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Note: Parts of the following are
reproduced with permission by
Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
Surrounded by the Sawatch Mountain Range on the west and the Mosquito Range to the east, Lake County is home to two of the state's "Fourteeners," Mt. Elbert at 14,433 ft. and Mt. Massive at 14,421 ft. Leadville sits in a high mountain valley, which envelopes the headwaters of the Arkansas River.
Leadville, originally known as Cloud City, has a rich and colorful history. Unlike many cities and towns of the old west, Leadville was never really a "cowboy" town. Instead, the city was settled and grown by miners and merchants. Many of them came from Central and Eastern Europe. They brought a rich culture with them that gave Leadville a cosmopolitan flair way.
In 1860, Abe Lee discovered gold in the California Gulch. The "California Gold" found in his pan brought in prospectors by the thousands ready to find their fortunes. Learn more at The National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum. The only Federally Chartered mining museum in the country is a tribute to the industry that made Leadville a mining Mecca, and to the men and women who pioneered the discovery, development, and processing of our Nation's natural resources.
In 1877 the silver boom begins and fortunes were made by the likes of Horace Tabor, David May, J. J. Brown and his wife Margaret, the Guggenheims, and the Boettcher family. Follow the Route of the Silver Kings, a self-guided driving tour of the mining district, to see the relics of the richest mining district of the American West. Leadville's past comes alive in the Earth Runs Silver, a multi-media presentation capturing the excitement and drama of Colorado's legendary mining camps. Boom Days, with its International Pack Burro Race, celebrates the area's rich mining history.
In 1878 Cloud City organizes and renames itself, Leadville, The Source Of Silver. Leadville has maintained its heritage and is designated as a National Historic Landmark District, preserving a quaint and absolutely original 70 square blocks of Victorian-style Architecture adjoining the 20 square mile Leadville mining district. Harrison Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare, boasts over 50 significant 19th century buildings, filled with charming shops, memorable restaurants, abundant accommodations and splendid museums. A mother lode of ambiance and Victorian charm.
In 1879 Tabor Opera House opens. Once billed as the finest theater between St. Louis and San Francisco, the Tabor Opera House was built by one of Colorado's most recognizable figures, Horace Austin Warner Tabor. Many silver dollars were passed through the cashier's window to gain entrance to see great performers of the time, such as Harry Houdini, John Philip Sousa, Anna Held, and Oscar Wilde.
In 1879 Inter Laken Hotel and Twin Lakes came into existence near the foot of Mt. Elbert, about 23 miles southwest of Leadville. A popular summer resort was built, attracting the well-to-do with spectacular scenery and the state's largest glaciated lake. Inter Laken is now maintained by the U.S. Forest Service as a National Historic Site. Visitors continue to enjoy fishing and boating on the lakes and strolling through the streets of the Village of Twin Lakes, stopping for a bite to eat or drink, and staying overnight in comfortable accommodations.
The Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railway still follows the headwaters of the Arkansas River up to a spectacular view of Fremont Pass, then back down to French Gulch Water Tower, where the train stops to view Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest snowcapped peak, wildflowers and the scenic beauty of Colorado.
The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act effectively wiped out much of the wealth enjoyed by so many, yet Leadville tenaciously clung to mining and discovered markets for other minerals in the area. The next boom arrived with the mining of molybdenum in 1918. The Climax Mine, located just off the Scenic Byway, was once the largest underground molybdenum mine in the world.
To counter the effect of falling silver prices, local businessmen financed the building of the Leadville Ice Palace. The current Crystal Carnival celebration includes ski joring, snowmobile races, cross country skiing and snow shoeing events, an ice fishing derby, a parade and other fun family activities, weekends, January through March. The Heritage Museum features a model of the famous Leadville Ice Palace.
In 1942 Camp Hale becomes home to the 10th Mountain Division. Ski Cooper was originally the training ground for the famed "Soldiers of the Summit" who fought valiantly in the Italian campaign and led the pursuit of the Germans toward Austria. Today Ski Cooper offers short lift lines, reasonable prices and abundant snow for skiers and snowboarders. The more ambitious can find thrills at Chicago Ridge, accessed by snowcat.
Here are some future events:
July 2nd “Leadville Marathon” begins at 8 AM contact www.leadvilletrail100.com for more information.
July 2nd the Tabor Opera House present the “American Women in History Series” The second in this exciting series is “Lady Liberty”. The fascinating account of the building of the Statue of Liberty, and a Colorado immigrant's inspiring appreciation of its meaning, come to life in the midst of a chaotic, classroom rehearsal.
July 4th Parade on Harrison Ave. at 10am
July 4h “Teddy Concert” following the Parade at Healy House.
July 4th Ice Cream Social at the fire station from 2pm to 5pm. Sponsor by the Memory Maker.
July 9th the Tabor Opera House present the “American Women in History Series”. The third in this exciting series at 7:00 PM Betsy Ross Presents So Proudly We Hail Betsy Ross, Mother of Our Country's Flag, traces the development of the United States flag, including 26 table-size flags and 52 state flag medallions, to remind us of the joy and privilege of being an American.
July 15th Alpine Orchestra, thirty-five piece symphony. 7:30 at Annunciation Catholic Church .
July 23rd Noxious Weed Workshop, learn how noxious weeds affect the natural habitat as well as identifying and controlling them. Open to everyone call Colorado Mountain College to register 719-486-4292.
July 23rd The Tabor Opera House presents the “Denver Concert Band” at 7 P.M.
July 27th - 30th 2005 Land Rover National Rally
July 30th Antique Bottle Collector of Colorado Show 9am to 4pm at the Mining Hall Convention Center
August 5th - 7th “Boom Days” This is a weekend long event that celebrates Leadville's heritage. This includes mining events, famous burro races, food and merchandise vendors, music, and Pancake Breakfast
August 5th - 7th “Rod and Gun Show” at the 6th street gym. Call the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce at (800) 933-3901 for more information.
August 6th the Tabor Opera House present the “American Women in History Series” The forth in this exciting series at 7:00 PM "A Portrait of Molly Brown". In this fast-paced portrayal of the rough-edged, larger-than-life personality of Colorado's own Unsinkable Molly Brown, the true-to-life, heroine of the Titanic emerges.
August 10th Fly Fishing on the Upper Arkansas River Workshop, learn to cast a fly rod and tie a fly, become a better angler. Open to everyone call Colorado Mountain College to register 719-486-4292. Cost for this one-day class is $38.
August 12th Wildflower Identification Class, ever wonder what the name of that flower is, if it is edible. Learn all of this and a lot more in this class. Open to everyone call Colorado Mountain College to register 719-486-4292. Cost for this one day class is $16.
August 13th Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race”- "The Race across the Sky" Elevation 10,152 ft.
August 19th and 20th - “Leadville Trail 100 Ultra-Marathon”. 100-mile foot race, run "The Race Across the Sky." Over 500 runners from all over the world make their goal to be among the finishers, this race has a 30 hour cutoff time.
August 27th the Tabor Opera House present the “American Women in History Series” The fifth in this exciting series at 7:00 PM "Million Dollar Baby". The rags-to-riches-and back-again story of Colorado's legendary Silver Queen, Baby Doe Tabor, chronicles the Silver Days in this highly emotional-sensational love story.
September 3, Saturday 2:00 PM “ Weston Family Tea”. Members of the Weston Family come together to share memories about the family. HAW Tabor sold the Tabor Opera House to Judge A.S. Weston in 1893 and the name was changed to the Weston Opera House. This part of the buildings exciting history will come alive as memories are shared over tea, "the Weston's always loved their tea", at the Tabor Opera House
September 17 - Tabor Opera House Presents, "Sagebrush Alley in A Cowboy Autumn in the Rockies."
September 17th - "St. Patrick's Day Practice Parade” - at noon on Harrison Ave. Be sure to wear your green! A Leadville Tradition.
September 25TH, The fourth annual "High Altitude Duathlon", a 4.3-mile run, 25- mile bike, 6.2-mile run, will take place Sunday September 25th, starting at 8 a.m. The running course is a mix of both paved and county dirt roads. The bike portion is completely paved with a counterclockwise lap around Turquoise Lake. The race will start, transition and finish on West 6th Street, at the parking lot of the Lake County Courthouse. Packet pickup and registration begins at 6 a.m. at the courthouse parking lot area. Teams can register as an Individual or in teams of two or three. Call 1-888-532-3845. October 29th Neil Reynolds, “Halloween Tour”, walk the haunted streets of Leadville, while this famous historian, tells tales of murder.
October 29th and 31st “Stapleton Manor Haunted House” This haunted house is not just for kids, but watch out you go in but may not come out.
December 2nd 5:00pm “Parade of Lights” with Santa, Courthouse Christmas Tree Lighting, Carolers, Window Displays, downtown fire barrels.
December 3rd “Victorian Home Tour” and Dinner, Victorian Homes on display, Victorian Costumes, Surrey Rides, Victorian Style Dinner.
December 4th “Champagne Brunch” at National Mining hall of fame & Heritage Museum.
February “Wine Tasting” at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum
February Annual "Leadville Rod & Gun Club Ice Fishing Derby” Twin Lakes. Contest prices are by type of fish. Categories include Mackinaw, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout and Brook Trout. Top prize is $500.
February “Annual Leadville Loppet Cross Country Ski Race”. 26 k/ 52 K cross country ski race at Colorado Mountain College, Timberline Campus.
March Leadville Ski 100 Nordic Ultra-Ski Race”, 6AM to Midnight.
March 4th and 5th "Crystal Carnival Weekend” Ski Joring and fun on Harrison Ave.
March “Silver City Classic Dog Sled Races at Camp Hale”
March 17th “Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade”
Click on the following links for Leadville's websites: skiing, banks, museums and history, ski accommodations, bed and breakfasts, resorts, medical supplies, motels and cabins, RV parks and camping, vacation homes and condos, rentals, shopping, fishing and hunting, hospitals, builders, newspapers and magazines, communities, artists and galleries, schools, website designers, photographers, bicycles, pets, dental, golf, and real estate.
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