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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: History of Aspen, Colorado

Today, Aspen’s riches come from the ski industry — but they used to come from silver mining. Aspen was founded in 1879, during the glory days of Colorado silver mining — the same era when mining boomtowns like Leadville and Georgetown were being established. With seemingly endless amounts of silver in the nearby Elk and […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

How Geology Helped Build the Moffat Road

Our library recently received a fascinating new document for our collection that will be of interest to historians researching Colorado’s railroads as well as to those interested in our state’s geology and mineral resources. Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1918, a special committee of the Denver Civic and Commercial Association asked State Geologist Russell […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Victor Labor War of 1903-04

Victor, Colorado, near Cripple Creek in Teller County, is one of Colorado’s most historic mining towns. Incorporated in 1894, Victor flourished during the gold mining era that followed the Silver Crash of 1893. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act meant that silver mining, which had been a huge part of Colorado’s economy, was […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Uranium Mining

Uranium was discovered in southwestern Colorado in the late nineteenth century.  It comes from carnotite ore, which also produces vanadium.  When these elements were first mined, vanadium was considered to be the more valuable of the two; it was used as an alloy to strengthen steel.  In 1921 the Colorado Geological Survey issued Radium, Uranium, […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Coal Resources

Coal is one of Colorado’s most significant mineral resources, and over the years has played an important part in our state’s history and economy.  You can learn about Colorado coal in numerous publications available from our library.  Some highlights from our collection include General resources: 2006 Colorado Coal Fact Sheet  Active/Licensed Coal Mines in Colorado, […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Leadville Metals Exposure Study

Leadville is one of Colorado’s most historic mountain towns.  Though a small mountain town today, in the 1870s and 1880s Leadville rivaled Denver for the state’s most prestigious city and many millionaires were made through Leadville’s silver mines.  Following the Crash of 1893, most of Leadville’s silver mines were abandoned, although other mining activities such […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The White Ash Mine Disaster

This fall the Colorado School of Mines unveiled a new memorial dedicated to the victims of the White Ash Mine disaster of 1889.  Ten miners lost their lives in the accident near Golden, Colorado. The White Ash Mine was located adjacent to the Loveland Mine, which had been shut down in 1881 following a fire.  […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Molybdenum

When most people think of Colorado mining, they think of gold or silver, or maybe coal.  But one of Colorado’s most significant mineral resources of the past century is molybdenum.  Today, however, demand for “moly” is declining.  Plans were recently announced to shutter Clear Creek County’s huge Henderson Mine — the world’s largest primary producer […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado's Coal Mines

While Colorado was founded on gold and silver, coal mining became the state’s most significant mining industry by the turn of the 20th century.  The State of Colorado had a designated Inspector of Coal Mines, and each year he issued a report to the governor.  The Annual Report of the State Inspector of Coal Mines […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Mining Towns

In our library’s collection you can find a number of books and websites that tell the story of Colorado’s mining towns.  A sampling of these resources includes: Aspen: The History of A Silver-Mining Town, 1879-1893 (University Press of Colorado, 2000) Coal People:  Life in Southern Colorado’s Company Towns, 1890-1930 (Colorado Historical Society, 1999) Denver:  Mining Camp […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

More Information on the Animas River Spill

The State of Colorado has set up several new information sites where you can find out what is happening with the Animas River/Gold King Mine release.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a new webpage which includes up-to-date information on public meetings, water sampling and data, frequently asked questions, health recommendations, and […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Animas River Spill Situation

Yesterday the governor issued an Executive Order declaring a disaster emergency for the release of toxic chemicals from the Gold King Mine into southwest Colorado’s Animas River.  The accidental spill by the EPA caused the river to turn an orangey-yellow, shutting down the river to tourists and potentially impacting the river’s aquatic species.  Further information […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Vulcan Mine Explosion

This week we use our digitized historical documents to travel back to 1896 and one of the state’s worst mining disasters.  On the morning of February 18 of that year, an explosion at the Vulcan coal mine near New Castle, Garfield County caused the death of forty-nine miners.  Among those killed were the mine’s foreman, […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Ludlow 100th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre, which took place April 20, 1914.  On that day, the State Militia was called in to deal with striking coal miners, who wanted recognition of their union.  The Milita fired on the Colorado Fuel & Iron laborers at the Ludlow tent colony for 14 hours.  It culminated with […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Mining Data

Did you know that the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety has made available a great deal of mining data online?  Visit their Mining Data page to search by county, operator, permit, or mine name.  On the site you can also find GIS data, imaged documents, and other reports.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Mining Accidents

Yesterday a mine accident in Ouray killed two miners and injuried 20 others.  Authorities say the two miners died from carbon monoxide poisoning, possibly triggered by an explosion in the mine.  You can read about mine safety from the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety.  Additionally, our library has mine reports going back to the […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Ludlow

99 years ago this Saturday, Colorado was the scene of one of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents in the Progressive Era labor wars.  The Ludlow Massacre, April 20, 1914, occurred when Colorado National Guard troops fired on striking coal miners and their families in the Ludlow tent colony near Trinidad.  The miners, employed by […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Silver Mining

Colorado is famous for its gold – our State Capitol dome is clad in the precious metal, and the Pikes Peak Gold Rush was one of the major reasons settlers started moving to our state.  But did you know that in the 1870s through the early 1890s, Colorado’s economy was much more dependent on silver than […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

The Colorado Gold Rush.

Did you know it’s believed that more people came to the Colorado Gold Rush than to the California Gold Rush? It’s true. The Colorado Gold Rush was the boom in the prospecting and mining of gold in present-day Coloradoin the United States that began in 1859 (when the land was still in the Kansas Territory) […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Tourist Mines

Colorado has a rich history of mining and mineral extraction; in fact, if not for the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush and silver boom of the 1870s and 1880s, Colorado might not be what it is today. Some of these mines still operate to this day, but many of the boom years’ mines and mine […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Mining for Facts

Mining was one of the industries most important to shaping our state’s history and growth, and many Colorado mountain towns had their roots as mining towns. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, as well as other mineral resources, such as coal and molybdenum, were mined in Colorado, and, although on a smaller scale, are […]