Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Mining Towns’

pearl1

In the far northern reach of Jackson County northwest of Walden, Colorado, just a mile or so shy of the Wyoming border sits Pearl. Pearl is long-forgotten copper mining town which boomed from the 1880s to around 1910.

pearl11

pearl8

Pearl was home to a couple of mines and smelter- The red brick smoke stack of the smelter still exists today on hillside southeast of the town. The Pearl town platt covered some 14 blocks,  but they never quite filled up. There was however a school, Post Office, a couple of hotels, a butcher shop, and three saloons.

pearl10

pearl3

A few precious stones were also found around mineral- Rubies and diamonds, though rare did exist in the volcanic sands of the area. When the copper mines played out in the early years of the 20th Century, it is said that one of the last die-hards in Pearl bought up all of the abandoned properties, then “salted” the earth around Pearl with rough diamonds and rubies he had purchased in bulk from a jewelerin Denver. The trickster then offered the Pearl townsite up for sale to speculatorsand prospectors. The unknowing buyers conducted samples in the area and were excited to find diamonds and rubies in large numbers. The buyers snatched up all of the land around Pearl, only to learn later that they had been tricked and the gems they had found in their samples had been placed in strategic spots around town.

pearl5

pearl9

pearl7

Today Pearl is a cluster of around a dozen cabins and frame homes which appear to be used seasonally,or atleast maintained by the current owner of the townsite.  All buildings at Pearl are private property, and the town itself sits just hundred or so yards beyond a barbed wire fence. Photos can be taken with a zoom lens from the nearby County Roads that circle the site.

pearl4

pearl6

Check Out My Photo Book- Order Here!

MyBook

 

indy1

Independence, Colorado is a well-preserved ghost town dating to 1879, located just below timberline on the western slope of Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen on Highway 82.

ind1

ind11

Indpendence was named following the discovery of lode gold on July 4, 1879, it also went by the name Chipeta, in honor of Ute Chief Ouray’s wife, for a short time before the townsfolk settled on Independence.

ind3

ind

ind14

At the height of its boom Independence was home to around 1,500 people, home to 40 businesses, as well as three post offices.

indybook

indy14

indy2

Life in the town, located at 11,000 feet elevation, was difficult, and winters were extreme.  As the lode gold played out Independence’s population plummeted, by 1890 there were less than 100 residents.

indyx2

ind13

ind9

In 1899 snows were so heavy that the last 75 residents of the town were cutoff from the supply centers of Aspen and Twin Lakes, and were on the verge of starvation. The remnant population of Independence decided theoir only chance for survival was to flee towards Aspen. The snowed-in inhabitants stripped boards from the remaining structures in town and built skis and sleds out of them for their trek to Aspen,which all 75 residents successfully made.

ind7

ind4

Since 1899 only a few prospectors and hermits have called Independence home.Today, the town is totally abandoned, preserved as a historical park. Visitors can park in a small parking lot just below the summit of Independence Pass, and take a short hike down into the townsite. a Forest Service caretaker is sometimes present at the site.

ind6

ind8

 

Abanoned Western Colorado- Click Here to Order!

MyBook

 

Coming Soon- August 24, 2020- Abandoned Southern Colordo- Pre-Order Now!

NoColoGHPcover

Coming Soon- September 28, 2020- Abandoned Southern Colorado- Pre-Order Here!

slvCOVER

Colorado Ghost Town Guide Book-The High Rockies- Order Here!

MyBook3

Colorado Ghost Town Guide Book- The Foothills Gold Belt Region- Order Here!

mybook2

Day # 6 of A Ghost Town a Day For 30 Days features Bluebird, a picturesque mining camp in Boulder County Colorado. Bluebrid requires a round-trip hike of 3 1/2 miles to reach, but the trek is well worth it.

Bluebird dates to the early 1870s when a rich silver vein rumored to assay at $6,000 per ton was discovered. Bluebird was an up-and-down mining camp until as recently as the 1950s when the veins finally played out. Parts of the 1966 film “Stagecoach”  starring Ann Margaret and Bing Crosby was filmed at Bluebird.

bluebird23

The centerpiece of Bluebrid is the 2-story bunkhouse

Today there is plenty to be seen at Bluebird- The mine workings, the stunning bunkhouse with its wooden porch, the toppled log remains of the earlier 1870s era bunkhouse, the stone and brick mine manager’s home, and most unusual for a 10,000 foot elevation setting- A stone-lined swimming pool with centrally located firepit used to heat the waters!  The rushing waters of Boulder Creek and stunning views in every direction are the icing on the cake at Bluebird.

bluebird25

Backside of the bunkhouse

bluebird26

The small, arched window was used by the camp bookkeeper distribute pay to the miners

bluebird5

Front door to the bunkhouse

bluebird20

Front porch/boardwalk of the bunkhouse

bluebird6

The collapsed remnants of the earlier-1870s era bunkhouse

bluebird21

bluebird32

A view south looking over the Bluebird camp

bluebird33

The mine manager’s house

bluebird34

Staircase leading into the seemingly out-of-place swimming pool

bluebird36

Swimming pool right outside the front door of the mine manager’s home

bluebird35

Central firepit inside the swimming pool used to heat the waters

bluebird31

Animal pens used for livestock kept at the Bluebird camp

bluebird28

Building near the entrance to the mine

bluebird29

Shed at the mine

blubird3

A chipmunk waves “hello” from the boardwalk at Bluebird

Thanks for visiting!

Check out my other ghost town blogs!

 

Check Out My Book- Click Here!

MyBook

 

 

Day #2 of A Ghost Town a Day For 30 Days is Wall Street which is located in Boulder County and easily accessible in the warmer months by following the signs in Four Mile Canyon.

Wall Street began its life around 1895 as a mining camp called “Delphi.” From 1895 to 1898 Delphi grew in size and numerous gold claims were staked in Schoolhouse, Melvina, and Emerson Gulches which surrounded the camp. For a little over two years a Post Office operated under the Delphi name.

wallstbk7

One of the older shacks at Wall Street

In 1898 Charles Caryl, a wealthy industrialist from New York arrived and bought up nearly all of the claims in Delphi. Caryl renamed the camp “Wall Street” in homage of his home in New York City.

wallstreet

The boom days at Wall Street

Charles Caryl funded the construction of a gold mill, built atop a towering stone foundation, that used a cutting-edge (at the time) chlorination process to extract gold from the host rock being processed. Today the mill buildings are long gone, but the enormous stone foundation still dominates the old Wall Street site.

wallstreetmill2

The Wall Street chlorination mill in its prime.

ws1

The towering foundation of the mill today.

wallstbk6

Some more of the stone foundation works that can be found around the mill site today.

Wall Street had a Post Office from 1898 to 1921 when the mining operations subsided and the population moved on.  Wall Street today has a small year-round population, as well as a number of summer residents. The town site today is a mixture of old and new, occupied, and vacant- The old schoolhouse has been converted into a residence, and the Assayer’s Office is now a museum open to the public in summer months.

wallstbk2

Wall Street school house, converted into a residence in recent years.

wallst

The James F. Bailey Assayer’s Office- Now a museum in the summer months

wallst1

A view down main street shows the chlorination mill and the Assayer’s Office sometime in the glory days of Wall Street, the town boomed between 1989 and 1921.

 

Wall Street suffered some damage in the floods of 2013, and a large two-story house at the mouth of the canyon was damaged so severely it has since been torn down.

wallstbk1

Sadly, this old Victorian house was damaged in the flood of 2013 and has been torn down since this photo was taken. Note: Front lower wall is bulging outwards due to flood damage.

 

THANKS FOR VISITING MY BLOG!

PLEASE GIVE US A “SHARE” ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES!

 

CHECK OUT MY BOOK- CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

MyBook

 

COLORADO GHOST TOWN GUIDE BOOK- THE FOOTHILLS REGION- CLICK HERE!

HG2

GHOST TOWN GUIDE BOOK- THE HIGH ROCKIES- CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

HG3