Yep - four times. But some great pictures along the way. So once again, PICTURES!
This mine used to be open to the public to come pay a fee and try their hand at mining. Since we knew it was getting late, I did not stop to take pictures of the original sign and hotel - also still there. Next trip.
A working mine above Central City.
There's actually a post card in the collection taken from this POV of Central City. Will be fun to compare pictures.
More of Central City - the pretty side. None of the casinos and garbage of the new buildings. Just the town.
Nice to see this sign repainted.
Town from a different hill - check out that mine and tank!
Just a mile away is another ghost town - Nevadaville. Several buildings still intact, but nothing like it was 30 years ago.
I took pictures of these mines the first time in the summer of 1983, when I worked as the photographer/darkroom person for a long defunct newspaper, The Front Range Journal, out of Idaho Springs. We did a large supplement on Central City - back when it was a thriving tourist town. (Yes, some will argue that it is again, but when I drive through and see all the empty storefronts in town, and the casinos even seem mostly empty, I don't call that thriving.) The top mine buildings have not changed in years, and the lower picture shows it mainly intact - the pulley tower is missing now.
Another place I'd not seen in 30 years. While it still looks good from this angle, as you go around the curve it becomes apparent that no one has lived there in quite some time. and that the wall is pulling away from the house on the sun porch.
One of several "open" mines you can see from the road. No, I'm not telling you where they are - sorry!
For those who remember Central City before the casinos moved in, you will remember this building as being outside of town. Now, it is surrounded by a rather large, multi story condo complex, looking much like the ski towns. This building was very much intact 30 years ago. You can see the mine entrance in the back, behind fencing. In the front of the building, you can see the old boiler.
This building is across the street from the last one.
One of the things about literally driving around and around Central City is that you will drive past the cemeteries more than once. There are nine cemeteries in and near Central City; some are merged so they seem like only one. So, of course, we went past the cemeteries a few times. This picture was earlier in the evening:
And then, at sunset, two of the others:
But it still wasn't dark, so we took yet another road, and several miles later, we found another town. This town is on none of the maps I have - this will be added to the library list to look up. And while it looked much darker, my camera proved up again, adjusting itself to take excellent pictures. In actuality, it was almost 9 pm by this point.
It was a rather small town; I counted only 8-9 buildings total - most were clearly houses. One may have been school, and this building below and the one next to it look to have been the general store and implement building, though much more likely to be selling building and mining equipment - this is definitely not a farming ton.
See what I mean about how my camera proved up? This is an unretouched photo!
The road looking up into the unnamed town.
Art first look, it looked like a rail stop, until you look across the street at this platform base - but then, it could still be a railroad depot - it is narrow enough.
But wait, what's in the building foundations? Another mine entrance. And down a short drive on the side of the road under the platform base - another foundation, and some 20-30 foot long iron pipes laying on the ground. All right near the creek.
By this point, it is finally dark. dark enough that I have to use headlights, and we pass by Central City once more on our way out and back over to home.
Many miles driven, but not so far from home after all.