We recently discussed the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a historic and fun train ride high in the mountains of Colorado, linking the towns of Silver Plume and Georgetown. Today I'd like to share a visit to the historic town of Georgetown.
Georgetown is a former silver mining community situated along Clear Creek. The town sits at 8,530 feet (2600 m) above sea level in the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. What began as a camp for miners was established as a town in 1869. Silver was not actually mined in the town, but its business supported the miners in the region and was where the miners came for recreation. Georgetown is remarkably well preserved, and visiting is like stepping back in time. Much of the town is now a National Historic Landmark.
The silver mining in the region was good for a few years, Georgetown earning the nickname "the Silver Queen of Colorado". The population of the town swelled to around 10,000 people making it the third largest community in Colorado at the time (today it is home to just over 1,000 residents). As with most mining booms, it ended fairly quickly and the town shifted towards being a tourist destination, even in the 19th century, when the railway linked it to nearby Denver and gave folks the opportunity for a quick and easy mountain vacation.
The town has been featured in a variety of TV shows and films, including some Clint Eastwood films.
Georgetown is easily accessed off the I-70 freeway and is about halfway between Denver and Vail. It features many good restaurants, interesting attractions (such as visiting mines, museums and the old railroad), and places to stay. Besides this, it offers the outdoor splendor of mountain activities, such as hiking, bird and wildlife viewing (bighorn sheep roam nearby), and mountain biking.
We enjoyed wandering the streets of Georgetown, soaking in its fine ambiance. Here's some of what we saw: