The Historic Ghost Town St. Elmo, Colorado

Clip-clop, clip clop, horses walked wearily after there work to and from town. They were latched down with loads that would take five men to carry. A steam engine whistle signaled the arrival of the six-ten, from Denver. The feel of greedy miners and neophytes who packed up all there belongings to travel west for the rich mineral deposits were everywhere. A rumor of discovery spread like wildfire.

Fortunately, there was enough to go around. When it rained inSt Elmo the roads sparkled. In St Elmo, during the late 1800's many prospered; and the town flourished like other popular mining towns. It grew so fast that it became an easy target for outlaws. It wasn't until many robberies, shoot outs, and fires, that a sheriff was sworn to office.

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(In order) The Whitney Fobes house built in 1882, Williams house (the shoemaker) built in 1880, The Russell Thorp house built in 1880.

Mines were everywhere and minerals where abundant. Many of the notable mines that were large producers like the May Murphy, were constant and still produce gold today. The difficulty would come latter as the price of gold would not justify the expensive separation process of gold from other non-precious metals like iron.

The separation process ultimately yielded about 1/10,000 th of weight that was originally mined. Soon the price of gold would not be enough to sustain the miners and so the survivors turned their interests to silver where the yields were sizable and the payoffs were enough to survive well. But silver didn't last long, and as the silver mines dwindled so did the population.

Because there were no more substantial amounts of people, the train soon stopped coming and in 1920, the railroad closed these tracks for ever.

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The Cash Criss Building built in 1882, and the Heightley Cottage 1881.

Today what remains are great legends and stories of survivors and the hunted.

The name St Elmo for example, was after a hero in a book by Augusta J Evans. Its popularity can be compared with Gone with the Wind. The book sold 1 million copies in its first year and has been printed until 1996, making it one the the longest books ever kept in publication. Many have read the book and give it a consistent glossy eyed stare upon mention for its shear dullness.

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The Miners Exchange, still in operation today as a collectors store.

The St Elmo historical society along with public support has not only kept the buildings in-tact but has also done much restoration, making this destination an easy and fun visit between hard core adventures in the area.



Don't be fooled, the town sits at 10,013 feet and will often make the strongest a bit dizzy. St Elmo is easy to find once in the Buena Vista Area and has tourism signs directing people. From Buena Vista travel south for 10 miles past the town of Nathrop. Follow the signs leading one right (west). Once heading west St Elmo is approximately fifteen minutes. For historical details check out this web site:

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Globetrotter Adventures
Carbondale, CO 81623