Sunday

Cache Creek Part Deux!

  I find the Cache Creek area absolutely fascinating.  I feel this connection. Like a sense of deja vu. Maybe it is because my family stopped in Granite as they as they traveled back and forth between Buena Vista and Leadville over a hundred years ago. Or maybe the fact  it lies in quiet abandon from its booming days as one of the first gold strikes during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in the late 1850's.

So many of the gold strikes at that time are now large cities, including our very own state capitol of Denver Colorado.

Cache Creek, however, sits up above the canyon through which the Arkansas River flows. In 1861, the town of Granite,  had a population of over 3000, and held the honor of being the county seat until  1879, and is now, barely a spot in the road.

Our first visit to Cache Creek was this fall, although we drove  past it many times on our way to Leadville,not giving it a second thought.

It is these hidden secrets, these stories untold  I hope to discover and share as I begin my research into this area. I always have to discover as much as I can about an area. I'm never satisfied with just a simple coating of history, no, I find myself immersed in digitized newspapers, digging deeper and deeper until I discover its very roots.

One of the first things I noticed as we walked through this area on our way to the creek, was how clean it was. This area was once filled with over 3000 placer miners looking to strike it rich. Not only were there men, but there was equipment. Large equipment used to blast away the side of the mountains in the hydraulic method of mining used at that time. But as we walked around, it was one of the first things I noticed, there was no trash. No rusted metals, no old tin cans, no old broken bottles in various hues of greens, blue, and purples, as one finds in old glass. It was as if someone had come in and swept the area clean.
I did discover a few remnants of rusted pipes, which I am sure were used in the blasting away of the mountain side.



Cache Creek was at the height of its gold producing when production came to a sudden halt in 1911. This was due to an environmental law suit brought on by those who lived down stream. In fact, this was the first environmental lawsuit in the state of Colorado. Remember this was back in the day when the last thing anyone thought of was the impact on the environment.




 According to an article written in 1903,  for 38 years the Cache Creek Placer ran its tailings through their bed rock flume.  The way Cache Creek is located there really was no other way for the tailings to be disposed of than running them down the Arkansas River which affected the residents of Canon City. At the time of the article, they didn't hold up much hope  their pleas would be listened to, however , in 1911, mining in  Cache Creek came  to an end.


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