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  • Independence Ghost Town

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    Located west of Independence Pass at an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet, the town of Independence was established in 1879. It thrived for a few years as a gold camp but declined sharply after hitting its peak in 1882.
    Independence Ghost Town
  • Independence, 1942

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    Over the twentieth century, many of Independence's cabins and other buildings were lost to the harsh high-elevation climate, neglect, and looting.
    Independence, 1942
  • Independence, 1950

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    Independence is accessible via Highway 82 between about Memorial Day and early November each year. It is still possible to discern the old road that went through town.
    Independence, 1950
  • Restored Cabin at Independence

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    In 1973 Independence was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in the early 1980s the Aspen Historical Society and other volunteer groups started to work with the US Forest Service to restore and preserve the surviving buildings.
    Restored Cabin at Independence
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“Independence Ghost Town,” Aspen Historical Society, n.d.

Mark S. Bonomo, “Independence and Independence Mill Site,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (December 26, 1972).

Kenneth Jessen, Ghost Towns, Colorado Style, vol. 2: Central Region (Loveland, CO: J. V. Publications, 1999).

Additional Information: 

Sandra Dallas, Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985).

Malcolm J. Rohrbough, Aspen: The History of a Silver-Mining Town, 1879–1893 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Muriel Sibell Wolle, Stampede to Timberline: The Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Colorado, rev. ed. (Chicago: Swallow Press, 1974).