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St. Elmo, Nathrop

Categories: Ghost Towns, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
3.8/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web
St. Elmo is a ghost town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Founded in 1880, St. Elmo lies in the heart of the Sawatch Range, southwest of Buena Vista and sits at an elevation of 9961ft. Nearly 2,000 people settled in this town when mining for gold and silver started. The mining industry started to decline in the early 1920s, and in 1922 the railroad discontinued service. The community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the St. Elmo Historic District. It is one of Colorado's best preserved ghost towns.HistorySt. Elmo was originally named Forest City but was later changed because of the multitude of towns with the same name. The name St. Elmo was chosen by Griffith Evans, one of the founding fathers, who was reading a novel with the same title.The town was at its peak in the 1890s, when it included a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, dancing halls, a newspaper office, and a school house. The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad line ran through St. Elmo. There were 150 patented mine claims within the area. The majority of the people who lived in St. Elmo worked at the Mary Murphy, Teresa C., The Molly or the Pioneer Mines. The Mary Murphy Mine was the largest and most successful mine in the area. The Mary Murphy Mine recovered over $60,000,000 worth of gold while it was in operation. While the other mines eventually shut down, the Mary Murphy Mine continued to operate until the railroad was abandoned in 1922.
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  • Small popular destination. It's a fast walk through, as you could only peek inside the buildings. It didn't feel like a "ghost" town. Lots of people and a cute store. 
  • We stayed at Mt Princeton and took a little side trip to St Elmo. We were pleasantly surprised. The drive up is beautiful, the town is cute and I cant wait until it gets completely redone. But the hig...  read more »
  • I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I got here. The drive up there was beautiful but the town was not what I was expecting. The old buildings are great, but there is a such a modern feel ...  read more »
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