Friday, September 20, 2013

My Trip to Colorado

 

Today I’m going to share memories of my trip to Colorado some years ago. I’ve posted about this before, but I’m feeling nostalgic and thought y’all might enjoy seeing these photos. There's also a sad and beautiful legend I'll share with you.

This panoramic view of Georgetown is from Wikipedia Commons. My husband snapped most of the other photos on the day we traveled west from Denver into the mountains. This was a research trip for me. I wanted to see the places I would write about in Dashing Irish. Our first stop was Georgetown, a lovely gem adjoining Georgetown Lake (in the distance in this photo.)

Georgetown panoramic view

Founded as a mining camp in 1859, Georgetown grew to be known as “Silver Queen of the Rockies.” Nestled between granite peaks, it housed mine owners and managers in lovely Victorian homes, many of which still exist. The miners who labored to make owners rich lived farther up in Silver Plume. More about that later. First here are the photos I treasure of Georgetown.

Georgetown main street.1 sm
Main Street, view one
 
Georgetown main street.2 sm
Main Street, view two
 
Hotel de Paris sm
The Hotel De Paris, founded in 1875 by Frenchman Louis Dupuy, was a first class restaurant and hotel during silver boom days. Known for its fine French cuisine, it attracted wealthy patrons from all over the country.

Georgetown saloon.1 sm
Georgetown saloon and restaurant where we ate lunch. I wish I could erase that trash bin! The bar looked like it might be original and the tin ceiling was beautiful.

Georgetown saloon.2 sm and cropped
That’s me with the turquois shirt and long brown hair. Oh, for the good ole days!
 
Victorian house.2 sm
Lovely old Victorian house
 
Victorian house.1 sm
I love this little beauty!
 
Silver Plume in summer

Then we headed up to Silver Plume, the miners’ town. I found the original of this photo on Wikipedia Commons. Since I wanted to use it in the book trailer prepared for me by Shirley Hicks, I painted out automobiles, light posts, etc. and changed the color of the snowy white street to look like hot summer sun shining down on the town. I hope this is somewhat the way it looked in 1875, minus miners, horses and wagons.
 
Plume mine

The Plume Mine: Was Silver Plume named for the mine or visa versa? I can’t answer that. There are several legends about how the "Living Ghost Town" – also called a “Sleeping Town” because so few people live there year around – got its name. Another legend concerns Clifford Griffin who moved to Colorado with his brother from New York state after his fiancée tragically died the night before their wedding. His brother came to own the famous 7:30 Mine (where the day shift started an hour later than the usual 6:30). Clifford managed the mine and was loved by 7:30 miners for his kindness and generosity. Each evening he also entertained them, sitting on a cliff near the mine entrance – 1500 feet above Silver Plume – and playing his violin. Thanks to high valley acoustics, the entire town could listen to him play.

One evening, after a beautiful concert, it is said the residents heard a gunshot. Miners raced up the trail to find Clifford Griffin shot through the heart, in a grave he'd dug himself. He left a note asking to remain where he lay, because that's where he'd been happiest since his wife [fiancée?] died. The town honored his wishes and erected a 10-foot-tall granite monument atop his grave, which still stands. To see the monument and some spectacular views visit: http://nathanabels.blogspot.com/2010/03/silver-plume-griffin-memorial-hike-mega.html

SP Original structures sm

Original false-fronted buildings along Silver Plume main street

Stone jail sm

Stone jail ca.1875
 
For more wonderful pictures of Silver Plume, go here: http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com/Silver_Plume_Colorado_Ghost_Town.htm
 
To read about the Georgetown and Silver Plume of my imagination, I invite you to read Dashing Irish – Book 2 in the Texas Devlins trilogy.
 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0069HLDJU
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/lk8w55d
 

13 comments:

  1. What a fascinating post, Lyn. Fantastic shots of the current-and past-places, nestled at the bottom of the mountains. What a feeling --even now--of 'being there' a 150 years ago. Thanks for sharing this. Barb Bettis

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pleasure, Barb. I'm so happy you enjoyed the photos. Silver does feel like you're back in time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um, I meant to say Silver Plume. A large white cat distracted me by tromping across my lap. He thinks he owns the place and me. Actually, he does. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great photos and blogpost as usual, Lyn. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great photos and blogpost as usual, Lyn. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. Loved the little trip, Lyn. Makes me wonder how this area fared in the recent floods. I hope it's all right.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Ella. Thanks for stopping by. I know how busy you are with the release of your own book. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, Mel! I appreciate your kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Caroline, I haven't heard Georgetown or Silver Plume mentioned, but Clear Creek rushes right through the high canyon valley where they lay. I sure hope the residents and historic buildings are okay.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I loved all your pictures, Lyn. I especially liked the view from Main Street.
    It was such an enjoyable blog to read.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sarah, I'm happy to share my memories of Colorado's beautiful places. Thanks for visiting!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow So awesome pics I would love to visit this amazing area someday , Thank you Sweet Lyn love your post .

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!