A Ghost Town a Day For 30 Days- Day #18- Granite, Colorado

Posted: April 18, 2020 in Colorado History, Colorado Road Trips, Ghost Towns, Mines, Mills and Smelters
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Day #18- Granite, Colorado


Granite, Colorado is located at the confluence of Cache Creek and the Arkansas River in  a sandy, boulder filled, canyon.  Placer gold was discovered in 1860 at Cache Creek, and in 1861 in the sandbars of the Arkansas River.  A pair of camps named sprang up a short distance apart from each other- Georgia Bar (named after the Georgia-born prospectors who worked the claim) and Cache Creek camp. By 1862 over 3000 people lived in the camps and the numerous other craggy gulches that radiate in all directions from the spot. The scattered camps soon grew together, and the town of Granite was born.




In 1867 gold-bearing quartz was discovered, and placer mining gave way to hard rock mining and a number of shafts were dropped and mills were built at the site.  For a few years in the 1860s and 1870s Granite was the county seat. Violence was no stranger to Granite, as returning soldiers from the Civil War often mixed it up based on their wartime allegiances, then in 1875, a vigilante group shot probate Judge Elias Dyer in his own Courtroom. Judge Dyer was the son of the famous intinerant preacher Father John Dyer, a Colorado legend.



Today Granite is a quiet spot along the Arkansas River popular with fly fisherman. Many of the old log cabins and buildings are still used seasonally, and a few year-rounders are present. There are also a number of abandoned buildings, and mining remnants in all directions. A good 4×4 is required to explore the trails around Granite.





Thanks For Visiting!

Colorado Ghost Town Guide- The Foothills Region


  1. Nannette Iatesta says:


    I so enjoy these articles….especially since I am a Colorado native with roots back to its very early days…but now am retired in living in South Carolina. I have appreciated the old remnants of buildings that are scattered all over the state for as long as I can remember.

    I am not positive about this, but I believe the Judge Dyer was not hung in his courtroom, but assassinated by gunfire. He was shot, begged for his life and then shot again in he head. You might want to verify that incident for the details. I am going to buy your book for more great Colorado history!

    Best, Nannette Iatesta


    • J.D. Eberle says:

      Hi Nannette,

      Thank You, I’m glad you are enjoying these. You are 100% correct regarding Judge Dyer being shot, not hung. My old book using for a reference appears to have gotten that wrong! Thanks for pointing that out, I will correct that. Thanks for pointing that out! ~ Jeff

  2. Keith A Kemmerer says:

    Great job on all of these postings JD. Hung in his own courtroom! Wow! When does that ever happen?
    Apex is a common, ghost town love for both of us. Memories just come gushing back. Me from the 60’s, you alittle later.
    Can you even imagine seeing that place in it’s hey day! Wow!

    • J.D. Eberle says:

      Thans Keith, I would love see these places back in their prime, so much has been lost through years, that just a fraction remains today. If walls could talk!

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