CANYON CITY

NAME: Canyon City
COUNTY: Lander
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Hot summer, cool winter.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime.
COMMENTS: Not much to see.
REMAINS: Nothing

Prospectors from Austin located several claims along Big Creek during the early months of 1863. Small villages were established and later consolidated into one town, Canyon City. The settlement expanded rapidly and a post office was opened in August of that year. By the end of the year, the town boasted a hotel, two restaurants, three saloons, a butcher shop, a notary public, and a recorder’s office. A year later, the population was around 1600. The ore in the district was laced with copper that made mining difficult. By 1865, Big Creek Canyon was crowded with stone cabins, and residents supported almost twenty stores, a school, a justice court, and express and telegraph offices. However, the mines all started to go dry in early 1866 and Canyon City began a quick slide toward the bottom. By the beginning of 1867, all mines had closed. During the 1880s, only ranches operated in the canyon. But in 1890 a new discovery was made and mining activity returned to the canyon. The mines operated until 1898 when the district was once again abandoned. But once again activity began in 1916 and continued on again and off again until 1958 when all activity ceased for good. There are some stone and brick remains that mark the site of Canyon City. A trip to Big Creek is well worth the time.

Submitted by: HBC

 


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