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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Placers In Between

 
 
The Placers In Between Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
1. The Placers In Between Marker
Inscription.
In the late 1800ís, transportation of goods and people could be an arduous undertaking. Gold and silver fever led many to endure travel up the Arkansas River from Canon City to Leadville.

Although arguably the largest and most notorious, Leadville was far from the only mining camp in the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Small communities sprouted up and down the Arkansas River and its tributaries where thousands of mine claims produced silver, gold and other ores. Nearby historic Vicksburg and Winfield tell their own stories of miningís boom days.

Granite was itself the center of a rich mining district and the supply point for the Clear Creek district to the west. By 1891 its population had reached 400 and was still growing. Granite also boosted two stamp mills running at full capacity to process local gold ore.

The Call that Started it All
In the Spring of 1860, prospector Abe Lee hollered, “Iíve got all of California right here in my pan!” In a heartbeat, thousands flocked to “California Gulch” for their share.

Although it only lasted 6 years, the local gold rush was replaced in 1877 with one of the richest and most famous silver districts in the world. Leadville alone produced $700 million of the precious metal.

The railroad
Marker Detail: Winfield image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
2. Marker Detail: Winfield

These frame buildings along the North Fork of Clear Creek were once the thriving mining camp in Winfield. Photo circa 1960.
Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-14187
arrived in 1880 and by 1882 Leadville was at its peak. The estimated population was over 50,000, including outlaws and millionaires. Silver baron Horace Tabor earned his fortune there and the tragic story of Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor unfolded on Leadvilleís streets.

The infamous dentist-turned-gambler-and-gunslinger Doc Holliday spent time in the area in the 1880ís, as did Susan B. Anthony, Frank and Jessie James, Oscar Wilde, Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack Omahundro.

Placer mining
(PLASS-er or PLES-er) is the mining of alluvial deposits – deposits of sand and gravel in modern or ancient streambeds – for minerals.

“Panning for gold” is a type of placer mining familiar to many people. Many precious metals (most often gold) and gemstones are found in alluvial deposits, moved by stream flow from their original source.

Evacuation of the deposits is done through open-pit mining or by various methods of tunneling into riverbeds.
 
Location. 39° 2.029′ N, 106° 15.428′ W. Marker is near Buena Vista, Colorado, in Chaffee County. Marker is on U.S. 24 one mile east of County Highway 397, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pull-out area overlooking the Arkansas River, on the
Marker Detail: Vicksburg Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
3. Marker Detail: Vicksburg Cabin

The dilapidated remains of a cabin in the community of Vicksburg, circa 1933-1967.
Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-4791
north side of US Highway 24. Marker is in this post office area: Buena Vista CO 81211, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stagecoach Road to Riches (here, next to this marker); Getting from There to Here (here, next to this marker).
 
More about this marker. Marker is associated with Colorado's Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway. Marker is relatively new and in good condition.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Colorado's Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway
 
Also see . . .
1. Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway Map.
Complete map of Colorado's Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway (Submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Leadville's Rich Colorado History.
Roughly 8,000 prospectors arrived in "Oro City," their name for the makeshift town of tents and cabins. During the next five years, more than $4 million worth of gold was discovered using sluice and pan — more than at any other Colorado site. Within five years, however, the gold was playing out. The next boom would be silver. By 1880, Leadville had more than 30,000 residents, innumerable stores, hotels, boarding
Marker Detail: Granite image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
4. Marker Detail: Granite

View of the mining community of Granite taken by William Gunnison Chamberlain between 1864 and 1877. The Arkansas River flows across the foreground.
Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-8753
houses and, of course, more than 100 saloons, dance halls, gambling joints and brothels. (Submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Vicksburg, Colorado.
Vicksburg was founded in 1867 after prospectors from Leadville, Colorado camping out in the Clear Creek Canyon lost their burros. The burros had wandered down the creek and when the miners found their pack animals, they discovered gold in the creek bed as well. (Submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Granite: A Historic Town In Chaffee County, Colorado.
Granite is one of those tiny towns you may have driven through on your way to Aspen, Leadville or some other Rocky Mountain destination. This was once a bustling mining town and the county seat of Lake County in the late 1800s, when Lake and Chaffee counties were one. Once the mining played out and most people left, Granite gained the feel of a "ghost town." In fact, there are only six year-round residents who call this place home. (Submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

5. Placer Mining.
Placer mining is the mining of alluvial sediments for minerals. This may be through by open-pit (also known as open-cast mining) or by a variety of forms of tunneling into antique riverbeds. Excavation might be achieved using water pressure (hydraulic mining), layer digging
Marker Detail: Placer Mining image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
5. Marker Detail: Placer Mining

A placer gold mine in the Arkansas River flood plain near Granite shows a miner running a hydraulic Ďmonitorí nozzle to excavate a deposit. Circa 1890-1900.
Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-60084
out equipment or tunneling equipment. (Submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker Detail: Assaying image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
6. Marker Detail: Assaying

Assaying precious metals in Leadville, probably between 1860 and 1870. $3,723 in two gold bricks rest on the scale pan. This image was published as a postcard by the Davis Drug Company about 1920.
The Placers In Between Marker (<b><i>wide view</b></i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
7. The Placers In Between Marker (wide view)

Looking north across marker, over Arkansas River, with railroad grade visible in the background
Related marker group (<i>Overlooking the Arkansas River</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 28, 2017
8. Related marker group (Overlooking the Arkansas River)

Related Markers: "Getting from There to Here", "Stagecoach Road to Riches", and "The Placers in Between"
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   6. submitted on September 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on September 2, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   8. submitted on September 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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