Goldfield and Victor, Colorado

Category Exploration Date Status Province / State Country
Ghost Towns April 17, 2016 Semi-active Colorado United States

Posted on: Wed, 03/01/2017 - 06:52 By: Mike

Fairness requires that I give each of these towns their own, individual stories.

Goldfield, Colorado

Established in 1894 by the Portland Town and Mineral Company, lots of land were sold, many for $25, to the employees of the various mines that opened in the surrounding area.  The town grew quickly, and houses continued to be built.  By 1900, the town's population was over 3,500, and it featured a fire department, running water from a reservoir, arc street lights and a "Pest House" for transients or people with contagious disease like TB.  Churches, schools and a City Hall also sprung up as new services continued to be provided to the growing population.  Even an electric streetcar system was established linking Goldfield to the towns of Independence and Victor nearby.

Violent strikes occurred in 1903 the required the intervention of the National Guard.

When World War I began, many men were shifted from the gold mines to mines of more essential metals in other towns.  During this time, a housing shortage in Wyoming caused a number of homes in Goldfield to be loaded onto flatbed rail cars and moved away.  Men returning after the war would discover their homes gone.

The town continued to decline and the post office closed in 1932.  By 2010, the population was just 49.

Victor, Colorado

Founded in 1891, Victor was named after the nearby gold mine.  It grew so quickly, because of the surrounding mines, that it achieved city status in just three years.

In August, 1899, the entire business district was destroyed by fire in a mere 5 hours.

In 1903, Victor felt the effects of the same strike action as Goldfield.  Unionization against the work conditions of the mines brought about a period that would be called the Colorado Labour Wars.  The union hall is still standing and allegedly features some bullet holes from that time.

Mining in the area continued to decline steadily until full closure in 1962.  From 18,000 residents at the turn of the century, the town reported a population of only 397 by 2010.  Renewed mining operations have helped in that regard, but it will never see its days of past glory again.

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