Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold

Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold

Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold

Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold


"No novel could contain more dramatic events than the history of Cripple Creek."- Wyoming Library Roundup

"This is the fascinating story of the great Cripple Creek gold mines. But it is not told with fantasy: here are the plain facts of one of the most unbelievable incidents of our history, of a place in the Colorado mountains where a man threw his hat into the air, dug where it fell, and struck a rich vein of ore.... It is a fascinating story and the author has told it well."- Paul Engle, Chicago Tribune

"Money Mountain mines as rich a vein of human interest, of solid accomplishment combined with picturesque skullduggery, as one is likely to find in all the annals of the western frontier.... Virtually every page bears evidence of patient researching through old newspaper files, court records, pioneer reminiscences and other obscure sources likely to throw light on events in and about the town during the fifteen years [1892–1907] when it was riding high.... Highly rewarding reading to anyone curious to know what manner of life was lived in the wide-open mining towns of the West."- Oscar Lewis, New York Herald Tribune Books

"A roaring story of a roaring town.... It's an authentic contribution to the matter of the American West and dandy reading."- Saturday Review

"Cripple Creek has found its historian. Money Mountain is sure to stand for years as a valid picture of that bizarre camp."- New York Times Book Review


If you ever visit the Pikes Peak region you should spend an hour or so going up to Cripple Creek. It is one of the loveliest drives in Colorado and it won't curl your hair even though you climb from 6000 feet at Colorado Springs to 10,000 feet near Cripple. The Ute Pass road meanders around the north slope of Pikes Peak to Divide and dips south along the placid old mountain. There comes a final ascent and a leveling out in wild country where the ravens frown at you as they float overhead in the deep blue sky. The air has a bite to it and the top of Pikes Peak seems very near. Fifty miles south are the lacy crests of the Sangre de Cristos. To the west is the Continental Divide. Then your road skirts the rim of a depression which contains the last thing you would expect, a large red-and-white town spreading up the hillside toward the spruce-capped cone of Mount Pisgah.

This is Cripple Creek, capital of the Cripple Creek Mining District, once the world's greatest gold camp. The town is a quiet, dilapidated place today and there is something pathetic about the traffic light at Second and Bennett blinking hour after hour for a trickle of cars. It is not a ghost town, though gold production is a tenth of what it was in the late Nineties and early 1900s. All around are low, grassy hills spotted with tan, gray, purple and orange mine dumps.

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