It’s not a big place and there are no flashing signs saying SEE SILVER PLUME. So, you may ask why my wife and I would stop here in the middle of a National Parks trip. The answer is it is part of our family history.
My wife’s great-grandfather – Calvin Ingrum and his family moved here from Wisconsin around 1880 to get in on the Silver Rush. He was a miner and for several years the constable of the town.
While visiting, we were able to see the home where he lived and visit the family gravesite.
The silver was so abundant here that it bust out of the rock in feathery deposits giving the town it’s name – Silver Plume. Just after the Civil War, this was a bustling silver mining camp but now with a population of about 200, it is little more than a Ghost Town. Some of the original buildings still line the streets where you can walk around and soak in the history.
The town is about 50 miles west of Denver just off of I-70 in Clear Creek county. The slightly larger city of Georgetown a couple of miles east was closely associated and many of the wealthier families lived there away from the dusty mining camp. The two cities and the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park are jointly designated as the Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District.
We were here in the off season and almost everything was closed up which made it even more so, a Ghost Town! The tourist season is Memorial Day thru Labor Day which is in line with most things in this area (other than ski resorts) . The weather was great when we stopped but our trip proved why the place doesn’t open up earlier.
We thought we were experiencing the seven plauges when we first arrived – snow, sleet, rain, dust, wind with skies sometimes as black as night and then as white as a sheet. And that was just the first day.
Ah, May in the Rockies. Always a surprise in store!