It is hard for me to imagine us ever getting to the Colorado Rockies within 100 miles of Leadville and not stopping on our visit to make it up to Leadville. In fact this time while there we decided that we were going to go in and visit the Colorado Museum of Mining while we were in town.
This visit was not only nice, but it was also pretty informative about something I have never given much thought to. That being where ore comes from and just how many products may have found their way out of the mines in this area over the 150 plus years they have been around this part of the Rocky Mountains.
The Colorado Museum of Mining was laid out quite well and it sort of followed they history and technology of mining right up to and including the 21 century. The building itself was very unique and had a lot of art in its structure and exterior.
Mrs. LZ always enjoys browsing in the gift shops where ever we happen to be but the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum is also home to not only an excellent gift shop but also to the Mother Lode Art Gallery. The Hall of Fame & Museum Gift Shop is NOT a souvenir shop, but a wonderful, and changing collection of fine gifts with a historic mountain mining town theme to it.
As the Persimmon Hill National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center put it “Nowhere is the mining industry, past and present, better displayed than at the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum in Leadville, Colorado.”
As you old time blog followers may remember from my previous post about our trips to Leadville, Leadville is one of the most historic towns in all of Colorado. You may even want to plan several days to see all the museums, take the walking tour, the Mineral Belt Trail and of course enjoy the exquisite beauty of the surrounding mountains and lakes. In fact I have shown the Leadville Lake in my top shot on this post too.
Situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3094 m). So... the photo of the sign that I show here may have a little bragging in it, but Leadville is still the highest incorporated city and the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States. As a former silver mining camp that lies near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the city includes the Leadville Historic District, which preserves many historic structures and sites from Leadville's dynamic mining era.
In the late 1800s, Leadville was the second most populous city in Colorado, after Denver. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population has shrunk to only 2,688 in 2005, but it looked as thought there could have been at least that many people in town just the day that we were there.
They state that famous Younger Gang lived here; Doc Holliday had his final shoot-out here; Bat Masterson and the Earps were here. And of course perhaps the most famous rags-to-riches- and-back-to-rags story began here with Horace and Baby Doe Tabor. As colorful as Colorado’s early days were, Leadville typifies it more than any other boom town in the state. Leadville’s story starts in 1859-1860 when the Slater Party made the $8 million gold discovery up the California Gulch.
As you can see from the shots I have taken and added to my post here, the architecture in Leadville is really very cool! And reminded me of a movie set from at 1800's era western film project. We had a lot of fun looking around at the old shops and looking at all of the antiques they had in them. This town is definitely worth a stop by even if you are not an an antique hunter and it is not necessarily your destination for a trip. "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."
~ Ronald Reagan