Each day, Clio connects thousands of people to nearby culture and history. Our website and mobile app are free for everyone and designed to make it easy to discover cultural and historical sites throughout the United States. You can search for nearby sites, take a walking tour, create your own itinerary, or simply go for a walk or drive and let Clio show you nearby sites using our mobile app. Clio is non-profit and free for everyone thanks to the support of people like you. Donations are tax- deductible! Click here to learn more!
Independence Ghost Town
While many of Colorado’s boom towns made their fortune in silver, Independence was based around gold. Prospectors discovered gold in the area in the summer of 1879, and within a matter of months there were several hundred people living in the camp.
By 1881, there were roughly 500 people living in Independence, and the town had four grocery stores, four boarding houses, and a few saloons. Within another year, there were three post offices in Independence and a population of 1,500. The town also had its own newspaper, the Independence Miner.
As with most boom towns, however, the prosperity of Independence didn’t last long. The settlement is located at an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet above sea level, which meant that living there was a challenge for even the hardiest souls. By the 1890s, many relocated to Aspen, with a comparatively mild climate and more opportunities for work.
In 1899, the area was struck by a devastating storm, the worst one in Colorado’s history at that point. The miners who remained in Independence were stuck and running low on provisions and were forced to dismantle their homes and fashion skis from the wood. By 1912, the town was deserted. The site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
SourcesIndependence Ghost Town. Aspen Historical Society. Accessed October 25, 2017. http://aspenhistory.org/tours-sites/independence-ghost-town/.
Aspen, CO 81611
This entry has been viewed 99 times within the past year