|NAME: Gillett COUNTY: Teller ROADS: 4WD GRID: 5 CLIMATE: Cold winter with snow, cool summer BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer
Near Manitou Springs.
n 1895-6, Gillette had a professional minor league baseball team, playing in the Colorado State League. The other teams in the League were Denver, Pueblo, Colorado
Springs, Leadville and Aspen.
REMAINS: The church and a few other remnants.
The only Bull Fight ever held within the continental United States was held in Gillett in the year 1895. Real bulls and bullfighters were imported from Mexico. So much was done to promote the event, nearly 50,000 persons attended. They came from far and wide. There were celebrities from throughout the United States and Mexico, all expecting to see a rousing bull fight. It was a fiasco. Some say the bulls were tired from the long trip from Mexico. Whatever happened, the 50,000 persons were looking for a fight, not excuses. The bullfight ended in a riot. The story ended on a positive note, however. The bulls were slaughtered, dressed and passed out to the poor. Gillett was a family town. Some good mines in the area made the town a busy one. The city had some of the best residential dwellings and many churches. Gillett started disintegrating during the early 1900s. Now the ruins of an old church, located in the middle of a hay field west of the highway, and the old jail, near a small cluster of houses at a turn in the road, and an isolated hydrant of two are all that is left. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.
The reason that there is so little left there, is because on June 16, 1965, a terriffic storm devastated the Front Range of Colorado from Pueblo to Denver, dumping up to 14 inches of rain in a few hours. Some of the rain advanced to the nearby mountains, and a small earthen dam above Gillette, formerly used for water by the townspeople, collapsed and a wall of water rushed down the gorge and out onto the valley where the ghost town stood. It wiped out most of what was left of the town, leaving only a few stone structures and some houses that were out of the path of the water. My dad and I visited the ruins a month or so later and the devastation made an impression on my mind, as a 10 year-old boy, that I've never forgotten.
Colin J. Basye Ada, OK