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Colorado Ghost Town.....Nevadaville dusty boardwalks of the unknown
Nevadaville from Denver
To reach Nevadaville it is a simple and easy 45 minutes to 1 hour drive from Denver depending on the traffic on I-70. Head west on I-70 towards Grand Junction. Take EXIT 243 toward Hidden Valley/Central City. Turn right onto Central City Parkway. Follow for roughly 7 miles until you see a sign that says Nevadaville on the left side of the road. There is an old mining cart at this junction that is filled with wild flowers during the summer months. Turn left onto the Nevadaville Road and about 300 yards down the road it will turn from pavement to dirt. Follow for about a mile to the town of Nevadaville.
Ghost town of Nevadaville, Colorado
Nevadaville main street
Located in Gilpin County and 1 mile off the Central City Parkway on a dirt road. Central City is 1 mile due south of Nevadaville.
Death of a Colorado mining town
Nevadaville, Colorado, empty buildings and silent streets
Death knell that rang out in this town now complete
Memories of lives erased by the wind and dust
Hopes, dreams a silent death when the gold went bust
Graves on Bald Mountain, cemetery tombstones due west
Those unfortunate souls that died giving it their best
Now years later nature tries to reclaim its right, its own
Buildings and boardwalks degrade into the unknown
Poem by Kurt Reifschneider
Photo taken looking west from Exit 254 Genesee Park on I-70
Interstate 70 looking west
A must see stop over on your trip to the ghost town of Nevadville is the buffalo herd that is maintained by the County of Denver. This herd of bison are the direct descendants of the last remaining wild bison that roamed Yellowstone National Park in 1914. Seven bison were purchased by the County of Denver and were left to roam in the newly formed Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve at Genesee Park.
The bison herd is easy to locate and can be seen from Interstate 70 when heading west into the mountains on the right side of the road. If you are heading east towards Denver, also look to your right because the bison could be on either side of the highway. However, by the time you see them you’ll have passed the exit for the overlook.
Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve at Genesee Park is a large natural setting so bison aren’t always visible near the road. Your best chance of seeing them is to just get off the exit 254 and if they are there, you’ll be able to see them at the first stop sign.
If they are not visible on one side of the highway, be sure to check the large meadow on the other side of I-70. The bison are able to pass under the highway through a tunnel in order to get to their other pasture.
If the bison are close to the road it will become a photographer's dream and present numerous photo opportunity's to capture these beautiful animals on film.
Bison at Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve at Genesee Park taken during a winter blizzard
Nevadaville is a easy drive and can be access by a 2WD car
History of Nevadaville
Nevadaville started in 1859, soon after John Gregory discovered gold in what is now Colorado. In 1859 the townsite was in the far western Kansas Territory. The town sprang up to house the predominantly Irish miners that worked the shafts and sluices of the Burroughs lode and the Kansas lode gold mines.
Nevadaville become one of the most important mining settlements in the Kansas Territory and later that year it became the Colorado Territory. A Masonic lodge was built in the fall of 1859. The lodge to this day still holds meetings as the only ghost town lodge in Colorado.
In 1861 a large fire destroyed over 50 of the buildings. Several of the Irish miners made use of dynamite and nitroglycerine to established fire stops and saved the remaining parts of the town from the fire. At the time the town was still in its heyday and most of the town was rebuilt. The town prospered until about 1900 at which time the near surface oxidized portions of the veins of gold started to peter out.
According to historical records the town's population in 1880 was 1,084. In 1930 the population had dwindled to 2.
Today the town is privately owned and on my last visit was to sell.
Masonic Lodge located on main street
Nevadaville Masonic lodge was established and organized in 1859 and was a member and part of the Kansas Grand Lodge. The members at that time named it Nevadaville Number 36. In February 1861 the Colorado Territory took over jurisdiction of the settlement. At this time the lodge relinquished their charter and came under the jurisdiction of the new Grand Lodge of Colorado. A new charter was granted and the lodge became Nevadaville Number 4.
In the photo above in the far back is a building that has 3 arches, this was the fire house.
Masonic Lodge boardwalk
At the time that I took this photograph looking down the boardwalk I did not see the knife stuck in the post below the railing about the center of the photo. I was surprised to see it after downloading the photos onto my computer to edit.
One of the few remaining non-operational stamp mills located about 400 yards to the southwest of main street. Some of the folks that lived there today and according to some visitors, they claim at certain times of the year, but only at night they can hear the stamp mills pounding rocks.
As you approach Nevadaville from the east side you will notice this boot on the north side of the road just before you enter the town. The locals claim they have no idea how it got there.
Wildflowers of Nevadaville
On the dirt road up from Central City Parkway to Nevadaville and to the west on Bald Mountain you will be able to see numerous wild flowers in Colorado. The one in the photo above is the Colorado Tansy Aster Flower. Ones that I have seen abundant in the area are Yellow and Red Paintbrush flower, Blue Flax flower, Parry’s Bellflower, One-Sided Penstemon, Horsemint Plants, Alpine Sunflower, Mountain Mahogany Flowers and Black Eye Susan's to just name a few.
Nevadaville is accessible in the winter and Gilpin county keeps the road plowed and open to the local residents, At over 9,000 feet altitude be prepared for bitter cold and blowing snow during the winter. But all in all it is one of the easier and safer Colorado ghost towns to visit during the colder months because of its proximity to a major roadway and that is Central City Parkway.
In the building in the far back, which is east of the Masonic building and fire house was the post office and general store.
Reflections of the past
In this photo above, you can see reflections in the window glass and to this un-trained eye, I believe all the glass that still remains in all the buildings is still the original glass.
You can see the stamp mill in the back about dead center of the red brick.
Lonely are the ones, graves forgotten
Cemetery signs are gone, wood has rotten
Tombstones tilted and grass gone to seed
Darkness falls, mournful wails simply plead
We loved and were loved before we died
Forget us not for eternity here we reside
Rain, snow, autumn leaves have rotten
Lonely are the ones, graves forgotten
Poem by Kurt Reifschneider
Plan your trip to Nevadaville today
I hope I have given you some insight on what to expect on your trip to the Colorado ghost town of Nevadaville Colorado. And when you hear the wind and see the dust swirls on the street you just might wonder if it is a ghost trying to talk to you.....