Silver Plume Depot - Silver Plume, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 41.698 W 105° 43.429
13S E 437940 N 4394152
The primary location from which to board the Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Waymark Code: WMBYG3
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 07/04/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 10

"The 1884 Silver Plume Depot served as the western terminus of the Colorado Central Railroad route from Denver to the Clear Creek mining region. Located at the upper end of the famous Georgetown Loop, the depot first served miners and their families, and then the increasing number of tourists attracted by the engineering and scenic qualities of the loop passage. The successor Colorado & Southern Railway abandoned the loop and the depot in 1939, but both once again operate as part of History Colorado’s Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park® interpretive complex." (from (visit link) )

"When silver was discovered in the area just west of Georgetown, the silver was so abundant that much of the silver lay in feather-like formations. Many consider this factor the reason for the name Silver Plume. The town is surrounded by Republican Mountain on the north and by Mount McClellan on the south and sits at 9,114 feet above sea level.

Silver-Plume-ColoradoAlthough the town was in existence in 1870, it was not incorporated until September 21, 1880. But on election night in 1884, a fire destroyed the east end of the town. The only fire-fighting equipment available was leather buckets! So in 1885, town officials purchased a hand pumper for the city which is still used today in parades and other city celebrations. In 1884 the town installed a water system which served until the 1980’s when it was replaced to comply with state standards. Silver Plume also had a granite quarry on the west side of the town. Granite used in the Colorado State capital was mined from Silver Plume!

The peak years for Silver Plume’s population occurred from 1885 to 1905. During these years, the population of the area was around 2,000 and that included Brownville, the area just to the west of Silver Plume. In 1895, Brownville was partially buried by a mud slide which buried seven homes but claimed no lives.

Silver Plume has always been known for its celebrations – especially the Fourth of July. Band concerts, hand-drilling contests, and horse races have always been on the agenda. From 1902 until 1910 one of the best bands in the state was located in Silver Plume. Colorado’s first ski club was formed in 1913 when J. B. Ballentine, who had spent several years in Norway, worked with one of his co-workers to supply homemade skis to all interested parties in the area. Twenty fours charter members – both male and female – created the club. By 1914, the club was hosting “ski tournaments” on a slope northwest of town. During the off-season, this group became the “theater” group and presented plays in the opera house.


In 1884, the Colorado and Southern was completed as part of the Georgetown Loop Railroad. This line extended west to Graymont. Edward Wilcox, a Methodist minister, extended the line sixteen miles in order to reach his mining interests on Mount McClellan. It passed through Waldorf, at an elevation of 11,600 feet above sea level. This line terminated at a mining tunnel filled with ice formations called the Ice Palace and was an active tourist attraction until the minister refused to run the train on Sundays. He was finally forced to sell the line in 1907 and an aerial tramway was installed to the top of Sunrise Peak on Mount McClellan.

As with Georgetown, the area began to decline with the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1893. Today Silver Plume has around 200 residents and remains entrenched in its rich history and tourist trade." (from (visit link) )

"In Silver Plume, you’ll find the restored 1884 Silver Plume Depot, which offers a free slide show and exhibits on the history of the railroad, as well as steam engines and cars on view in the adjacent railyard. During the hour-long train ride, there's an opportunity to stop and tour the 1870s Lebanon Mine. You'll explore the old silver mine with a guide who will explain the rich history of the area and mining techniques once used there. Watch for big horn sheep along the way." (from (visit link) )

The Silver Plume Depot is the primary loading point for the Georgetown Loop Railroad. The depot itself features several historic plaques to explain the mining history of the area. There is a free railroad museum, several narrow gauge cars on side tracks and the primary maintenance building for the locomotives and cars. The depot features gifts, books, snacks and a penny smasher!
Street address:
825 Railroad Avenue
Silver Plume, CO USA

County / Borough / Parish: Silver Plume

Year listed: 1971

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924

Historic function: Transportation

Current function: Recreation And Culture

Privately owned?: yes

Season start / Season finish: From: 04/30/2011 To: 10/10/2011

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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