The Rockies: Sites of Silver Plume

Today I took a photographic tour of Silver Plume. Silver Plume, incorporated in 1880, was once a silver mining camp along Clear Creek in the Rocky Mountains. The town neighbored a more glamorous Georgetown. What it lacked in elegance, however, it gained in mines. During the silver boom, Silver Plume was home to more than forty mines with a terrific output. The profits tended to flow two miles down stream to Georgetown where the mine owners lived, while mine workers lived Silver Plume.

The European immigrants of Silver Plume not only worked in the mines, but also started their own businesses including a newspaper, a brewery, and the 7:30’s mine cornet band. Legend has it that the mine owner was so proud of his band, that he hired miners that were better at playing music than mining!

After the silver crash in 1893, Silver Plume and Georgetown struggled to survive. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when locals recognized the historical and architectural value of the towns, preserved local buildings and created the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Landmark Historic District that the town’s began to showcase their history and attract tourism. The District also includes the Georgetown Railroad that still runs between the towns today.

Silver Plume is about 50 miles west of Denver in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is home to many gems. I strolled along the town’s dirt roads past a handful of homes, a few businesses, and a significant amount of history including an old jail, the spring used for brewing, a church, a generator, and many other rusted remnants of the mining days. Up on the hill just east of town, I explored the outer structure of an old mine.

While once home to several thousand, now Silver Plume is a sleepy town home to a few hundred. It was a pleasure to stroll Silver Plume’s quiet streets and to soak in Colorado’s mining history just as a thunderstorm rolled through the mountains. The thunder sounded quite ominous as it echoed through the valley, but it was enjoyable to hear as it is a rare occurrence in the Denver area. Happy Easter! ETB


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Day 202 – Rocky Mountain Ramble – Part 3

Day 202 – Rocky Mountain Ramble

After stopping at the local bakery in Grand Lake forberthoud pass
breakfast, I headed south toward Keystone where I planned to see Cat again for
her July 4th weekend BBQ.  On
the way, we passed through Tabernash and Winter Park and crossed the
Continental Divide once more at Berthoud Pass.

After taking a brief stroll around the parking lot at the
pass, we continued to Georgetown, a silver mining town built in the 1870’s.  When America adopted the gold standard in
1893, the boomtown went bust.  As a
result, many of its historical buildings were saved from “the wrecking ball of
modernization”.  Petey and I strolled
around town taking in historical sites, including old churches, miners’ homes, a
school building and a firehouse.

The Old Missouri Firehouse was constructed in 1875 for the
Georgetown Fire and Hose Company No. 1.
The company served the lower part of town where there was no piped water
and where they could quickly reach mills that were prone to fire.

From Georgetown, we arrived in Keystone a few hours before
the BBQ.  Cat and her boyfriend Zeke are
avid mountain bikers, so the majority of the group was mountain bike
racers.  We all congregated in the public
area of the lodge’s back deck where Cat lives, taking advantage of the public
grills, chatting, and eventually watching the fireworks.  A good time!
Off to Steamboat Springs tomorrow to visit family. ETB


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