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Georgetown–Silver Plume Historic District

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  • Georgetown and Silver Plume

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    First developed as silver mining towns in the 1860s and 1870s, Georgetown and Silver Plume prospered until 1893. After World War II, they began to be recognized for their rich mining history, and in 1966 they were declared a National Historic Landmark.
    Georgetown and Silver Plume
  • Early Georgetown

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    Georgetown was named after George Griffith, who discovered gold in the area on June 17, 1859. The town grew quickly, but it did not really boom until silver was found nearby in September 1864.
    Early Georgetown
  • Hamill House

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    During Georgetown's decades of prosperity in the 1870s and 1880s, the town's wealthy merchants and professionals built blocks full of elegant Victorian houses. None was more elaborate than William Hamill's mansion, which he gradually expanded over the 1870s with the help of architect Robert Roeschlaub.
    Hamill House
  • Silver Plume

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    Located about two miles up Clear Creek from Georgetown, Silver Plume developed as a more working-class town with a diverse population of miners that included many European immigrants.
    Silver Plume
  • Georgetown Loop

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    Despite the short distance between Georgetown and Silver Plume, connecting the towns by rail proved difficult because of the steep climb. To solve the problem, the track was extended via a series of large curves and a full loop to reduce the average grade. Completed in 1884, it was abandoned in the late 1930s but rebuilt in the 1970s–80s by the Colorado Historical Society.
    Georgetown Loop
  • Downtown Georgetown Today

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    Since the 1950s Georgetown has been the focus of historic preservation efforts that have restored many downtown buildings and helped make the town a tourist destination throughout the year.
    Downtown Georgetown Today



Guide to the Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District, 3rd ed. (Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 1995).

Kenneth Jessen, Georgetown: A Quick History Including the Georgetown Loop (First Light, 1996).

Joseph S. Mendinghall, “Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (May 1975).

Liston E. Leyendecker, Georgetown: Colorado’s Silver Queen, 1859–1876 (Ft. Collins, CO: Centennial, 1977).

Liston E. Leyendecker, Christine A. Bradley, and Duane A. Smith, The Rise of the Silver Queen: Georgetown, Colorado, 1859–1896 (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2005).

Additional Information: 

Carl Abbott, Stephen J. Leonard, and Thomas J. Noel, Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, 5th ed. (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2013).

Liston E. Leyendecker, The Griffith Family and the Founding of Georgetown (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000).

William Philpott, Vacationland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013).

William Wyckoff, Creating Colorado: The Making of a Western American Landscape, 1860–1940 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).