Denver January 23, 2018
The Historic Small Town Near Denver That Everyone Should Visit At Least Once
The historic town of Idaho Springs is always worth a pit stop along your I-70 trek. Many of us think of this small town as a great place to pull off when traffic backs up and grab a slice of pizza or walk around the quaint downtown area. But, if you’re willing to stay a while and take a deeper look, you will soon discover a rich and influential history that has been preserved and is celebrated each day in Idaho Springs.
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Found just 32 miles west of Denver, Idaho Springs has a population of about 2,000 residents within the 2.2 square mile city.
It is the most populated town in Clear Creek County.
This small but mighty town was founded in 1859 after a man named George Andrew first discovered gold in the area.
Word quickly spread and Idaho Springs became the 1st mining district to be named in the state of Colorado.
As the location of the first significant discovery of gold in the Colorado Gold Rush, mining became largely responsible for the creation and subsequent growth of Idaho Springs.
During the Great Rocky Mountain Gold Rush, Idaho Spring's population exploded.
Idaho Springs had various names along the way, including Jackson's Diggings, Sacramento City, and Idahoe. Idaho originates from the Arapahoe Indian word, "Edauhoe" which means, Gem of the Mountains. In 1866, Springs was added to the name.
One of the first recognizable landmarks you will see upon reaching Idaho Springs is the Charlie Tayler Water Wheel found at the foot of Bridal Veil Falls which you can see from the highway on the East-bound side.
Today visitors can walk up and down the four block stretch of Miner Street and take in the preserved buildings which now, of course, have different purposes.
This quaint downtown area has been declared a National Historic District.
Even stopping into Beau Jo's famous mountain pizza will give you a taste of the town's history with photos, paintings, and artifacts from the past filling the walls.
Visitors to Idaho Springs can get an up close and personal look at the mining history of the area by touring Argo Gold Mine and Mill. You can really step into the past and learn fascinating facts about the mining history of Idaho Springs while exploring this historical site.
The mill, which opened in 1913, was the world's largest and most modern mill of its time and was known to process about 300 tons of gold each day.
If you would like to delve even deeper into this town's history, stop into the Heritage Museum and Visitor Center where you will find in impressive selection of artifacts from Idaho Spring's past.
You can find the Heritage Museum and Visitor Center at 2060 Miner Street in Idaho Springs, Colorado
At the end of your day exploring the town, you may want to take a dip in the hot mineral water for which the town was named.
Even though it was the Gold Rush that put Idaho Springs on the map, the Indian Hot Springs were used by the Ute and Arapahoe Indian tribes, the miners, and even some famous names along the way including Frank and Jesse James, Walt Whitman, and the Roosevelts. Indian Hot Springs is located at 302 Soda Creek Rd in Idaho Springs, Colorado.
So, instead of just making a pit stop in this town when en route to or from a ski resort, you should really make a day of it. Step back in time and explore the important role Idaho Springs has had in the history of Colorado.
Have you visited Idaho Springs recently? What were some of your favorite spots to see? Please share in the comments below.
If you love getting a first-hand look at Colorado history, you may want to visit this
General Store Near Denver That Has A Fascinating History.