Towns & Cities Near Telluride, Colorado in San Miguel County
San Miguel County TOWNS & CITIES Description
Alta Founded in 1880 to serve as a stamp mill to the Gold King Mine. An aerial tram connected the mine, at 11,800' to the mill below. The mill was closed in 1902 due to a flood, but the mine continued operations until 1910. The town also served the Alta mine located near the Gold King at an elevation of 12,000'. A larger mill was built in 1918 and burned in 1929. In 1937 a third mill was built. The mine and mill continued operations through WWII, but burned in 1948. Alta is accessible by a graded dirt road. Some houses remain.
Ames The town began as a stage stop in 1880 for a toll road connecting Ouray and Telluride. In 1885 the town had a population of 200 souls. In order to generate power for the Gold King mine, the first ac power plant in the world was constructed here.Later power lines were run to Telluride and the Savage Basin to the Tomboy Mine.
Anderson renamed Illium. See below.
Beard's Corner
Brown Abandoned railroad stop for the Rio Grande Southern on Alder Creek.
Bullion Tunnel See Smuggler
Columbia renamed Telluride
Fall Creek A small mining community on the San Miguel River. It was renamed Silver Pick for a short time. It now is a community of modern homes.
Folsom See Pandora
Ilium Originally named Anderson, the town began as a settlement for homesteaders along the San Miguel River. The name was changed to Ilium when the railroad arrived. There was a post office which closed in 1894 and reopened in 1910. In 1900 a power plant was built. A flood destroyed much of the town and the power plant in 1909. In 1963 the site became a boys home when it was purchased by the Episcopalian church.
Haskell's Spur See Leonard.
Keystone Located on the San Miguel River just west of Society Turn. It was the site of hydraulic mining between 1879-1887. The site is now abandoned.
Leonard Ghost town. Rail station on Sheep Draw Creek near the town of Brown. The Post Office operated from 1900 to 1940. Also called Haskell's Spur.
Liberty Bell The Liberty Bell lode as discovered in 1876 by W.L. Cornett. The town had a mill to serve the mine and the ore was lowered to the town via an aerial tram. It was the site of a massive avalanche that killed 16 people in 1902. Modern homes are now located there.
Matterhorn Also called San Bernardo, it served the San Bernardo Mine. The mine was developed in 188 and operated until 1909, when Trout Lake flooded it. It continued to operate sporadically and in 1920 a new mill was built. In 1961 it was renovated and ceased operations in 1969. Little remains of the town.
Mountain Village Established as a mountain resort village town after Telluride Ski Area was completed in 1972.
Newmire See Vanadium
Newport See Pandora
Ophir (old) Founded in 1875 as a small mining community in an avalanche prone area in the Howard Fork valley. In 1881 it was a stopping place for travelers on their way to Silverton. The Post Office was open 1878-1918. It was abandoned by 1942, but in 1946 the Silver Bell mine went into opertion again. After 1954 it was seasonally inhabited. Upon opening the Telluride Ski Area in 1972 the town became popular and now has about 100 permanent residents.
Ophir Loop (new) Created in 1891 when the Rio Grande Southern reached the site. Named for the railroad loop that was built for locomotives to gain elevation to traverse Lizard Head Pass.
Pandora Formerly known as Newport and Folsom, it was a founded in 1881. Eventually it became a mill town, serving the Smuggler-Union, Sheridan and Tomboy mines. The Rio Grande Southern reached the site in 1890. No remaining buildings.
Placerville Began as a placer mining camp in 1876 when Colonel Baker discovered placer gold in the San Miguel River. Located at the confluence of Leopard Creek and the San Miguel River. Still occupied.
Sams Originally called Leopard due to its location on Leopard Creek northeast of Placerville. Post Office open1890-1892 and re-opened 1903-1919 as the town of Sams. The place had a ski tow at one time. Abandoned.
San Bernardo see Matterhorn
San Miguel City Founded by Thomas Lowthain, FP Brown and JH Mitchell in August 1876 to serve area mines. Abandoned.
Savage Basin Camp See Tomboy
Sawpit Originally named Seymour, it was founded in 1892 as a Rio Grande Southern rail stop. James Black discovered the Champion Belle lode in 1895. It contained a ball mill to process ore from the mine. The site now contains modern homes.
Seymour See Sawpit
Silver Pick See Fall Creek
Smuggler Company store, boardinghouse and post office to service the Smuggler-Union Mine. Abandoned in 1928. Some remains, including part of the crusher house at the Bullion Tunnel.
Telluride Originally founded as Columbia in 1878, as a mining community and waystop on the toll road to Ophir. In 1883 San Miguel County was carved out of Dolores County and Telluride became the County Seat. In 1972 it became a ski town with completion of Telluride Ski Area. It is now a resort and home to the rich and famous.
Tomboy Also called Savage Basin Camp. This 11,500' high mining community began operations in 1894 to serve the Tomboy Mine. The mine operated until 1978. Little remains and the site is undergoing enviromental remediation.
Trout Lake Although it had a post office as early as 1882, it was really just a group of cabins on Trout Lake.
Vanadium Originally called Newmire, it was located at the confluence of Big Bear Creek and the San Miguel River. In 1898 a mill was built to process vanadiuma nd carnotite ores. Later it processed uranium. Abandoned.
Vance Junction Named for Colonel Vance, the town was originally a rail stop for the Rio Grande Southern railway.








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