St. Elmo is a ghost town, located at 9,961 feet (3,036 m) in the Sawatch Mountains in Colorado. Once a flourishing gold and silver mining town, it became deserted when the industry declined. It's still accessible today through a thirty-minute drive outside of Buena Vista.
While visiting Colorado last month, I sought out a ghost-town I’d always heard about. I started by driving to Buena Vista, and then ventured down some mountain back-roads into the town of St. Elmo. It’s located in Chaffee County, Colorado, sitting at an elevation of 9,961 feet (3,036 m) in the Sawatch Range.
The town was once home to nearly 2,000 people, who settled there for gold and silver mining. It was at its peak in the 1890s, when it included a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, dancing halls, a newspaper office, and a school house. Most of these buildings are still there today, except for the town hall and a few other buildings, which burned down in 2002. The Mary Murphy Mine was the largest and most successful mine in the area, recovering over $60,000,000 worth of gold during its operation. The closing of the railroad in 1922 shut down all mining operation, and the town’s population and businesses quickly declined.
Today, it is one of Colorado’s best preserved ghost towns, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the buildings are still intact, and one small general store is still in service. The town is also resident to some very friendly resident chipmunks, whom visitors can feed, with bags of sunflower seeds that are available at the general store.
I highly recommend checking out this little secluded place if you’re in the Colorado Springs! As always, don’t forget to check out my blog to keep up on current projects, and be on the lookout for my next post!