Monday, March 30, 2020

Leadville, Colorado



Thank you to all who commented on my last post about the coronavirus pandemic and for your encouraging words. This is a serious time in history and hopefully, we will all stay well and persevere. We continue to stay home as much as possible to help "flatten the curve" and practice "social distancing" when we do have to go out.

 I am continuing to blog about Colorado and some wonderful places my husband and I visited last fall.  After we visited the ghost mining towns of Vicksburg and Winfield in the Sawatch Mountain Range----click here to read that post-- we drove on US Route 24 towards Leadville. Colorado.  We stopped along the way to take the photo above of the Arkansas River.




It was a scenic drive and we saw distant waterfalls and autumn foliage



Leadville, Colorado is a former silver mining town that lies among the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.  Its elevation is at 10,200 feet (3,094m).


Please click on to enlarge

Leadville is quite proud of its mining history and its distinct position of having the highest elevation of any city in the United States.  It also has a rich history of fortune-seeking miners and infamous outlaws. Wealthy businessman Horace Tabor, the Silver King, and his second wife Baby Doe, gun-slinging dentist Doc Holliday, Margaret "Molly" Brown, and Meyer Guggenheim are just a few frontier characters who contributed to the town’s history.


Leadville is situated between two mountain ranges, the Mosquito Range to the east and the Sawatch Range to the west and the mountains dominate the horizon, one of which is Mount Elbert, the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the highest point in Colorado  An ultra-prominent 14,440-foot (4,401 m) fourteener, Mount Elbert is the highest summit of the Sawatch Range and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney in California. The other prominent mountain is Mount Massive, at 14,428 ft (4,398 m).  It is the second-highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and state of Colorado, and the third-highest in the contiguous United States.


This was our second visit to Leadville, In our first visit we took a ride on the historic Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad--click here to see that post.  We walked up and down its main street admiring all the victorian era buildings.


Horace Tabor's Opera House in Leadville was the most costly structure in Colorado at the time. Building materials were brought by wagons from Denver. The massive three-story opera house, constructed of stone, brick, and iron, opened on November 20, 1879. Tabor, originally from Vermont, became the town's first mayor. After striking it rich, he had an estimated net worth of 10 million dollars and was known for his extravagant lifestyle.


The Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon caught our eye and we went inside to explore it.



This historic bar opened in 1879 and has hosted some famous names from Oscar Wilde to Doc Holliday. It's filled with photos from the past and such memorabilia.


An interesting mural along the street was of the legendary Tenth Mountain Division skiers from Camp Hale, located 16 miles north of Leadville.

Please click on to enlarge

My husband and I visited the Camp Hale area along the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway--click here to read that post. After two years of rigorous training, the Tenth Mountain Division was ordered to Italy in 1945 to prepare for an advance of the U.S. Army. They breached the supposedly impregnable Gothic Line in the Apennines and secured the Po River Valley to play a vital role in the liberation of northern Italy. By the time the German surrendered in May 1945, 992 ski troopers had lost their lives and 4,000 were wounded. This was the highest casualty rate of any U.S. division in the Mediterranean.


One place we did not get a chance to visit this trip to Leadville as it was too late in the day was The National Mining Hall of FameIt is known as the "Smithsonian of the Rockies" and the "Premier Showcase of American Mining" the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum houses 25,000 square feet of interactive and informative exhibits sharing the evolving narrative of mining and its relationship to our everyday lives.  


Before we left Leadville to go back to our hotel in Buena Vista, we stopped by Turquoise Lake.


Located five miles west of Leadville, Turquoise Lake is one of Colorado’s favorite high-altitude recreation destinations. Dammed in the 19th century and named for the rare turquoise deposits found nearby, Turquoise Lake offers 1,800 acres or year-round recreational fun.


We also passed the Mt, Massive Golf Course on the ride back. It's North America's Highest Gold Course! My husband had to call all his golfing buddies back in New York to tell them all about it. It certainly had some beautiful views.


One other place we visited in Leadville was Horace Tabor's Matchless Mine.  It deserves a post of its own, as it also tells the scandalous and tragic story of the time of "Baby Doe" one of the most talked-about women of the time--more in my next post!

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36 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat,

I enjoy your Colorado post and photos. The views are always just beautiful. I like the saloon historic bar, what a cool place. The Turquoise lake is lovely. Thanks for sharing your visit. Take care, stay well! Wishing you a great new week!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

That’s it! This summer we return to Leadville and stop to walk around. Last summer we just passed by as we drove from Salida to Golden. We stopped for lunch in Buena Vista. Already planning the trip. Hope we can travel by then. At any well and have a wonderful week.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

You have so many wonderful places to explore in Colorado. Thanks for taking me along!

NCSue said...

Such beautiful scenes!
Our southwest tour got cancelled by coronavirus. Hopefully we will be able to plan it again with more successful results!
Thanks for sharing your photos at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/03/from-archives.html
Stay healthy through this time.

Tom said...

...nature in all its beautiful . Leadville looks like a spot that I would enjoy visiting, but that won't be for a while. The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division in the United States Army based at nearby Fort Drum, New York, I've driven by it many times. Stay put and stay safe.

Vee said...

Such beauty! Baby Doe, eh? Well I might not be able to wait until tomorrow. 😉

Aletha Oglesby, M.D. said...

Leadville is a fun town, feels like the old West. Thanks for the photo of the Arkansas River. I live near the Arkansas River- in Oklahoma, not Colorado. I sometimes forget it belongs to other states also.

Willow said...

What an amazing place Leadville is. All the history! As I read and scrolled through the photos, I kept thinking of Louis L'Amour books that feature the mountains of the west. I'd forgotten that the Arkansas River starts in Colorado.

Barbara said...

It's been many years since my last trip to Leadville. Such an interesting place (and sooo cold in winter!!). Beautiful photography and descriptions, as always.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I've loved all your Colorado photos as you travel the state. It's is an amazing landscape. Leadville is another interesting location. Gorgeous photos - stay safe!

Powell River Books said...

Quite a few years ago Wayne and I went to Leadville. We were at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs for a National Intercollegiate Flying Association airmeet with student from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. The students got to experience a very unique flying environment in the air and on the ground. - Margy

ellen b. said...

It's always nice to travel along with you! Thanks for your informative posts and beautiful photos!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Leadville was always a favorite town to visit when we lived 'out West'! I just love it....everything about it! Great photos and it's nice to pull them out and share these special trips! Stay safe! Hugs, Diane

Lydia C. Lee said...

I didn't know Oscar Wilde went to America. Isn't it funny how far they travelled back then!

Mother of 3 said...

What a beautiful area! That town reminds me a bit of many of the small older towns we saw on our trip through the mid west.

Judy said...

I love Colorado and all the beautiful spots to visit...and you are the best tour guide! Thank-you.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Thanks for sharing these exquisite photos. The scenery is breathtaking .

Angie said...

Pat - this is another one of your classic Colorado posts. Stunning. From the autumn foliage to the Victorian era architecture, I love it all. If you hadn't told us, I would have guessed that Turquoise Lake was named after the color! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday! (And stay well!)

Rosie said...

Lovely photos of Colorado, it looks like a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

You have shown so many wonderful places in Colorado. These are wonderful photos and an interesting great report.
Greetings Elke

Lowcarb team member said...

So nice to read through your post and enjoy your lovely photographs.
Colorado sure looks good :)

Stay safe and well.

All the best Jan

Jeanie said...

This looks like an interesting town.I always think of Molly Brown with Leadville. You hit it on a perfectly gorgeous day!

RobertN said...

Beautiful place.
Best regards!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I was a teenager in high school the last time I was in Leadville, so thanks for posting these shots!

handmade by amalia said...

I can always rely on you to take us to interesting places and share magnificent views. All the more precious now that we are in lockdown. I hope that you are keeping well and safe.
Amalia
xo

Pieni Lintu said...

Looks lovely!

betty-NZ said...

Thanks for sharing another awesome bit of history and wonderful images from a gorgeous part of the country! I certainly enjoyed the tour :)


Your link is a great addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking up!

Thomas Lee said...

love the tranquil lake shot

Nanda kumar said...

Wow! great scenes

Jim said...

Beautiful shots.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Enjoyed seeing all of your interesting pics!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 11, open April 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. I’d like to invite you to check out my other current link parties too!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Looks like a great place to visit. Heck, the saloons alone might make it worth a trip! Have a safe and healthy weekend.

Michelle said...

I always enjoy these posts. Colorado is such a great state. So much to see and do. Thanks for linking up.

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

what a fun post! Such a beautiful area and such colorful history :) We have also visited the Leadville area - a memorable trip for sure!

Jeanna said...

Well I can't wait to hear about Baby Doe. You certainly get around and I'm sure you're relieved to be in CO right now. So the lake which is full of turquoise is called "Turquoise Lake" but the town which was full of silver is called "Leadville?"
Funny thing, for awhile I thought you were one of my Italian relatives when I saw you on FB (:

Michelle Churchman said...

Colorado’s vistas are simply stunning and it seem Leadville and its surrounding area is no exception. The town looks quaint and well cared for. An interesting destination for sure!

Michelle
http://mybijoulifeonline.com