What is it about abandoned towns that is so intriguing? Is it the life that was lived in that dilapidated home? Or the likely happy times that occurred in the old church hall? If those walls could talk, can you imagine the tales of triumph and despair that they would share? Sadly, we will never know all the history behind these 5 Colorado ghost towns (all former mining areas), but here are a few of their stories:
1.) Animas Forks
Known as being one of the best kept ghost towns in the state (a Colorado State Historical Fund grant has helped maintain the area), Animas Forks was a once thriving mining town that quickly dissolved after the closing of the Gold Prince Mill. Today, the National Register of Historic Places listing is a tourist favorite.
2.) St. Elmo
Like Animas Forks, St. Elmo was a well-populated mining town with a telegraph office, general store, town hall, hotels, saloons, dance halls, newspaper office, and a school house. Unlike Animas Forks, St. Elmo is said to be haunted by the ghost of a "very attractive woman in a white dress." Could that pretty ghost be that of Annabell "Dirty Annie" Stark, a descendent of one of the town's founders who was known for roaming the empty streets with a rifle, protecting what was hers?
The former unincorporated mining village was once the highest human settlement in the United States, and holds the record for once having the country's second highest Post Office and railroad station. After being closed for nearly 17 years, the Climax mine recently reopened and resumed the shipping of molybdenum. (The town itself came to be for its huge deposit of molybdenum ore).
The appropriately named ghost town (once popular for mining) is now home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.
The once prosperous mining town (and first European settlement in the valley) was at one time home to over 1,500 residents and dozens of businesses However, due to its less than desirable weather conditions, residents began migrating to milder climates, eventually leading to the demise of the once booming and "independent" town.