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The Matchless Mine is one of the most famous mines in Leadville. Horace Tabor purchased the mine in 1879 and as a result of it became one of the richest men in Leadville and all of Colorado. The Matchless high grade silver ore was worth millions. Tabor spent his fortune lavishly building home and the grand Tabor Opera house. It was during this time that Tabor feel in love with the beautiful divorcee Baby Doe. He left his wife and wed the infamous Baby Doe.
The glory of the mine was short lived. In 1893, the silver market crashed. Horace lost everything. After his death, the penniless Baby Doe, moved with their two daughters to the superintendent’s cabin at the Matchless. Baby Doe held on to the hope that the mine would soon again bring her riches. Instead after her daughters had left Baby Doe was found dead at the cabin in 1935. It is believed she died the result of being malnourished and suffering from the extreme cold.
Today the property is owned by the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. It is open during the summer. The mine tours include the mine superintendent’s cabin, the head frame (the mine shaft is visible here), the hoist house, blacksmith shop and model of the mine.
The 400-square foot mine superintendent’s cabin is insulated with cardboard and newspaper. It has rustic furniture typical of the era.
Directions: The Matchless Mine and Baby Doe’s Cabin are located 1- 1/4 mile east of Harrison on East 7th, Leadville.
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