could talk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the south end of Goldfield is the short-lived suburb of “Hollywood” which was swallowed by Goldfield’s expansion. Hollywood was actually a suburb of nearby Victor, about a mile away in the boom days. Hollywood was soon swallowed by Goldfield when the Portland Mine boomed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of Hollywood’s nicer homes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the north end of Goldfield sits this impressive two-story, occupied until recent years as evinced by the satellite dish. This home is where the “suburbs” or “satellite camp” of Goldfield known both as “Indpendence” and “Hull City” was located. Just south lies the Vindicator Mine.

Ghost Town Guide Books and Photography by Jeff Eberle- CLICK HERE!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Vindicator, a truly impressive structure, photos do it no justice. It is an enormous building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A “fancy” house at the old Indpendence/Hull City site

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Close-up of the fancy house

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Home of the mine boss and his family, occupied until the early-1950s

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another “satellite” camp of Goldfield was Bull Hill where the hardscrabble miners lived in retired railroad cars on the windswept side of the hill.

With the holidays upon us I wanted to thank all of my followers again for your support and share links to all of my projects with you in case you are looking for some gift ideas.

I have written two Colorado ghost town guide books, loaded with color photos and GPS coordinates which are available by following the links below. Book one covers the “Gold Belt” region spanning the foothills of Boulder, Clear Creek, and Gilpin Counties just west of Denver. Book two covers the “High Rockies” and features sites in Summit and Lake Counties.

HG2

Click Here- Colorado Ghost Towns Travels: The Gold Belt Guide Book $19.99 

HG3

Click Here- Colorado Ghost Towns Travels: The High Rockies Guide Book $15.99

 

I have also written a book detailing the early Civil War era sociopolitical climate in Colorado Territory. This book is the first in a series of three that begins with the earliest pioneers of Colorado and their deep ties to the South. Future books in the series will cover in depth the forgotten story of the Colorado pioneers who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War,  the final book of the series will detail the legend of “The Reynolds Gang” and the ongoing hunt for their buried treasure.

HG1

Click Here- The Gray Ghosts of Colorado: Book I, The Copperheads $19.99

Finally I offer my yearly “Ghosts of Colorado” wall calendar, featuring 12 months of my ghost town photography.

cal19

Click Here- 2019 Ghosts of Colorado Calendar $14.99

Thank You For Your Support!

I’m a “little guy” with no marketing budget, so sharing this on social media helps me out a lot!