Perspective of Telluride, Colorado
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NEW! Telluride Historical
Old Town Jail
||San Miguel County Courthouse
In 1885 a courthouse building was erected across from the post
office on West Colorado Avenue. This building burned shortly after
construction, but the bricks were saved and used to build the
present courthouse two years later on the corner of Colorado
Avenue and Oak Street. It is still used today.
||New Sheridan Hotel & Opera House
This famous Telluride landmark was built in 1895. For fine dining,
the Continental Room had 16 velvet-curtained booths, each equipped
with phones so diners could call for service and not be frequently
interrupted by waiters. The Sheridan Bar remains much the same
with its cherrywood bar imported from Austria. William Jennings
Bryan delivered his famous “Cross of Gold” speech on a
platform in front of the Sheridan. The Opera House, an exquisite
theater with a Venetian scene painted on its roll curtain by J.
Erickson, was added in 1914. Today the opera house, hotel and
restaurant are still welcoming guests.
||St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
This church was built in the neighborhood of Catholic Hill in 1896
at a cost of $4,800 and by 1899 had 200 members. The wooden
figures of the Stations of the Cross were carved in the Tyrol of
Austria. In 1996 the church celebrated its centennial.
One of Telluride’s oldest bars contains its finest period
piece—an 1860 Brunswick-Balke-Collener Company bar of carved
walnut, with exquisite and valuable 12-foot French mirrors on the
back bar. The Roma was one of the wildest and most raucous saloons
in town. It was renovated in 1983.
||Old Waggoner House
Charles Waggoner, president of the Bank of Telluride (yellow brick
building with pillars on main street), contrived an amazing scheme
to save his bank and pay off depositors in the Crash of 1929. Most
Telluride depositors were eventually paid and the New York banks
were the losers. Waggoner testified in court, “I would rather
see the New York banks lose money than the people of Telluride,
most of whom have worked all their lives for the savings that were
deposited in my bank.” Waggoner was sentenced to 15 years in
prison, but was paroled after three years. He never returned to
Telluride. Later tenants included the Goldsworthy family from
1932-1988. George Goldsworthy, born in Rico, Colorado, moved to
Telluride at age 6. He grew up to be an astute businessman and
operated the City Bakery and the City Grocery in the present
Telluride Trappings and Toggery building. George and his wife,
Bessie, raised 10 children in this house.
On the corner of Fir Street and Columbia Avenue is Telluride’s
first schoolhouse. This one-room building was built in 1883 for
the sum of $3,000. The first class held there had 53 students and
one teacher. After a new school had been built, the town offices
occupied the building. The tower for drying fire hoses was added
at that time.
||Telluride Historical Museum
An amazing collection of photographs and artifacts reconstruct the
colorful days of Telluride’s mining past. The building itself
was built in 1895 by Dr. Hall and served as a hospital for the
miners, townspeople and county poor. Recently renovated, it is now
open to the public.
||North Oak House
Built in 1900, this house was a survivor of the 1914 flood. A
spring cloudburst caused the usually gentle Cornet Creek to turn
into a torrent of mud and rocks that swept through town,
depositing five feet of mud and debris from the Liberty Bell Mine
right down to Colorado Avenue. One woman was killed and the
Sheridan Bar was filled with mud halfway to the ceiling. This
house has been completely restored to its original condition,
enabling it to be on the National Register of Historic Homes.
This stately brick house was built by E. L. Davis in 1894. Davis
was a mining and real estate entrepreneur, owner of the Mayflower,
Nellie and Etta gold mines in the Ingram-Bridal Veil Basin and
Bear Creek area. He owned all the land where the Rio Grande
Southern Train Depot now stands, as well as one-third interest in
“West Telluride.” Davis sought to bring business to the town
as Vice-President of the Telluride Board of Trade. After Davis’
death, the house was sold to Dr. Oshner, who used it as a
hospital, particularly during the 1918 flu epidemic. The house was
renovated in 1983.
||L.L. Nunn House
On the corner of Aspen Street and West Columbia is L.L. Nunn’s
house, built in 1887 and extensively remodeled in 1980. The white
Victorian next door was bought by Nunn for use as his Telluride
Institute, where “pinheads” from Cornell University came to
expand their knowledge of the production of power. Today Cornell
University has a “Telluride House” funded by Nunn’s estate.
||Rio Grande Southern Railway Depot
This area was a bustling, noisy, and exciting part of town after
the railroad reached Telluride in 1891. The depot was surrounded
by boardinghouses and warehouses, some of which are still standing
on San Juan Avenue. In 1991, the depot was renovated and is now a
Heading east, stroll past Finn Town. On the south side of the
street is Finn Town Flats, originally a boardinghouse, Finn Hall (grey),
and the smaller Swede-Finn Hall (pictured), now a bar and
restaurant, on the corner. The two halls were the center of social
life. During parties and get-togethers, each family brought food,
the band played and the people danced and socialized. Continuing
east, detour up South Oak Street past the Dahl House, a miner’s
rooming house built in the 1890s, now Fat Alley BBQ.
Back on Pacific Street, The Senate, the Silver Bell, the Cribs and
the madam’s stone residence in the back make up the restored
buildings of the “sporting district.” The Senate was one of
the many “female boarding houses” that was bustling with
business between the 1880s and 1930s. The old Senate closed in
1935. The Silver Bell, built in 1890, suffered a disastrous fire
in 1923. It operated as one of Telluride’s many “soda parlours”
during Prohibition and its numerous outside entrances hint at the
other services offered. It closed in 1959 and was faithfully
restored in 1991 as the Ah Haa School for the Arts. The three
simple Victorian houses standing in a row on Pacific Street, known
as the Cribs, are all that remain of the similar structures that
lined both sides of the street all the way to the edge of Town
Park. The Telluride Housing Authority saved these last houses by
renovating them in 1983.
||The Pekkarine Building
This is one of Telluride’s oldest main street buildings. Mr.
Pekkarine immigrated to the United States from Finland, opened a
boot shop in the basement of this brick building, and on the
second floor he later operated a mercantile store. The Pekkarines
lived on the third floor. At the settling of the Pekkarine estate
in 1974, valued turn-of-the-century artifacts were donated to the
Telluride Historical Museum. Today, local shops occupy the street
level of this building.
This stone jail is thought to have been built in 1885 by a livery stable
owner. It was previously occupied by the Wilkinson Public Library. The
original wooden jail was built in 1878 and is now located in Town Park.
Built by "Western Federation of Mines" in 1901 as a hospital.
After only two years of operation it closed because of labor strikes
resulting in the mobilization of the Colorado National Guard to restore
Lone Tree Cemetery
A beautiful old cemetery located east of town.
Telluride Elementary School
When it was built in 1895, this building was considered to be the most
modern of educational facilities. Completely renovated in 1986.
Curious combination of auto and train parts
that rode Otto Mears's famous railroad line in the declining years of the
Rio Grande Southern.
Butch Cassidy Robbery Site
Butch and "The Wild Bunch" robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in
1889. The old bank burned and was replaced by the Mahr Building in 1892.
Pick & Gad
"Parlour House" in Telluride's red-light district.
Patrons were treated to an evening of music, food, wine and ladies.
Penn Tram Towers
At the turn of the century, the east end of the canyon was laced with the
cables of aerial trams lowering ore from the mines to mills in the valley
below. These two towers are from the Pennsylvania MineÕs tram line.
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