"Central City" Colorado Off The Beaten Path Tip by traveldave

Colorado Off The Beaten Path: 130 reviews and 182 photos


In 1859, Central City was founded when John Gregory discovered gold at his "Gregory Lode" mine. As a result of the ensuing gold rush, the population of Central City surged to 10,000 (today's population is 335). Eventually, over 17,000 mining claims were filed in the surrounding hills, and Central City found itself in the middle of "The Richest Square Mile on Earth." By the end of the second year, the placer gold was depleted, which brought about hard-rock mining, increasing even more the amount of gold taken from the area.

In its heyday, Central City was the quintessential rough and rowdy Wild West town. In 1861 alone, there were 217 fist fights, 97 gun fights, and 11 Bowie knife fights. Amazingly, no one was killed during any of these disputes.

Nowadays, Central City is a popular tourist area because of the well-preserved Victorian buildings along the main street, and the limited-stakes gambling in neighboring Black Hawk. Central City is located in the foothills about 36 miles (58 kilometers) west of Denver.

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2007
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