“abandoned but not forgotten”
In the spring of 1880 two prospectors, Charles B. Culver and W.F. Coxhead left the mining boomtown of Leadville in search of silver deposits in the Castle Creek Valley. Silver was found and Coxhead promoted their discovery with zeal back in Leadville. When he returned to "Castle Forks City," as it had been dubbed, he found that 23 other prospectors had joined "Crazy Culver." Together the men formed a Miners' Protective Association, built a courthouse and laid out the streets in Ashcroft in just two weeks. Each of their association's members paid $5, or one day's work, and $1, to draw for building lots. In all there were 97 members in the Ashcroft Miners' Protective Association. The town was renamed Ashcroft in 1882 after a rich ore strike was uncovered in Montezuma and Tam O'Shanter Mines. The mines were partially owned by H.A.W. Tabor of Leadville mining fame. Reportedly, Tabor and his second wife visited Ashcroft in 1883 and hosted a grand ball and banquet. Tabor also reportedly bought rounds of drinks for everyone in each of the town's 13 saloons. The same year that Tabor visited Ashcroft the town population had risen to around 2,000. Ashcroft was also home to two newspapers, a school, sawmills, a small smelter and 20 saloons. At this point in its history the town was larger than Aspen and closer to the railroad in Crested Butte. By 1885 the town was home to about 3,500 people, had six hotels and 20 saloons. As quickly as the town went boom it went bust.
This place is pretty small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in awesomeness. It had an incredibly short lifespan, even for a boom town, and was also used as the filming location for Sgt. Preston of the Yukon in the 1950's!
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Ashcroft Ghost Town
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