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Thread: Alma, Colorado

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    5

    Default Alma, Colorado

    I know that the jail in Alma was crumbling in 1980, does anyone know if it's still there?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    455

    Default

    An urgent request for some help in gathering information for a great little town in Colorado. A Mineral Group from Lake George is doing a study of the history of the Alma area to help the historical society. They will present their findings at The Socorro NM Mineral Symposium and in Alma.

    They need your help. Anyone connected with Alma, Park City, Montgomery, Buckskin Joe, and that general area around Alma Colorado is being asked to help. How can you help? By sending via email your stories, your photos, and your experiences from personal history or general knowledge. It would be nice if you copied me so I could add them to my site but it is not necessary. You can also volunteer for an oral history.

    I hope we flood them with information. Letís help them gather some great historical data. Send them an email.
    forlorrie_h@yahoo.com


    DO IT NOW as time is short. It will be presented in September 2010

    If you are curious about what type of information, take a look at the good work they have done http://www.parkcoarchives.org.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

    "I led a quieter life before I got hearing aids." Mike

    Rocky

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    455

    Default Quick History of Alma

    Below is a Quick History of Alma Colorado.
    ALMA
    Town Facts
    Altitude: 10.578 ft. (3,225 m)
    Population: est. 275 (2000 census: 179)
    Coordinates: Latitude 39.28 & Longitude -106.06
    Located: Northwest corner of Park County

    QUICK HISTORY

    Gold was first discovered in the Buckskin Gulch area by a small group of prospectors who found a placer deposit in the river nearby. Buckskin Joe, first town, in the area, was established in 1859. The mining district was formed by an eccentric miner named Joseph Higgenbottom, who wore buckskin clothes and was known throughout the mining camp as "Buckskin Joe." At its zenith, Buckskin Joe a roaring camp with saloons, gambling halls and traveling minstrel shows. Main street was lined with stores, saloons, a newspaper, a post office, a courthouse, a mill, and three hotels. A terrible smallpox epidemic swept through the town. A beautiful dancer that entertained in the camp, known as 'Silver Heels' reportedly, stayed to nurse her friends and miners. She too fell victim to it and her once beautiful face was terribly scarred. No one ever knew where she went after that. A number of years later reports began of a veiled woman walking among the graves of smallpox victims, sometimes weeping.
    Mines were opened on Mts. Bross, Lincoln, and Democrat. In the early 1870ís the area had about 10,000 people and was referred to as the Mosquito Range Mining. The Boston Colorado Smelting Company and the Fanny Barrett Smelting Company started smelting operations. The camp around the smelters grew in population and on December 2, 1873 a group of smelter employees petitioned the Park County Commissioners for incorporation as a town to be called Alma-- named after the grocery store ownerís daughter. Alma held its first town meeting on December 4, 1873. W. C. Morgan served as the first mayor. One of the first projects the town started was to build jail.

    Alma is a tight knit community a population around 235. Most of the residents commute to Summit County for employment. In 1998 Tom Leask went on a rampage and destroyed many town buildings. He killed Willie Morrison who had served as town mayor. In memory of Willie the Alma Festival in the Clouds was started to celebrate art, music and children.

    The town and the Alma Foundation is working on two projects: 1) the river walk project and 2) the Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative. The river walk will blend the serene aspects of the Middle Fork of the South Platte with historical and educational signage connected in combination with a boardwalk and graveled trail. Mining equipment will be displayed to connect with the mining heritage of Alma. The Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative will define and create a system of selected trails to provide access to historic and cultural areas of the Mosquito Range. Work is just starting on this initiative and is a collaborative effort of many entities including the Town of Alma, the Alma Foundation, Park County, the Forest Service, the BLM, the State Department of Minerals and Geology, the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, the Division of Wildlife, ATV clubs, 4-Wheeling clubs and others..

    HISTORIC SITES IN ALMA
    The Alma Town Hall is the restored building that once served as the Alma School. Construction on the school started the summer of 1928 after the original Alma school burned down. The mission style building originally consisted of two rooms upstairs and the bell tower. The north and south additions were added around 1930. All of the original lumber in the building is local pine and was milled at the Miller Lumber Company of Alma. In 1962 the school was closed when the Fairplay high school was built. The Town purchased the building from the school district in 1967 for $1.00. It currently serves as the Town Offices, the Marshal Department, the Library, and the Town Community Center.
    The Alma Community Church, known as the Stone Church, was built in 1936 by volunteer labor and donated money for construction materials. It has always been a community owned and served as a non-denominational religious and community center. Inside there is an auditorium, stage area, baptismal unit, and four small classrooms. Over the years the stone building had fallen into great disrepair. In 2005 the building was renovated through a grant from the Colorado State Historical Society.
    The Alma Ladies Aid Hall has had of many uses. Built in the 1870s, it served as an office and scale house for the Boston Colorado Smelting Company. It has since been used as a theater, a dance hall, church services, and for box suppers. The Town hopes to restore it as a theater and community center.
    The Schwartz Hotel was built in the 1890s as a boarding house. It has a casual stone foundation typical of the period. The original structure had 8 bedrooms and a covered walkway that extended north from the building to the out houses. The current owners offer it to artists, music groups, and others as a large group retreat/conference center.
    The Paris mill was originally built in 1895 to mill ore from the Paris Mine on Mount Bross. In 1898 a tramway was constructed from the mine to the mill. The mill is has a stamp mill, a ball mill, and a rod mill. The mill ran at irregular intervals from 1896 to 1935. In 2004 the Paris mill was placed on Colorado Preservation, Inc.ís most endangered places list. The mill is currently owned by the Chiwawa Mining Co.
    Alma Cemetery was once the 'Buckskin Joe' cemetery. Many of the dead are miners and their families died during a terrible smallpox epidemic. Many of the unmarked graves belong to them. The cemetery is located in a very beautiful area of aspen trees and a mountain views. Throughout the cemetery are hawk feathers with small bells attached that are tied to branches. Restorations have been made to existing headstones and fences. Small, handmade crosses mark graves that have been anonymous for more than a century.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

    "I led a quieter life before I got hearing aids." Mike

    Rocky

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