Historic Sites

For a quick list of historic locations within the cities and towns, click on the names below. You can also search sites by Gunnison County, State of Colorado or National.

Click on each name for details.


GUNNISON COUNTY HISTORIC SITES

NameAddressCurrent Use
8th Street School101 N. 8th Street, GunnisonRestore/No entry; New school on site
Aberdeen Quarry14 miles SW of GunnisonMuseum Tours
Alpine Guard Station7 miles from Lake Fork Highway TurnoffForest Service Use
Bomber Crash Site21 miles NE of GunnisonTourist site
Bon Ton Hotel329 Main Street, PitkinRustic Hotel
Chance Gulch Site2.5 miles SE of GunnisonGrazing
Dorchester Guard StationTaylor ParkTourist site
Fairview Peak Fire LookoutFairview Peak, PitkinForest Service/Tourist site
Fairview School House4514 CR 730, Ohio CreekCommunity Center
Gothic Townsite BuildingsGothicTourist site
Great Wall23 miles N. of GunnisonTourist site
Johnson Building Gallery124 N. Main St. GunnisonArt Gallery
Mountaineer SiteTop of Tenderfoot MountainRadio Transmitters
Narrow Gauge Railroad Exhibit803 W. TomichiMuseum Exhibit
Ohio City JailMiners Avenue, Ohio CityStorage & Mailboxes
Ohio City SchoolMiners Avenue, Ohio CityCommunity Building
Ohio City Town Hall8502 CR 76, Ohio CityCommunity Center
Rock Culverts & Railbed Trail23 miles N. of GunnisonTourist site
Sewell's Gulch Gravesite10 miles E. of GunnisonCemetery/no entry
Smith Opera House114 N. Boulevard, GunnisonOffice building
Spencer School21 miles SW of GunnisonTourist site/no entry
Star MineTaylor ParkTourist site/no entry
Water Tank at Gothic MillGothicTourist site


COLORADO STATE HISTORIC SITES

NameAddressCurrent Use
Alpine Tunnel Historic DistrictPitkin
Bon Ton Hotel329 Main Street, PitkinRustic Hotel
CF&I Superintendant House721 Maroon Avenue, Crested Butte
Doyleville SchoolhousePioneer Museum, Doyleville
Gunnison Hardware (GAC)102 S. Main, Gunnison
Haystack CaveGunnison
Leslie J. Savage LibraryWestern State College, Gunnison
Marble St. Bank Building105 W. Main, Marble
Municipal Building201 Virginia Avenue, Gunnison
Murray House211 S. Main, Gunnison
Pitkin Schoolhouse800 Main Street, Pitkin
Pitkin Town Hall400 4th Street, Pitkin
Rimrock SchoolCo Road 24, Sapinero
Spencer School21 miles SW of GunnisonTourist site/no entry
Star MineTaylor ParkTourist site/no entry
Tays HouseCrystal
Tenderfoot Archaelogical SiteGunnison

NATIONAL HISTORIC SITES

NameAddressCurrent Use
Alpine Tunnel Historic DistrictPitkin
Crystal MillCrystal
Curecanti Archaelogical DistrictWest of Gunnison
D&RG RR Depot716 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte
Edgerton House514 Gunnison Avenue, Gunnison
Fisher-Zugelder & Smith Cottage601 N. Wisconsin, Gunnison
Gunnison RR Bridges IHighway 50 Frontage, Gunnison
Gunnison RR Bridges IIHighway 50 Frontage, Gunnison
Haxby House101 W. Silver, Marble
Historic DistrictCrested Butte
Johnson Building Gallery124 N. Main St. GunnisonArt Gallery
Marble High School412 Main, Marble
Marble Mill Site / CO Yule Co.Park & W. 3rd, Marble
Marble St. Bank Building105 W. Main, Marble
Marble Town Hall407 Main Street, Marble
Rimrock SchoolCo Road 24, Sapinero
St. Paul's Church123 State Street, Marble
Webster Building229 N. Main, GunnisonInteriors Furniture Store
Wm. D. Parry House115 Main Street, Marble

Aberdeen Quarry  

AddressAberdeen Quarry Image: 14 miles SW of Gunnison Legal: parts of Sec 4 & 5, T 48N, R1W Current Use: Museum Tours Contact: Gunnison Pioneer Museum Date Designated: December 17, 1996 

In March of 1888 the granite was discovered by F.G. Zugelder. It is said that he carried out the first sample of the granite on showshoes to be sent to Denver for testing as the potential building material for the Capital building. The granite from the Aberdeen Quarry was said to be of the finest and highest quality of its kind and therefore was selected for the State Capitol building. To transport the granite to Denver, the D&RG Railroad put in a spur to the quarry. 

Aberdeen had a Post Office, a population of 149, and a school for four pupils. The quarry operated from August 1, 1889 to June 15, 1892. After the quarry closed, a few people continued to live at Aberdeen for a time. Today all that remains of the town is piles of weathered lumber on the ground where buildings once stood. 

Owned for a number of years by Louis Borland and Bill Endner, both deeded the quarry to the Gunnison County Pioneer and Historical Society. Throughout the summer months jeep tours are scheduled to the Quarry by the Pioneer Museum.

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Bomber Crash Site

Bomber Crash Site ImageAddress: 21 miles NE of Gunnison 

Legal: Part of Sec 10, T15S , R83W, 6thPM 
Current Use: Tourist Site
Contact: USFS
Designated: May 2, 2000 

The B-24E Crash Site is located near Forest Service Road 742. The B-24 crashed at the site at about 1145 hours on 19 July 1943. A small clearing in the forest marks the location of the airplane impact. Remains of the bomber are currently located within a 200 foot diameter area at 9008 feet elevation. 

All ten members of the crew and one passenger, perished in the crash and their bodies were badly burned by the ensuing fire. The B-24 Crash Site is considered a funerary site; the crash severity and fire resulted in partial interment of the body of one or more crew members. A 50th Anniversary Memorial Service was held at the crash site at 1150 a.m. on 19 July 1993...the service was full military ceremony and about 75 people attended, including family members of those deceased. A bronze marker is now affixed at the site to a granite rock on which the port main strut of the crashed B-24 rests.

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Bon Ton Hotel

Bon Ton Hotel ImageAddress: 329 Main Street, Pitkin
Legal: Blk. 38, Lot 21-24, Pitkin
Current Use: Rustic Hotel
Contact: JoAn Bannister
Designated: July 5, 2000 

The original Bon Ton Hotel burned in December of 1903. It was rebuilt in 1904. The Bon Ton Hotel was considered "modern" not western. The exterior is of stone, and had an awning over the front windows, with a walkway under the balcony. It had a porch roof over the back extending to the outdoor toilets. There was also a pulley upstairs over the balcony door to pull up steamer trunks. Both the exterior and interior of the building is a great example of finer hotels of the era. The original windows, stairway, wainscoting, basement is still intact, including the meat room and the well. The upstairs rooms include skylights in some of the rooms. 

Pitkin at one time was 12th in population in Colorado. The Alpine Tunnel was above Pitkin and trains came through three times weekly to carry out the ore from surrounding gold and silver mines. Many people stopped for the night at the Bon Ton Hotel and Restaurant. It is still an active Hotel, and to visit it is to step back into history. This property is also on the Colorado Historic Preservation Register.

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Chance Gulch

Chance Gulch Image Address: 2.5 miles SE of Gunnison
Legal: Parts of Sec 16 & 17 , T49N , R1E , NMPM
Current Use: Grazing, Research
Contact: WSC/Bureau of Land Management
Designated: September 19, 2000 The Chance 

Gulch Site is a highly significant archaeological site was first recorded about 1980. The site is a multi-component campsite with buried, stratified deposits that represent the Paleoindian through historic periods, circa 11,000 BP (years before present) through 50 years BP. While archaeological remains of all of the encompassed periods of prehistory stand to yield vital new information about past human lifeways, the Chance Gulch site's particular and unique significance lies in its potential to teach us about the land use and subsistence strategies of occupants of the Rocky Mountains during this period. Presently, students at Western State College participate in research of the site.

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Dorchester Guard Station

Dorchester Guard Station Image Address: Dorchester Townsite
Legal: Part Sec 28 , R83W , T12S, 6th PM
Current Use: Tourist Site
Contact: US Forest Service
Designated: September 18, 2001 

The Dorchester Guard Station is one of only two original Forest Service Guard Stations remaining in Gunnison County. It represents a unique Rocky Mountain style cabin construction and remains the only structure of the old town of Dorchester. The cabin is a one-room log cabin, originally built in 1905, in a remote area of Taylor Park. It was adjacent to the stagecoach road from Tincup to Aspen. Postal service was initiated for Dorchester on August 2, 1900 and the new cabin was designated the Post Office after its construction until July 31, 1912 when the post office was discontinued. During this time period the building also functioned as a general store, stage stop, and Forest Service phone point. By 1920, the town of Dorchester was abandoned. The land and associated structures, including the cabin, have reverted back to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Fairview Schoolhouse

Fairview Schoolhouse ImageAddress: 4514 County Road 730, Ohio Creek
Legal: Parts of Sec 26, T51N , R1W , NMPM
Current Use: Community Center
Contact: Fairview School Association
Designated: September 2, 1999 

Fairview School was built shortly after District Number Ten was organized in 1881. The school was located on Ohio Creek on land donated by Lewis Easterly. Because of its location, with its clear views of the Anthracites and Carbon Peak, it was named Fairview School. The original two story school was built of logs and included a cloak room and stage. In 1906, the old log building was replaced with the current structure. In 1948, Fairview school was closed and the students bused to Gunnison. The building continues to be used for community functions. 

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Gothic Townsite Buildings

Gothic Townsite Buildings Image The Gothic town site was established in 1879 following a silver strike up Copper Creek in what is now the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area. The town grew rapidly and within two years contained as many as 3000 residents. The town of Gothic had a brief life and was fading into oblivion. In 1928, Dr. John C. Johnson formerly of Western State College, with others founded the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory on the town site, purchasing several of the buildings and land. Initially the Lab used many of the original buildings from the mining days as laboratories, classrooms and dormitories. Over the years RMBL has developed a reputation as one of the leading terrestrial field stations in the world. Each summer 150 scientists and students conduct research and classes. Seven buildings in the town site have been designated for their historical value including the Gothic Town Hall, Swallow's Nest, Ore House, Mammal Lab, Barclay Cabin, Mc Cloud Cabin, and the Richards Cabin.

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Great Wall

Great Wall ImageLocation: 23 miles N of Gunnison, Ohio Creek Pass
Legal: E2, Sec23, T14S, R87W, 6th PM
Current Use: Tourist Site Contact: USFS
Designated: January 6, 1998 

Even though this Palisade was never completed, it still is an amazing structure and represents the end of an era for the Denver South Park and Pacific Railroad who dreamed of building a railway over Ohio Pass down to the North Fork of the Gunnison River and on to California. 

This Palisade was built by Italian Stone Masons brought over specifically for this job from Italy as masons from this country were not capable of doing the work. This Palisade is almost impossible to see from the Ohio Pass Road even though it is close to the road. An interpretive sign has been placed at this site.

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Johnson Building

Johnson Building ImageAddress: 122-124 N. Main Gunnison
Legal:
Current Use: Gallery/offices
Contact: Nancy Tredway
Designated: 

The property on which the Johnson Building was built changed hands seven times in 1880 with the price fluctuating from $20 to $275. Then in 1881 the building was built on the property and Mary Thomas bought it for $250, immediately selling it for $800. Walker Burkett bought the building and the property in 1901, and when Effie Jane Lashbrook arrived in Gunnison with her sick husband and children in 1901, she took over the empty building. She turned the lower floor into a restaurant and made living quarters for her family upstairs and named the restaurant the Royal Café. Burnett leased the building to Sam and Anna Francis (Frankie) Johnson for their restaurant in 1904 and at that time, it became the Johnson Restaurant. Johnson's bought the building on October 20, 1920. Sam and Frankie (after Sam's death in 1923) continued the restaurant until Frankie died in 1942. Their daughter Sarah Trine and her husband Harry bought her brother's share. Sarah continued to operate the restaurant (summers only in later years) until 1985. In 1996, the Tredway family bought the Johnson Building from Sarah Trine. They have restored and renovated both floors of the building. The lower floor is now a Gallery where many of the original antiques are on display. The upper floors are offices.

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Mountaineer Site

Mountaineer Site ImageAddress: Top of Tenderfoot Mountain
Legal: W2 , Sec7 , T48N , R1E , NMPM
Current Use: Radio
Transmitters/Research Contact: WSC
Designated: September 19, 2000 

The Mountaineer Site is an archaeological site with several significant components. First the site contains several Folsom occupations. These areas have yielded fragments of thirty distinctive Folsom projectile points which date between 10,000 and 11,000 years ago. This time is the end of the last great Ice Age. Folsom occupations are rare and especially so in western Colorado. A second important aspect of the Mountaineer Site is the alignments of stone cairns and pits. It is believed to be a sign of game drive systems. Finally there is an early Archaic occupation on the Mountaineer Site which is evidenced by large triangular side-notched projectile points. Research is continuing on this site by Western State College.

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Narrow Gauge Railroad Exhibit at the Pioneer Museum

 Narrow Gauge Railroad ImageAddress: 803 E. Tomichi, Gunnison
Legal: part of Sec 1, T49N,R1W,NWPM
Current Use: Museum Exhibit
Contact: Pioneer Historical Society
Designated: July 5, 2000 

This exhibit consists of the Denver and Rio Grande railroad depot, steam locomotive No 268 and tender, a string of five rail cars, and the water-tank. These all relate to the narrow gauge railroad which dominated the Gunnison Country between 1881 and the 1950's when the tracks were removed. The Denver & Rio Grande steam locomotive number 268 operated extensively in the Gunnison area from the time it was built in 1882 until it was retired in 1955. It is one of only three still existing of its kind. The string of cars, all built between 1885 and 1903 were used by the D&RG in the Gunnison area. 

The railroad station and water tank are excellent examples showing the design of railroad buildings and structures in the second half of the 19th century. 

In addition to providing transportation to and from the outside world, the D&RG route through the Black Canyon to Cimarron was a popular tourist attraction. It also made moving cattle and sheep viable for the local ranchers. 

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Ohio City Jail

Ohio City Jail ImageAddress: Miners Avenue
Legal: Lots 26 and 27 Block 16, Ohio City
Current Use: Mailbox site
Contact: Gunnison County
Designated: January 22, 2001 

The Ohio City Jail if one of the few original buildings remaining in the small community of Ohio City. The Ohio City Hall which is also on the County Historical Preservation list is adjacent. The jail is in remarkable condition considering that it was built in 1906. The two cells in the back of the building have bars on the doors and windows. After the closure of the Ohio City Post Office, the Postal Service installed "cluster boxes" for the residents of the old mining town, and permitted the community to retain the name of Ohio City.

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Ohio City School

Ohio City School ImageAddress: 115 Miners Avenue Ohio City
Legal: Lots 26/27 Block A Stephensons Addition
Current Use: Community Center/Tourist site
Contact: Quartz Creek Improvement Assn.
Designated: May 4, 2004 

During the early years of Ohio City, school was held for three months during the summer and three months during the winter. Children living up the gulch of Gold Creek could only attend during the summer as the snows were too deep. The first school was held in a log house and in 1895/96 school was held in the section house at Ohio City. The present school house was built in 1897 and was in continuous use until the 1945/46 term when the children were taken by bus to Gunnison. From that time until 1961, the children were taught by Margaret Flick. After consolidation of the rural schools, Mrs. Flick obtained the lease on the school house, using it as a museum. In April of 1988, the school board sold the building and land to the Quartz Creek Improvement Assn. and it has been used for winter and spring meetings.

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Ohio City Town Hall

 Ohio City Town Hall ImageAddress is: 8503 County Road 76, Ohio City
Legal Address: Block 16, Lot 24, Roe's Addition
Current Use: Community Center
Contact: Gunnison County Date
Designated: June 18, 1996 

The Ohio City Town Hall represents a significant type of architectural style predominant around the turn of the century. This late Victorian vernacular building possesses typical features from this period such as storefront glazing, front facing gable with a false wood front and tin siding embossed in a stone of block pattern. A distinguishing characteristic is the corner entrance. 

Originally, the town hall building was constructed in 1906 as a mercantile company to serve the growing mining community of Ohio City. The building was then used as a restaurant for a short time before it became the Ohio City Town Hall in 1914. Now the center of public activity in town, it serves as a community center. 

Alterations to the town hall's exterior are minor. The storefront has been replaced with windows after being boarded up for many years. The rest of the exterior is unchanged. There are two outhouses behind the main building.

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Rock Culverts & Railbed Trail

Rock Culverts & Railbed Trail ImageAddress: 23 miles N of Gunnison, Ohio Pass
Legal: parts of Sec 23 & 24, T14S, R87W 6th PM
Current Use: Tourist Site
Contact: USFS
Designation: December 8, 1998 

The unfinished section of the railbed of the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad on upper Ohio Pass (1881-1882) was known as the Ohio Creek Extension. The DSP&P had plans to access the coal fields up the Ohio Creek Valley near Carbon Peak and beyond to Floresta, then over Kebler Pass to Grand Junction and beyond. The construction was completed to the lower Ohio Creek Coal Mines at Kubler and Baldwin. 

Much work went into the construction of the railbed, and it was simply abandoned before completion. The fact that it was left as "work in progress" gives a better glimpse of the incredible and intact engineering remnants of a bygone era. Among the visible remains are the 3 old rock culverts which were used to divert a tributary of Ohio Creek under the railbed. The water pools on the upstream side, goes down a drain, passes under rock culvert on the downstream side. Two were completed while one was not finished and gives a better idea of how they were constructed.

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Sewell's Gulch Gravesite

Sewell’s Gulch Gravesite ImageAddress: 10 miles E of Gunnison
Legal: Part of Sec 16, T498N, R2E
Current Use: Cemetery/no entry
Contact: Bureau of Land Management
Designated: January 21, 1997 

This historic site is a gravesite with at least two graves. The graves are outlined with a rectangle of local uncut rocks, which local informants claim were laid out in 1994. The site has one white marble military headstone. The engraving on this stone reads "Charles E. Sewell, CO I 45 PA Inf." The other possible grave has no headstone or marker, but is suggested by a slight depression and by the size of the rectangular stone outline. There are no other depressions, however according to local informants, there may be at least ten graves clustered in two groups on this hilltop. At one time, two wooden fences enclosed the graves. 

Charles Sewell was born in 1846 in Philadelphia, Pa. In 1864, at the age of 19 Sewell enlisted in the 45 Penn. Infantry. Military records list his occupation as a farmer. He was discharged as a private in 1865 in Alexandria, Va. He settled in the Tomichi Creek Valley before 1880, where he died between 1879 and 1880 aged 33 or 34 leaving behind a wife, Lucinda Sewell, aged 25 and five daughters 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8. Sewell's Gulch is named for him.

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Smith Opera House

Smith Opera House ImageAddress: 114 North Boulevard Street Gunnison
Legal: Blk 13, Lots 1-8 W. Gunnison Addition
Current Use: Offices
Contact: Joe Puchek
Designated: October 5, 2000 

The Smith Opera House was constructed in 1882 by Frank C. Smith. It is typical of those constructed in mining towns of the 1880's. It demonstrates an eclectic style of architecture including the Greek symmetry of design evident in the straight lines, gabled windows with lintels and colonnades on the front of the building. The design overlaps with the Italianate bracketed roof overhang and arched lintels over the windows. The Victorian influence that dominated this period is accented through the floor plan which features a central staircase and long, broad rooms and hallways. Red brick was used in the construction of the building. 

The building was constructed with commercial use in mind, perhaps retail and office space on the first floor. The second floor was opened as an Opera House in 1883. In 1884, failed economics doomed the opera house and the building was sold at a sheriff's sale. It was then converted to rooming house/apartments and was renamed the Grand Apartments. The building has been renovated and is now in use as offices.

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Spencer School

Spencer School ImageAddress: 21miles SW of Gunnison
Legal: part of Sec 4, T47N, R2W, NMPM
Current Use: Tourist Site
Contact: Bureau of Land Management
Designated: January 21, 1997 

In September of 1894, the citizens of Spencer petitioned for the formation of a school district. The petition was granted and School District #15 was soon organized. The first school was held in January 1895 in a rented log cabin. After two years, the booming mining town of Spencer decided that they could afford their own school building and in 1897 they bought a lot with a stable on it and converted the stable into a school building. By 1902 the Spencer citizens decided they needed a more substantial school in a more suitable location. They tore down the old schoolhouse and built a new building at a convenient point near the center of the town. This structure served Spencer and the surrounding area as a schoolhouse and social center of many decades, coming to an end after the abandonment of the Lake City Branch of the Rio Grande Railroad and the development of better roads and school buses. The schoolhouse was finally abandoned after the 1945/46 school year. The school is one of the few building left standing in the ghost town of Spencer. During the 1960s and 1970s the schoolhouse was used sporadically as a cow camp and hunting camp.

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Star Mine

Star Mine ImageAddress: US Forest Service Road 759, Gunnison
Legal: Part Sec335/2 , T12S , T13S , R84W
Current Use: Restoration/No entry
Contact: Dennis Larratt
Designated: January 21, 2003 

The Star Mine is located in the Tin Cup Mining District in the Northwestern portion of Taylor Park. It is located in the cirque basin to the east side of Italian Mountain, North Italian Mountain, and Lambertson Peak at an elevation of approximately 11,650 feet, just below timberline. The Star Mine site includes a fully equipped shaft house, and two, two-story bunkhouses/offices. The site also housed a sawmill, of which only the sliding carriage remains. 

The site retains a high degree of historical contents including a complete set of equipment and machinery. The hoisting system within the shaft house is intact and possesses all its components. The system includes a single-drum steam hoist, two large locomotive boilers, plumbing, a two-post gallows head frame. The blacksmith shop is equipped with original tools ;  and the assay shop is almost as complete. The boardinghouses feature furniture and historic artifacts, as well as dated graffiti left by the original miners.

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