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Things To Do - Historical Attractions

There is much to do and see in Fourteener Country. The avid outdoorsman will marvel at the abundance and quality of the areas outdoor recreational opportunities. Those wanting a special, relaxing mountain escape will be in awe of the beauty this area offers. One can take a leisurely drive through the mountains on one of the Scenic Byways; see old mines and sparkling reservoirs, peaceful roads lined with history and beauty to take your breath away. Historic districts and ghost towns dot the landscape by the fistful. There are museums, scenic trains, hot springs, wildlife viewing, shopping and more. Below you’ll find information and listings to help you design the perfect sight-seeing trip to the Central Colorado Mountains.

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Location of Banker Mine, Colorado

Banker Mine

Many mines have come and gone and sometimes come again over the years. Some have led to firmly established towns, but others have left only dilapidated buildings in their wake. In the latter category ...  Details

Dawson Cabin, Beaver City CO

Beaver City, Vicksburg, Rockdale / Silverdale, Winfield

As one would expect from a mining area that has experienced boom and bust, many ghost towns remain in central Colorado to remind us of the dreams and joys, disappointments and devastations of many a p...  Details

Climax Mine

Since 1916 The Climax Molybdenum Mine has been a major factor in the economy of the Leadville area. Molybdenum is an alloy used to make steel stronger.  The demand for the alloy increased during ...  Details

Map of historic mining towns in Colorado

Columbia City

Just over six miles west of Granite, the remains of Columbia City are worth getting to for the spectacular views the area affords. When Walter Cameron first hit pay dirt in 1893, the Josephine Lode, a...  Details

Como Railroad Station

When the Denver South Park & Pacific Railroad first reached Buena Vista, they had an agreement with the Denver and Rio Grande to share track to Gunnison and Leadville.  Soon, changes in manag...  Details

Mine tailings at the Fortune Mine in Colorado

Fortune Mine

Less than seven miles beyond Winfield in the Clear Creek area lies the Fortune Mine. Although access to the mine itself is closed due to extreme danger, as you travel up CR 390, you can see the scars ...  Details

Ghost town in Central Colorado

Fourteener Country Ghost Towns

Central Colorado is not only home to many mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, called "Fourteeners," but also to a good number of abandoned mines and towns. During the latter part of the 1800...  Details

Ghost town of Hancock, CO

Ghost Town - Hancock

The road to Hancock is slow, but beautiful. There's very little left of the town, but the lovely meadow and views make the trek worthwhile. The once-expansive Hancock had thrived as a railroad tow...  Details

Main Street in St. Elmo, Colorado

Ghost Town - St. Elmo

Of all the ghost towns in Colorado, St. Elmo is one of the best preserved. This is because it has never been completely abandoned and its die-hard residents have jealously protected it over the years....  Details

Vicksburg Colorado historic Main St

Ghost Town - Vicksburg

Once a bustling mining town, Vicksburg enjoyed a general store, a post office, a school, two hotels, two billiard halls, several saloons, a livery stable, a blacksmith, and an assay office. Located ne...  Details

Information sign at Winfield, CO

Ghost Town - Winfield

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 o...  Details

Historic photo of Romley, Colorado

Ghost Towns - Romley

Some old mining towns don't even have enough left for ghosts to haunt. One such is Romley, on the road to Hancock. During its heyday, between 400 and 1000 people lived and worked there, with multi...  Details

Ghost town of Hamilton, CO


One of the most remote mining areas in Clear Creek Canon, the mining camp of Hamilton consisted of a mere four to five buildings. The Hamilton Mining and Tunnel Company operated here until 1905. &nbs...  Details

Historic Alpine Tunnel

The Alpine Tunnel was the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad’s method of crossing the Continental Divide.  The expected six month construction period expanded to nearly two years due t...  Details

Historic Turner Farm

Turner Farm is a typical farm headquarters from the early 1900s.  It is in Buena Vista at 829 West Main (County Road 306).  Turner Farm started as the Walker homestead in 1891.  The...  Details

Inter-Laken Resort

Inter-Laken Resort was established in 1879 by James V. Dexter to be one of the grandest resorts of the time, and it was.   The wealthy guest from all over the US and even Europe would arrive...  Details

Iron City Cemetery

Iron City Cemetery Every town had its "Boot Hill". Here at the Iron City Cemetery, there is a roster of those who lie buried here, from the 1800's all the way up into the early 1900...  Details

Jefferson Depot

The Jefferson Depot is right beside Highway 285 on the north end of South Park.  The building is currently painted baby blue and serves as an office.  The “Jefferson” sign hangs ...  Details

Latchaw mine in Chaffee County

Latchaw Mine

Not all mines in central Colorado are from the 1880's. Although the second half of the nineteenth century did enjoy the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, the Latchaw Mine wasn't begun until 1901. Loc...  Details

Leadville Cemeteries

So much history can be gleamed from Leadville’s two cemeteries.  The towns original cemetery sat at the top of the hill where the high school football field is now located.  Most of th...  Details

The Mary Murphy Mine in Colorado

Mary Murphy Mine

One of the most famous mines in central Colorado is the Mary Murphy. Different stories are told as to its discovery and naming. One version is that John Royal and Dr. Abner Wright found it in 1875. &...  Details

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Railroad Enthusiast Adventure

Railroads have played a key role in the history of Colorado, and this is especially true in Fourteener Country. The influence of the railroad expansionists has dwindled over the years, but their ...  Details

Salida Historic District

The Salida Downtown Historic District, roughly centered on the stoplight at 1st and F Street, is the largest historical district in Colorado.  It was added to the National Register in 1984. ...  Details

Smeltertown Smokestack

When entering Salida from the west, a giant 385-foot smokestack rises from the pastures.  It’s a remnant from the heydays of mining in the Upper Arkansas Valley.  The Smokestack belong...  Details

Historic building in St. Elmo Colorado

St. Elmo

Due to private ownership, St. Elmo, in the Sawatch Mountains 20 miles to the southwest of Buena Vista, is the best preserved ghost town in the area. In fact, if there are actual ghosts, they share the...  Details

St. Elmo School House

The St. Elmo School House was built in 1882 during the height of the mining boom in Grizzly Gulch.  The one-room building also functioned as a community gathering place and church.  The sing...  Details

St. Elmo Town Hall

The original Town Hall was built in 1880 when the town population was nearing 2,000 people.  The current year-round population is 4.    St. Elmo has been a ghost town since 1958.St. E...  Details

Entrance to Swiss Boy Mine in Colorado

Swiss Boy Mine

One of the first mines in the area, the Swiss Boy produced mostly copper ore and silver. Although not much is known about it, there are records that until 1893, a number of prospectors worked it under...  Details

Tasmania Mine near Winfield, CO

Tasmania Mine

Heading west from Winfield via the right hand fork, CR290 2A, will take you to what's left of the Tasmania Mine. It had been incorporated in 1899 by the Tasmania Mining and Milling Company out of ...  Details

Map of mines in Chaffee County

The Little Annie Mine

Charles Thompson, J. K. Casteel and Annie Casteel laid claim to a valuable lode of ore in 1894. When filing with the Four Mile/Swift Water Mining District, they gave their mine the name Little Annie. ...  Details

Matchless Mine & Baby Doe's Cabin

The Matchless Mine and Baby Doe’s Cabin

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...  Details

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The Riverside Cemetery

The Riverside Cemetery, also called the Mayol Cemetery, is situated about ten miles north of Buena Vista and east of Highway 24, along the Arkansas River. (Sec. 12, T13S, R79W, 6th P.M.) There are si...  Details

Twin Lakes Historic District

Twin Lakes is located on Highway 82 at the base of Independence Pass.  La Plata Peak and Mt Elbert tower over the valley which contains two of Colorado’s largest glacier-carved lakes. ...  Details

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