What we see in this video is the remains of an 1800’s silver town. I will be bringing you a few stories and videos from this area. However; I would like to take a moment to focus on this 1885 home and storefront and its tale.
This area is what is referred to as a Statutory Town or “Living Ghost Town”. Many tales abound from this town and region. One of the most well-known stories involves this building and a much-beloved citizen from the towns mining days; Clifford Griffin. According to the story, Griffin came from New York City, where he was raised. Mr. Griffin became engaged in New York, but his fiancé mysteriously, died the night before their wedding. The tragedy was attributed to “unnameable” or what we now call "natural causes".
Like many do to this day, Griffin decided to escape the painful memories, by moving to Colorado. He moved with his brother, with the aim of forgetting his beloved. Eventually, he became the manager of the town's largest mine. He started his shifts at what was considered a very generous time, 7:30 AM. Later the mine was locally called and eventually renamed “The 7:30 Mine”.
lifford was very loved by his staff and was considered to be very kind. Each Christmas he bought all his miners a goose for their families. Every 4th of July, he paid off every bar tab between Silver Plume and what is current-day Bakerville. He did this so his miners and staff could enjoy their holiday without spending their family's money. In addition to taking care of his miners during the holidays, he provided them with nightly entertainment.
Legend has it that he could not bear the daily sight of his men with their wives and families after his tragedy. Clifford spent a great deal of time near the entrance to the 7:30 mine, which sits 1,500 feet (460 m) over the town of Silver Plume. Every evening he would sit on the edge of a nearby cliff and play his violin. The valley has incredible natural acoustics, which carried the sound down for the entire town to hear. People stated that they “could step outside and listen to his evening concerts”.
According to local legend, after a particularly beautiful recital, the residents heard a single gunshot. Assuming the worst, the miners of the 7:30 raced up the trail to its entrance. Once there they found Clifford Griffin, shot through the heart and in a shallow grave he'd dug himself. In the Manager’s Office, a note was found. The note asked the residents of Silver Plume to leave him where he lay because that's where he'd experienced the most happiness since his wife died. The town honored his request and later erected a 10-foot-tall Gunnison-Granite monument in his honor. Which still sits to this day, directly on top of his grave site.
Photos from the day
Winfield is an old mining town tucked away in the San Isabel National Forest, outside Buena Vista. There are several original buildings, including a schoolhouse.
It was founded on 120 acres at the junction of the north and south forks of Clear Creek. Lots of 50×100 were free to anyone who desired to build there.
A cabin was built as early at 1861 with the first prospecting done in 1867. Winfield reached its heyday around 1890 when some 1500 folks lived in town.
There were 3 saloons, 3 stores, 2 hotels, a boarding house, a post office, a church, school, mill, smelter & concentrator. Mining came to an end in Clear Creek Canyon in the early 1900s.
I had an amazing visit to Vindicator Valley and encourage you to also visit. However; be sure to call ahead to the main office (719-689-4220) to ensure no blasting is happening and you are ok to enter. Be sure that you obey all posted signs and enjoy. That being said; the “Vindicator Valley Trail” is one of the “Trails of Gold” outside of the town of Victor, CO. It is not a difficult trail but is distant from large cities. You can find lodging in Victor or Cripple Creek Colorado. Enjoy views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the countless abandoned mines, hoists, and buildings.
The Christmas Mine:
The first mine featured in the video is the Christmas mine. It was a privately held mine which began operations in the tum of the century. A portion of the claim was purchased by the Vindicator Consolidated Gold Mining Company in March of 1902. The Christmas Mine is reported to have produced gold valued at $1,335,000 or nearly 65,000 troy ounces during its life....
The shaft was reported to have eight levels with the lowest one at 605 feet below the surface (collar). The headframe was almost completely covered with development (or slack) rock from the Vindicator Mine until the 1980s when the frame we see today was exposed as the development rock was excavated and reprocessed.
The Theresa Mine:
The Theresa Gold Mining Company owned and operated this mine from 1895 until 1900. The company was purchased by the Golden Cycle Mining Company after the turn of the century. Subsequently, the property was sold to the Vindicator Consolidated Gold Mining Company in 1922, the Vindicator Consolidated Gold Mining Company was purchased by the United Gold Mines Company whose properties later became part of the Golden Cycle Mining Company. The property was operated through the years by various sets of lessees alternating with years of idleness. Much of the rock dump was removed for processing in 1946 at the Golden Cycle mill in Colorado Springs. In 1986, additional portions of the dump were removed for slack-heap leaching, the slopes graded and partially reclaimed. Production records indicate that the mine produced over $2,500,000 in gold ore which comes to over 120,000 troy ounces.
By 1920, the three-compartment Theresa shaft was 1620 feet deep and serviced by a Wellman, Seaver, Morgan double-drum steam hoist. Power was supplied by at least one 250 hp Babcock & Wilson water tube boiler. The four-post derrick type timber headframe stood over the shaft. Rock was transported through the shaft in mine cars on two small, double deck cages. The Theresa was idle from 1915 until a group of lessees took over and rehabilitated the mine in 1930. The group had to spile (a means of timbering to reinforce a tunnel) through waste filled stopes that had been mined into the shaft itself. The lessees retrofitted the steam hoist with a 75 hp, electric motor. Drill steels were sharpened in the Vindicator Mine shops and compressed air was supplied by the Teller County Air Company. The entire surface plant was destroyed by fire in 1934. The headframe was replaced with the present steel structure under the supervision of master mechanic, Bob Welsh. The plant was upgraded with a metal hoist house, a metal ore house incorporated into the headframe structure and a new change room. The shaft was equipped with a single but larger skip and a counterweight to provide balanced hoisting. Note that the overhead tramway is slightly inclined outward to the east, permitting cars of waste to roll out to be automatically dumped and then pulled back by a small hoist located in the ore house eliminating the need for one surface worker to do this work. Additional exploration carried out in 1961 failed to give promising results and, coupled with the closing of the Carlton Mill, led to the final closure of the Theresa Mine, in the 1980s, the Inactive Mined Land Reclamation Division stabilized the collar of the shaft, and in 1995, CC&V stabilized the ore bin foundation and added additional cribbing to the bank on the east of the headframe.
Victor is a ghost city in Teller County, Colorado, United States. Gold was discovered in Victor in the late 19th century, an omen of the future of the town. With Cripple Creek, the mining district became the second largest gold mining district in the country and realized approximately $10 billion of mined gold in 2018 dollars. It reached its peak around the turn of the century when there were about 18,000 residents in the town (The population was 397 at the 2010 census.). Depleted ore in mines, labor strife and the exodus of miners during World War I caused a steep decline in the city's economy, from which it has never recovered.
Although the population of Victor may be low, the towns-people spirits are very high. The people I spoke to were very welcoming and knowledgeable about their hometown. So much so that I am returning this spring to have a tour by some of the people I met. I strongly suggest that you pay Victor a visit. In fact, they have several attractions, outside of the breathtaking views and well-preserved architecture. Some of my favorites include the Lowell Thomas Mining Museum, the cities walking tour, and the "Vindicator Valley Trail".
In addition to several standing attractions, they have all of the seasonal events you would come to expect from a small mountain town. One that stands out to me as particularly unique is the annual Gems and Rock show that takes place each June on the streets of Victor. There is something about visiting a historic mountain town to buy gems and minerals that makes me feel like a 1800's prospector. Even if momentarily, it's well worth a visit! You can plan your trip using this link: https://www.victorcolorado.com
Photos from the day:
Music from the Video:
A piece of Colorado's forgotten history- Guiraud (now called Garo) was a small settlement near Fairplay. Today the Buffalo Peaks Ranch and the old General Store and Post Office which dates to the 1880's are all that marks the spot, The schoolhouse was moved to the South Park City Museum in South Park, Colorado. The now ghost town is five miles north of Hartsel and seven miles south of Fairplay on Colorados Highway 9.
Adolphe Guiraud & his wife Marie, we're the original settlers of the area. They were born in France and made there way to America through the port of New Orleans. They spent some time in Ohio and Kansas before settling in Garo, Colorado. They established the first homestead in South Park in 1863. The Guiraud Ranch still stands and is now called the "Buffalo Peaks Ranch".
Adolphe is most known as the proprietor of the original general store, the "Guirauds General Store". However; he is less known for his ties to the American Confederacy.
Adolphe Guiraud played a role in the failed Confederate incursion into Colorado Territory in 1864 when he allowed the nine remaining men of Company A, Well's Battalion, 3rd Texas Cavalry, Confederate Army to stay in July of '64.
The nine men that made it to Guiraud's ranch were the remnants of fifty Confederate soldiers that set out from Texas, in June of that year. These men were under orders to disrupt the union's supply trains that ran through the Colorado territory. Their second order was to raise a Confederate army from the mining towns that surrounded Park County.
Fortunately, the men disbanded from the Confederacy and became outlaws and bandits. They were dubbed "The Reynolds Gang" and in newspaper accounts of the day.
On July 29th the Gang of men were cornered in Geneva Gulch near Grant, Colorado. One was killed, five were taken prisoner, and two died of bullet poisoning. The five who were captured were tried and convicted of rape and stagecoach robbery. Furthermore, they were convicted of treason for their involvement in the Confederate army. They were put to death on direct orders of Colonel John Chivington.
Later that year in a related incident a man named "Chub" Newitt ran the General Store and Post Office at Garo. Chub was showing a customer some pistols at the store, he was shot with one, he died a short time later.
Adolphe Guiraud died without being convicted or charged for aiding the Confederacy. His wife Marie, had a 34-year widowship and went on to become weathly. She grew the ranch from 640 achers to over 5,000 achers. She sold about 1,500 pounds of beef each year (which is about 1 millions dollar in todays money)
Three years after her death she was recognized by the US Department of Agriculture in a release called, "The Importance of Women on ranches & Homesteads".
Garo faded and died in the late 1920's and was abandoned except for the ranches that surround it by 1936.
South Park is a grassland flat within the Fairplay basin. Nestled in the Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges, in central Colorado. The largest town in the basin is Old South Park City (A.K.A. South Park or Fairplay), with a population of only 681.
South Park is most known by an American cartoon created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Who grew up 100 miles away in, Littleton Colorado. The television show revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their wacky adventures in and around the titular Colorado town.
A lot like The Simpsons or Family Guy, South Park uses a very large ensemble cast of recurring characters and became infamous for its witty banter, dark humor, and surreal perspective.
South Park debuted in August 1997 with great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program. Ratings have varied over the years but it remains one of Comedy Central's highest rated shows, and is slated to create new episodes through 2021.
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Thank you for visiting! This is a collection of media from the lost and abandoned corners of the world. Please have a look around, I hope you enjoy.