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Boom and bust are recurring themes in the central Colorado mine fields. The town of Winfield, first called Florence and then Lucknow, reached a population of around 1,500 in 1890 after being founded only nine years earlier, but fell into decline not long after, with the post office closing in 1912. Today, the Ball cabin and old schoolhouse live on as museums maintained by the Clear Creek Canyon Historical Society. You can also visit the cemetery just north of town. Although 26 people lie buried within it, only two gravestones have survived the years.
Settlement here began when, as luck would have it, in 1881 the mules of two prospectors wandered off in the night. The men had camped where the North and South Forks of Clear Creek branched off, and as they collected their animals down by the water the next morning, gold flecks looked up at them from the creek bed. Winfield was soon built on that spot. Interestingly, silver and copper would prove to be more in abundance than gold. 1918 saw the last of the ore shipped out. However, Winfield today is not completely dead, as ten to twelve private summer cabins are owned and used.
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