A Swallow Press Book
“Written as a general guide for people searching out ghost towns in Colorado, this book covers each region of the state where silver or gold was mined.… Easy to follow directions and good sketch maps locating all the sites are included. The book contains an overview of what the ghost town tourist can expect to find at each site, and the writing is an engaging blend of history, anecdote, and legend, the result of much research.”
"This is not a history book. Rather it is a directory of towns, and compilation of known information about those towns. In undertaking the stud, I was amazed at the amount of legend and contradictory information Colorado history has collected in just one hundred years. Who was it that said: 'History is the perpetuation of saleable gossip'? (Perhaps, nobody has said it yet. In that case, it's mine, all mine.)
"As of this moment, this is the most complete compilation of Colorado mining towns—ghost or going—available.
"For the fourth edition, over 100 towns have been added. Also, I have included a new chapter (XXVI. Addendum, page 466), the first couple of pages of which can well be read as a second Preface to the book."
— Perry Eberhart, Preface, 1959 and 1969
Perry Eberhart was a social worker, teacher, reporter, editor, environmental activist and respected author. He collected stories about the history of Colorado and the West for more than 30 years.
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Since the second quarter of the nineteenth century, changing conditions have built and emptied small and large towns across the Colorado plain. At the time when Denver was little more than an overpopulated campsite along Cherry Creek there were numerous other settlements to the east and south, each with its own dreams of growth, gold or silver strikes, railroad connections, and rising influence over the surrounding territory.
This book includes the story of 240 of Colorado’s mining camps, with emphasis on the human side. The men who swarmed to the mountains to find precious metal came in successive waves from the late 1850s on, combing the gulches, scrambling over the passes and climbing the peaks. Their story is full of adventurous chances, lucky strikes, boom conditions, reckless spending, banditry, claim jumping, railroad wars and labor troubles.