Pictures of Historic Georgetown Buildings in Colorado - Famous Silver Mines Town

Georgetown, Colorado - Historic Silver Mining Town

Georgetown, Colorado
Georgetown, Colorado | Source

Georgetown, Colo.

Georgetown, Colo.
Georgetown, Colo. | Source

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown
Georgetown | Source

Georgetown, Colorado


Once called the "Silver Queen of the Rockies" this historic old famous silver mining town initially became known because of the discovery of gold.


While those gold mines caused excitement and lured many miners to that locale, they did not yield much. The silver that was subsequently discovered was what really put Georgetown, Colorado on the map!


Located only 45 minutes from Denver, this is a town that can definitely take one back to those historic mining days of the mid to late 1800's and see how the relatively affluent miners liked to house and entertain their families.


Many of the buildings are authentic to that era and the scenery is superb!


My mother and I were enjoying an eleven day vacation in Colorado and were trying to experience as much as we could in that period of time.




Georgetown photo

Georgetown photo
Georgetown photo | Source



We had already explored parts of the State of Colorado starting in Colorado Springs and heading on up to Denver and then Estes Park and afterwards circling down to Grand Lake with other outings along the way like our day trip to Loveland.


There are many old mining towns in Colorado but Georgetown particularly drew our interest.

At one point in time during the silver boon times of the 1880's, Georgetown rivaled the well known town of Leadville as being the reputed mining capitol of Colorado.


Georgetown, Colorado building

Georgetown building
Georgetown building | Source

Dandelion and wildflowers / Georgetown, CO

Source

History of Georgetown, Colorado


The town's name originated from one of the Kansas born brothers, George and David Griffith, who first discovered gold there in 1859.

Georgetown was named after the older brother, George.

Georgetown was officially established during the time of the Pikes PeakGold Rush days in 1859 and became the county seat of Clear Creek County in Colorado.

The town was situated north to south along Clear Creek between the rising mountains and sits at an elevation of 8,500 feet above sea level.

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown
Georgetown | Source

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown photo
Georgetown photo | Source

Pikes Peak Gold Rush era


As westward expansion was taking place all across America, the lure of gold (and then, silver) drew many people hoping to "strike it rich." While most folks did not ultimately succeed, many at least eaked out a living.

Those who were more successful brought their families and tried to establish comfortable surroundings.

In Georgetown, during the 1870's, there were about 3,000 residents living there with ever increasing numbers joining them.

The successful miners were building churches, shops, a schoolhouse and even an opera house.

The buildings still standing today are a testament to their mining success and luring other types of merchants into their growing community servicing many of their needs and desires of the time.

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, Colorado
Georgetown, Colorado | Source

Georgetown, Colorado

Taken in Georgetown, Colorado
Taken in Georgetown, Colorado | Source

Colorado Central Railroad


By 1877 the railroad linked Denver and beyond to Georgetown transporting not only the ore from the mines but people back and forth as well.

Other innovations included long distance telephone lines being installed in 1879. That was amazing in that it had only been introduced into cities like Philadelphia three years earlier!

Georgetown was not only a thriving town but at one point was second to the population in Denver according to one report that I read.

Today tourists can take a short train-ride into the mining country of Colorado in this region and enjoy not only stunning scenery but understand a bit of our history into the past.

Photo taken in Georgetown, Colorado

Photo taken in Georgetown, Colorado
Photo taken in Georgetown, Colorado | Source

Georgetown, Colorado photo

Georgetown photo
Georgetown photo | Source


Boom to bust


When the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed by Congress in 1893, silver prices plummeted.

The population of thousands of people living in Georgetown dwindled to several hundred.

Georgetown almost became a ghost town.


Hotel de Paris


In its heyday, businesses like the Hotel de Paris thrived. Apparently the finest of French foods and wines were poured. Today it has been turned into a museum.

The businesses in Georgetown were quite opulent for the day and time especially considering that this was in essence a western mining town!

Georgetown, Colorado

Source

Georgetown, Colorado

Source

"Every Which Way But Loose"

Movies...


Several movies have been produced using Georgetown as a setting.


In 1978 Clint Eastwood starred in the movie, Every Which Way But Loose.

Post office photo in Georgetown, Colo.

Post office photo in Georgetown, Colo.
Post office photo in Georgetown, Colo. | Source

Another movie was the 1998 film titled "Phantoms."

Ben Affleck, Peter O'Toole and others starred in it and several of the buildings in Georgetown were featured, specifically the Post Office and the Hotel de Paris.

The charming movie, "The Christmas Gift" was also filmed here in 1986 and starred John Denver.

Georgetown, Colorado Lake

Georgetown Lake
Georgetown Lake | Source

In addition to strolling the streets of Georgetown my mother and I also enjoyed seeing some of the surrounding countryside.

Wildflowers were in bloom dotting the fields with vibrant colors.

The air was crisp and enjoyable...a real treat for us escaping some of Houston's July heat.

Georgetown Lake is adjacent to the town enabling aquatic entertainment.

We saw several people fishing the day we were there.

Georgetown, Colorado Lake

Georgetown Lake
Georgetown Lake | Source

Look how some use Georgetown Lake in the Winter!

Cemetery in Georgetown

Cemetery in Georgetown
Cemetery in Georgetown | Source

Georgetown photo

Georgetown photo
Georgetown photo | Source


Thankfully this old mining town did not suffer the fate of becoming a ghost town although in the 1930's only a few hundred people still lived here.


In the 1950's and beyond, a resurgence of interest in preserving historic sites like this has occurred and Georgetown's proximity to Denver is once again luring visitors to its location.


There is a less crowded ski area nearby and lovers of wine can sip vintages while on that historic train ride into the mountains.



Lodgings are available so whether one makes it an enjoyable day trip or have plans to stay for a longer period of time, Georgetown can accommodate one's wishes.

Map showing Georgetown's proximity to Denver

A markerGeorgetown, Colorado -
Georgetown, CO, USA
[get directions]

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All in all, the time that my mother and I spent in and around Georgetown, Colorado was an enjoyable part of our vacation. We learned a little bit about the history of this famous silver mining town and I got to take pictures of this resplendent site.

Wildflowers in bloom / Georgetown, Colorado

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4.4 out of 5 stars from 9 ratings of Georgetown, Colorado

© 2010 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 43 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi daFuj,

How very interesting that you have such close ties to Georgetown, Colorado. You must be very proud to know those facts and that history. Appreciate your comment...especially as a 5th generation Coloradoan. Thanks!


daFuj profile image

daFuj 4 years ago from Colorado Springs

My Grandmother was born in Georgetown. My great grandfather was a painter and helped to color the "gingerbread" on many Georgetown buildings. We are into our 5th generation of Coloradoans!

I enjoyed your article.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello Ruthann,

That would have been a most interesting job, that of working in Georgetown, Colorado and learning what you did during that time. Thanks for sharing that information here. Appreciate your comment.


Ruthann Maixner profile image

Ruthann Maixner 4 years ago from Kittredge, Colorado

Worked in G'town for the Georgetown Loop for a summer. Often felt like I was back in the day. Awesome architecture. A great feeling to be right up against the mountains. Really cool scenery all around. A super cute town. Learned all about living and mining back in those mining days. Enjoyed being so close to Silver Plume as well - named after the shapes of the silver veins they found.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello empire mike,

That is saying something if you learned something from reading my hub about Georgetown, Colorado after having actually lived there. Appreciate your comment and will check out your hub on the same subject. Thanks!


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