Magazine article Sunset

Telluride

Magazine article Sunset

Telluride

Article excerpt

As you climb the stairs of the abandoned boardinghouse, the weathered wood creaking under your feet and the mountain wind whistling through cracks in the walls, you understand why Alta, Colorado, is called a ghost town. Walk into the tiny rooms, barren now except for the litter of passing hikers, and look out the window to a decrepit shell that was once a mine supervisor's home. You can almost hear the sounds of children playing, the calls of women doing laundry, the clanking of men and machinery tunneling for silver.

Long before it was a ski destination and summer-festival center, the Telluride area was known for its mines, Tomboy and Smuggler among them. Alta was another, and around it grew a small town of 250, served by a school, a general store, an assay office, a boardinghouse, and a number of modest homes. The mine and town remained active until 1948, when a fire in the mine's main shaft forced the miners to collapse the entrance to prevent the spread of toxic gases. …

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