Colorado’s Ghost Towns: What Caused Their Demise?
If you're familiar with Colorado's history, you've likely heard tales of booming mining towns that have come and gone, leaving them as abandoned ghost towns in today's landscape.
It's safe to assume that the majority of these ghost towns were left to fizzle away because the mining stopped, but that's only one of the reasons why Colorado's forgotten towns were abandoned.
Keep scrolling to learn about some of Colorado's ghost towns, and what caused their demise.
Colorado Ghost Towns' Demise: No More Mining
After a significant silver boom, the precious metal eventually decreased in value to such a point that mines closed down altogether, which saw many of the silver mining towns meet a similar fate.
One of the largest ghost towns in the state, Ashcroft, was abandoned for this reason, while others like Animas Forks were left because the gold mines closed, and the devaluation of coal saw the same result for other towns.
Colorado Ghost Towns' Demise: Contamination
Another reason that historic towns were abandoned was due to the hazardous materials that come along with mining. The prosperous town of Gilman was evacuated because of contamination in the 1980s, Kokomo, Colorado became a tailings dump, and Uravan became so contaminated by radiation from the uranium mining that it was evacuated as well.
Colorado Ghost Towns' Demise: Flooding
Another unexpected reason that a handful of Colorado mining towns became ghost towns is that they were flooded. However, the flooding was not brought on by nature, but the towns were purposefully flooded by man, typically in order to implement reservoirs.
The former Colorado town of Howbert is currently underneath Eleven Mile Reservoir, Ioli is under Blue Mesa Reservoir, McPhee is under McPhee Reservoir, Stout is under Horsetooth Reservoir, and Swallows is under Pueblo Reservoir.
Colorado Ghost Towns' Demise: Other
While the aforementioned reasons that Colorado's current ghost towns were abandoned are the most prevalent, others were left behind due to reasons such as a struggling tourism industry, trouble keeping farming operations going, and railroads shifting the flow of people to and from the areas.
Keep scrolling to check out some of these, and more, Colorado ghost towns: