Near Aspen in Pitkin County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Surviving in Independence
Though “payrock” was found, it was soon exhausted and in 1899 operations ended. With the harshest winter on record and avalanches covering the road, residents abandoned the town making light of their en masse escape by declaring a "race” into Aspen — entry fee one ham sandwich. Little activity occurred in Independence after the company pulled out.
A 2010 archaeological survey identified this building as commercially occupied, either providing service or retail operations with a deep cellar indicating significant food storage. Artifacts indicate it was used between 1880-1886 and again from 1898-1900, and point towards a female occupant.
Preserving the Town
Heavy snows, long winters, spring runoff and high-altitude sun exposure are harsh on buildings
Preservation of this building was made possible by the Family of Susan & Morty Gurrentz
Left: Clearing snow from Independence Pass road.
Right: Remaining buildings along the business district, Aspen Avenue, circa 1950.
Erected by Aspen Historical Society, Independence Pass Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 39° 6.391′ N, 106° 36.383′ W. Marker is near Aspen, Colorado, in Pitkin County. Marker can be reached from Colorado 82, 5.6 miles east of County Road 23. Marker is in the White River National Forest, accessible via footpath leading from highway pullover down to the town site. The road is closed October-May. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aspen CO 81611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Living at Altitude (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Business District (within shouting distance of this marker); Finding GoldTent City (about 700 feet away); Independence Townsite (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 0.2 miles away); Independence Pass Foundation (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aspen.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.