Leadville Colorado History
When gold was first discovered in the mid 1800s, it set off a rush of fortune seekers to an isolated mining camp, nestled high in the Colorado Rockies, at the headwaters of the Arkansas River. As these gold deposits were exhausted, there was a new rush that would excite many. It seems the heavy black sand that kept clogging up the sluice boxes and shaker tables had a very high silver content.

For 30 years the silver pouring out of these mines surrounding Leadville fueled an economy like no other. Many wealthy entrepreneurs got their start in Leadville in the late 1800s. Then in 1893, disaster struck. The price of silver plummeted after Congress repealed the Sherman Act. Many of the surrounding mines either shut down, or reduced production, leaving the town on hard times. This was the first of several economic hard times that Leadville has suffered due to the waxing and waning of the mining industry.

Today, Leadville is a vibrant community that is proud of its past. Centered in the highest concentration of mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet (Fourteeners), Leadville boasts many achievements. It lies a little over an hours drive from Denver, and there are 7 world class ski areas within an hour of us. We also host many world renowned foot and bicycle races, and are in close proximity to premier hunting, fishing, camping and now also fine BBQ and brews.




Find out more about Leadville's colorful history with the Heritage Guide! Available for $1 at the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce and the Herald Democrat.