But having said that, there was one place that stood out that you might not guess. It's probably not on the typical vacation itinerary when one travels west. We visited to the small town of Leadville, Colorado It has the distinction of being the highest-elevation incorporated town in the U.S. It also has an rich and colorful history connected to mining—and its aftermath. We actually went there because the story of my wife's maternal ancestry has links to Leadville's mining past. We only stayed for one night but the town seems to have made an impression on me.
Today, Leadville is a pleasant town tucked away high in the Rocky Mountains. Although less known than other ski resorts nearby, such as Vail and Aspen, it is a popular destination for running and cycling enthusiasts. In fact, there was a race of some sort the morning we were there. The starting line was right outside the hotel and many runners had stayed there the same night we did.
|A trail outside Leadville near the|
headframe for one of the old mines.
There was a brief Silver Boom in the late 1880s and early 1890s. During that time, Leadville's population surged, earning the nickname “Silver Queen". As Leadville grew rapidly, Oro City sharply declined; the 1890 census reported a population of 222. The Silver Boom would be short-lived, however, in large part because America switched to the Gold Standard in 1893, and silver prices dropped almost overnight.
|Driving down toward Harrison Ave,|
which is the main road through town.