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.