For years, I have heard that the town of Silver Plume, connected to nearby Georgetown, Colorado by a steam locomotive railroad line, is a historic treasure. Last week, my history pal, Christie, and I decided to find out for ourselves. We were not disappointed. Some folks refer to Silver Plume as a living ghost town, and I can see why. Some buildings are in better shape than others. Many have been carefully restored by residents and continue with a renewed, useful life. Merchants in stores on main street sell antiques, meals, and baked goods. When we were ready for a break, we were surprised to find a tea room in an antique store, which offered a wide selection of tea, home baked treats, and comfortable Victorian ambiance.
Photo ops abound. The George Rowe Museum, housed in an 1890’s brick school house, allows a genuine step back in history and should not be missed. It contains a restored 19th Century school room, and many artifacts from the town’s mining history. Ore carts, ore buckets, and other mining artifacts have come to rest on the museum grounds. Nearby, a rock building, which served as a jail, conjures up images of the wild west. A small park, situated next to the rushing water of Clear Creek, contains rocks, wildflowers, and a railroad car.
Silver Plume boasts a population of about 200 people, although they jokingly point out that the figure varies as dogs, dropins, and ground squirrels come and go. The affect of the altitude over 9,100 feat above sea level was noticed in our breathing. As with all mountain property, visitors are cautioned to enjoy but respect the mining community and others like it, to help preserve its glimpse into Western history.
Joyce Lohse, 8/9/10