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Cripple Creek, is a city in Teller County, Colorado; it is the county seat. Cripple Creek is 24 miles south west of Colorado Springs, Colorado on the southern slopes of Pike's Peak. It was the most fabulous gold mining camp of Colorado.

Cripple Creek got off to a slow start. For many years the area, at an elevation of about 11,000 feet, near the timberline, was considered no more than cattle pasture. It was even the site of a hoax, the Mount Pisgah Fiasco, a salted location which created a mini gold rush but where no ore was found ("salting" is putting a bit of rich ore in a worthless site). But in 1891 rich ore was found and the last great Colorado gold rush was on.

Thousands of prospectors flocked to the mountains, including W. S. Stratton, who located the fabulous Independence Mine. The gold-bearing area was the core of an ancient volcano of six square miles. Cripple Creek is in the Thirtynine Mile volcanic field. Free gold was found near the surface but at depth unoxidized tellurides and sulphides were found. However to keep the ore flowing, Governor James Peabody on November 23, 1903 sent the state militia into Cripple Creek to break up a miners' strike. But by 1935 half a billion dollars in gold, most figured at the price of $20 an ounce, had been extracted. At the turn of the century Cripple Creek and its sister city, Victor, were substantial towns.

There were serious labor problems, perhaps the worst in Colorado history, and eventually the mines played out, although, the Cripple Creek District remains a viable location. Almost all the claims have been consolidated and open pit mining is a possiblity.

The population dropped to a few hundred, and with their many empty storefronts and picturesque homes Cripple Creek and Victor were tourist attractions as ghost towns. Toward the end of the twentieth century casino gambling was authorized in Cripple Creek, and this venture has been successful.

Zip Code 80813



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