Early Mining and Transportation in Southwestern Colorado Prospector with burros, Detroit Photographic, turn of the 20th century The potential mineral resources of the San Juan region received widespread attention across the Colorado Territory after initial gold and silver veins were located in the years from to Beckoning mineral wealth knew no boundaries, however, and the Ute Reservation on the western slope was the scene of continual trespass during this period.
Breckenridge was founded to serve the miners working rich placer gold deposits discovered along the Blue River.
Placer gold mining was soon joined by hard rock mining, as prospectors followed the gold to its source veins in the mountains.
Gold in some upper gravel benches north of the Blue River was recovered by hydraulic mining. Gold production decreased in the late s, but revived in by gold dredging operations along the Blue River and Swan River.
The Breckenridge mining district is credited with production of about one million troy ounces of gold. Creede was the last silver boom town in Colorado in the s. The first silver discovery was made at the Alpha mine inbut the silver could not be extracted at a profit from the complex ores.
The town leapt from a population of in to more than 10, people in December The Creede mines operated continuously from until The original townsite of Creede was located on East Willow Creek just above its junction with West Willow Creek.
Below Creede were Stringtown, Jimtown, and Amethyst. Creede who discovered the Holy Moses Mine. Soon the entire town area from East Willow to Amethyst was called Creede.
The Creede mines operated continuously from until The price of silver plummeted and most of the silver mines were closed. Creede never became a ghost town, although the boom was over and its population declined. AfterCreede stayed alive by relying increasingly on lead and zinc in the ores.
Many prospectors avoided the area after the Mount Pisgah hoax, a mini gold rush caused by salting adding gold to worthless rock.
On October 20,however, Robert Miller "Bob" Womack discovered a rich ore and the last great Colorado gold rush was on. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region, and before long Winfield Scott Stratton located the famous Independence lode, one of the largest gold strikes in history. In three years, the population increased from to 10, by During the next 10 years gold production exploded and the town grew rapidly.
By over 55, people resided in and around Cripple Creek.
The district boasted an estimated saloons, plus dance halls, theaters, hotels, restaurants, shops, and an extensive red-light district. There were 41 assay offices, 91 lawyers, 46 brokerage houses, and 14 newspapers including one serving its many black residents.
Almost mines pulled millions of dollars worth of gold from the ground annually. Production peaked inwith overounces of gold produced.
The town managed this growth despite two major fires in that left most of the town in ashes. Gold production declined afterand a consolidation of mining properties began. Declining production and improved mining efficiency reduced demand for miners, and the businesses that served them.
The last mine closed inand the town dwindled, relying on a modest summer tourist industry. Gold in the Telluride area was first discovered in John Fallon made the first claim in Marshal Basin above Telluride in and early settlement of Telluride followed.
The town itself was founded in Telluride developed slowly because of its isolated location.Coal mining in Colorado. Early coal mining in Colorado, a state of the United States was spread across the state. Some early coal mining areas are currently inactive, including the Denver Basin and Raton Basin coal fields along the Front Range.
There are currently 11 .
Colorado Mining History In and , several parties of gold seekers bound for the California Gold Rush panned small amounts of gold from various streams in the South Platte River Valley at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in then western Kansas Territory, now northeast Colorado.
Mining in southwestern Colorado during the early 's, as had been the case in the 's, was basically exploratory. The one difference was the realization that the location of the region's mineral resources, rather than in gold placer deposits along the streams and rivers, lay in veins, deep within mountainous terrain.
The Trail of Gold and Silver: Mining in Colorado, (Timberline Books) [Duane A. Smith] on leslutinsduphoenix.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In The Trail of Gold and Silver, historian Duane A. Smith details Colorado's mining saga - a story that stretches from the beginning of the gold and silver mining rush in the mid-nineteenth century into the twenty-first leslutinsduphoenix.coms: 4.
Sonora Exploring and Mining Company;—this mine, situated at about thirty miles from Tubac, in the Cerro Colorado, is one of the principal mines, if not the richest in the Territory.
The Company is working the vein known as the Heintzelman Mine, rich in argentiferous coppers, and also several other veins on the Rancho Arivaca. But many of Colorado’s early arrivals elected to capitalize on the trade, ranching, lumbering and farming industries, rather than become one of the thousands who ultimately failed to locate gold and were forced to return back east, broke.
Colorado’s legacy of mining and the boom towns that sprang up made millionaires out of paupers.