Scenic USA - Colorado

St. Elmo

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St. Elmo Ghost Town - Colorado

Photos by Marilyn Porter

   Following a typical mining town cycle of boom to bust, St. Elmo quickly plummeted from its peak of 2000 residents in 1890 to a few stubborn stragglers. This well preserved ghost town, one of Colorado’s best, is just a short drive from Buena Vista.
   With silver and gold ore production dwindling, the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad pulled up tracks in 1920s. A humorous cliché recounts the remainder of the town’s folk riding out on the last train. This Main Street view captures some of the remaining original buildings, well preserved in the dry climate of the Rockies. An unfortunate fire claimed a group of structures which included the town hall. Plans are underway to return this important historic link to its 19th century glory.
   A ghost town isn't complete without a ghost, and St. Elmo’s apparition remains an intriguing part of the town’s history. Snowed In - St Elmo, Colorado It’s been said that the Stark family loved their St. Elmo and clung to the hope of the town’s resurgence. Brother and sister, Annabelle and Tony, continued to run the town’s hotel and general store well into the 20th century. Although cleanliness wasn’t their forte, they managed to eke out a meager existence. To this day Dirty Annie makes frequent appearances in the hotel’s second story window. For those St. Elmo visitors with a little backcountry moxie, more adventures are ahead on a rugged road which leads up and over the Divide at Tincup Pass and heads toward Tincup and Taylor Park Reservoir. The Buena Vista (pleasant view) name is fitting for this Rocky Mountain setting.

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