Silverton in San Juan County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Located at 9,318 feet above sea level, Silverton is the "Mining Town that Never Quit". Once the hub of four railroads, Silverton was the Queen City of the San Juan's. Captain Charles Baker led a party into this wide valley in 1860 in search of silver and gold. The land was owned by the Utes and off limits for settlement until the signing of the Brunot Treaty in 1874, when the floodgates opened and prospectors by the hundreds poured into these "Shining Mountains".
The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad arrived in 1882, making it easier to get the ore out and goods in. Soon after, Otto Mears, the "Pathfinder of the San Juan's" put together his "Three Little Railroads" --one up each canyon to bring the rich ores down from the high mountains above the town.
The ore ran high in the San Juan's, and the mines were at 12,000 feet or higher, manned by miners who lived year-around at the mines in boardinghouses that often housed 200 or more men. Because of the steep geography, elaborate tram systems were built to transport the ore down to the mills and smelters.
Mining ceased operations in Silverton in 1991, but in
Silverton was named a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and is one of only 2,300 in the country.
Erected 2008 by Al Packer Chapter 100 - Colorado E Clampus Vitus.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1860.
Location. 37° 48.897′ N, 107° 39.714′ W. Marker is in Silverton, Colorado, in San Juan County. Marker is at the intersection of Greene Street (County Highway 110) and West 15th Street, on the left when traveling north on Greene Street. The marker is located at the entrance to the San Juan County Historical Society and next to the Silverton Jail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1557 Greene Street, Silverton CO 81433, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Juan County Historical Society Museum (a few steps from this marker); County Jail (a few steps from this marker); Court House (a few steps from this marker); Silverton Northern Caboose 1005 (within shouting distance of this marker); S.R.R. Caboose 1371 Greene (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Town Hall (about 800 feet away); 1345 Greene (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Silverton.
Regarding Silverton, Colorado.
Captain Charles Baker was the first miner to lead a party into the Silverton area in 1860. Baker had been involved in Colorado's first gold rush at Cherry Creek. With the financial backing of his employer, S.B. Kellogg, Baker lead a small party into the area that would later become Silverton. Baker's Park, as the area was known, served as a winter camp for the men while they explored the area that is now Eureka. They found some color in the placer deposits with as much as 25 cents to the pan being an average. Kellogg brought a party of 300 people into area the following year to help with the work. The coming of the Civil War brought the venture to an abrupt halt when all interested parties returned home to their respective sides of the conflict. The discovery of the treasures hidden in the San Juan Mountains would have to wait for the end of the Civil War. Source: narrowgauge.org
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 4. submitted on July 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 5. submitted on July 8, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 6. submitted on July 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.