The Victorian Mining Legacy of Georgetown, CO

Recently, we fled the late-summer heat of the valley to visit Georgetown, the Silver Queen of Colorado.

In 1859, two prospector brothers from Kentucky founded Georgetown during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. It grew fast during the Colorado Silver Boom of the late nineteenth century, started to fade away when the boom ended, and could have turned into a ghost town like so many other Colorado mining settlements.

Instead, Georgetown reemerged as a tourist destination in the 1960s and remains popular with locals – especially at Christmas – because it’s a well-preserved Victorian town 8,500+ feet up, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and featuring over 200 intact Victorian structures like these:

The old Georgetown Public School, 1874

(The girls, trying to break into the school.)

Actually, they wanted to peer through the windows to see inside, and they got lucky since some neighborhood children and/or other nosy visitors like us left behind some cinder blocks stacked on the ground under most of the high windows.

The First Presbyterian Church of Georgetown, 1869

The lamppost next to the church walkway.

I just love those little details, you know?

Some of the Victorian structures have been converted into stores and restaurants, some are museums, and some are homes.

Here’s my future house:

(Not Victorian.)
(And also, clearly occupied.)
(And nowhere near Mr. Asthma Mom’s job or the girls’ school even if it were for sale.)
(But a girl can dream.)

Right at the edge of town, we drove up the Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway to see the town from above.

Higher up, we reached Clear Lake where the Sidekick got ahold of my camera.

Why, hello there.

Now look at that gorgeous snow-fed lake.

The serene lake, the towering peaks, the cool breeze rustling in the trees, the. . . . graffiti rock at the edge of the water.

We skipped the Georgetown Loop Railroad this time around, but we’ll be back.

76 responses to “The Victorian Mining Legacy of Georgetown, CO”

  1. MC says:

    Wow. That’s really nice. You’re making this Froggie here all the more excited, even though I won’t be close enough to visit it. I totally love Colorado, especially the mountains… I gladly could look at a ton of pictures you have of there. :)
    Georgetown looks really cool… it reminds me of Colonial Williamsburg though (even though I know it’s way older than Georgetown CO).
    Nice pic from the Sidekick :D

  2. kerri says:

    I LOVE the graffiti rock. Is that weird? I kind of wish I, like, owned that rock. ;-)

    Also the kids climbing on the school is priceless.

  3. Amy says:

    MC–Heh. I’m not actually buying that house even though I WANT to. I went back and edited this post after your comment made me realize my little (very little) joke was unclear.

    Kerri–Remind me to tell you about the graffiti bridge in my old hometown.

  4. MC says:

    Amy, no, I didn’t even have any thought of you wanting to buy it or move in there. I was (in my excited self who’s going to be in the mid-west soon) not clear in that Georgetown (which looks really cool) was not quite close enough for my group to visit while we’re out there.

  5. Amy says:

    OH. Okay, got it. Internet miscommunications resolved! :)

  6. MC says:

    Yeah, since I’m going to be in your state soon and love your state, any picture of stuff in your state makes me all the more excited to be there, though I won’t be in your city. I just wasn’t very clear about it.

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