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Leadville Colorado holds more secrets than Silver

The Healy House in Leadville; nearby is the Dexter cabin, rustic outside, luxurious inside.
The Healy House in Leadville; nearby is the Dexter cabin, rustic outside, luxurious inside.
Photo by Elkman

More silver has been mined out of Leadville than any other mining town in Colorado.

Many a mansion upon Capitol Hill in Denver was built from revenue invested in Leadville and as any visitor can see, there are many mansions on Capitol Hill.

During its heyday in 1880 Leadville produced over 15 million dollars in silver, gold, and zinc. This was in one year of production. After 1884, over 30 mines produced an average of 9 million dollars a year until the silver act of 1893. Close to a half a billion dollars in today’s money.

Prominent Leadville citizens included Doc Holliday, Molly Brown, and Harry Houdini, and scores of others. The true story of the Ballad of Baby Doe Tabor, the famous romantic opera of the Central City Opera House began here.

Gunfights in and outside of saloons were common after payday along Harrison Avenue, Leadville’s version of the 16th street mall. These were rough and tumble times and card sharps, soiled doves, and con men deluxe walked the neighborhood streets of Leadville.

The Delaware Hotel, the Dexter Cabin, and the Healy House, are a small sample of Leadville’s Victorian architecture; these buildings of history share Harrison Avenue with modern businesses like the Golden Burro or the Leadville Book Mine.

Stories of haunted mines are legion in Leadville and a tour of the Silver King’s trail can highlight some of these ghoulish tales.

30 fourteeners surround Leadville within a circle of 30 miles, making this town a hub for hikers and explorers.

Visitors can enjoy fishing, golf, horseback riding, and rafting and remember you’re at two miles high in Leadville, sunscreen and a hat are a must! And snow fall can be seen in late June so remember to have a jacket handy.

Visitors will discover modern Leadville has just as much to offer as old Leadville. It’s all here: history, tall tales, a great cast, and a Leadville adventure or two.


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