Leadville, Colorado


Leadville was one of the biggest and liveliest of the Colorado boom towns of the late 1880s.  When we arrived, they were just starting their annual Boom Days celebration to honor those old times. 





I loved this painting on the side of a building on a main street downtown.  It provides a true impression of the Leadville countryside.  However, its serenity is at odds with the reputation of the town at the time.  Perhaps the fact that it is painted on the side of a saloon is some attempt at compensation.



Downtown Leadville.




Many were dressed in period costumes for the Boom Days celebration.  The building behind them is the Pioneer Club.  It was founded in 1878 as a drinking and gambling club but by the time it closed in 1972, it was also the home of a brothel where prostitutes were supervised by Hazel "Ma" Brown, a colorful figure in the old west.





This was the Tabor Opera House, built in 1879.  It was said to be the grandest theater between St. Louis and San Francisco.  Its name changed several times over the years but it was always a theater and it still is today.  You can see a matinee and two evening performances.






This was, and still is, the Delaware Hotel.  It was built in 1886.  The handsomely furnished rooms featured steam heat, hot and cold running water, gas lights, baths and closets.  It is still operated as a hotel today.





This saloon opened in 1879 and was called The Board of Trade.  It has been the Silver Dollar Saloon since 1935.




This sign appears in a small park off the main street.  The town fathers apparently felt obligated to provide the citizens with  park but they wanted to be sure no one actually enjoyed it.  They may have gotten a little carried away with the restriction against bathing.  There is no water in the park aside from a small drinking fountain.  Perhaps small birds bathing in the fountain have been causing a disturbance.




As part of the Boom Days celebration, there was a parade.  Obviously no parade is complete without the clown car.






Also in Colorado, nothing is complete without the fishermen being involved.





There was also a flyover by some WW II aircraft. 





This is a view from the main street showing some of the vendors' booths set up on one of the side streets.  The mountain peaks in the background are over 14,000 feet high.  They don't look it until you realize that the picture was taken from an altitude of 10,100 feet.






We were only in Leadville about 48 hours.  Marilee came down with altitude sickness.  The only real cure is to move to a lower altitude and to do so quickly.  We did and she recovered immediately.  We'll do the rest of our sightseeing at lower altitudes.