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History of Mineral County

Mineral County is located in the Southern Mineral Mountains, it extends south to encompass Wolf Creek Pass and east to include Wheeler Geologic Area. The headwaters of the Rio Grande rise just miles west of Creede in the Weminuche Wilderness Area. Creede itself is located at the mouth of Willow Creek Canyon. The Ute Indians roamed and hunted in Mineral County. They were forced from the county by the building of Fort Garland. Fort Garland was mandated to move Chief Ouray and his Ute Indians to their current reservations in the Cortez/Ignacio areas. This completed, and with the enactment of the Homestead Act in 1862, Mineral County was then open to homesteaders. Homesteders like, Tom Boggs, M.V.B. Wason, Soward and James Workman, homesteaded and helped to build Mineral County.

Nicholas Creede discovered an enormous silver vein in 1890 and changed Mineral County forever. Mines such as the Amethyst, Commodore, Last Chance and the Holy Moses were found. Fortunes and the population soon swelled. The slab and tent town strung down the canyon consisted of Creede, String Town and Jimtown. Creede's mines were in continuous operation from 1890 until 1985.

As people poured in, more new towns sprang up. Spar City, Stumptown, Weaver and Bachelor all became thriving communities. Today, Spar City is a private resort. There are no buildings left in Stumptown and Weaver, and only stark ruins of a few cabins may be seen in Bachelor.

Over the years, two floods and two fires eliminated most of Creede and Jimtown, and all of Stringtown. The disastrous fire in 1892, which burned the business district, and the silver panic of 1893 combined to spell the end of the silver boom in Creede. The only buildings left standing were in Jimtown. Folks moved to Jimtown and eventually renamed it Creede. Mineral and silver deposits are still plentiful in Mineral County.

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