Historic Places

Boulder County historic places include mining relics

X-8882PEAK TO PEAK
Colorado’s rich history is being preserved through the efforts of locally- and nationally-designated historic places. Each month this year, the MMAC Monthly takes a region-by-region look at the many properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the mountain communities in Clear Creek, Gilpin, Boulder and Larimer counties.

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. For a property to be eligible, it must meet at least one of four main criteria involving architectural styles, association with various aspects of social history and commerce, ownership and design/construction.
Several small, former mining towns west of Boulder—including Gold Hill, Jamestown, Salina and Wallstreet—have big histories and several buildings designated historic. Each have their own, unique histories that together tell the story of Boulder County mining and its early pioneers.

GOLD HILL
Gold Hill Historic District
The Gold Hill community is located above Gold Run, the first lode discovery of gold in Colorado. Organized in 1859, Gold Hill was one of Colorado’s earliest mining camps and remains an excellent example of the pattern of settlement and community development within the 19th century metal mining communities of Boulder County.  Several examples of Pioneer Log construction remain intact. After 1900, few precious metal ores were recovered in Gold Hill, and the local economy shifted toward tourism during the first decades of the 20th century.

Snowbound Mine
The collection of buildings located in the Gold Hill Mining District on Sunshine Canyon Drive, two miles east of Gold Hill, dates from as early as 1877.  The years 1917-1936 represent the greatest period of development and production for the Snowbound. It’s well-preserved shaft house burned to the ground in the 2010 Four Mile Fire.

JAMESTOWN
Jamestown Mercantile Building  
Typical of the vernacular building tradition it represents, this 2½ story, false front, wood frame commercial structure was built some time after 1896. The unaltered building is a good example of this distinctive Western building type. In continuous operation since its opening day, it has served the town in many ways including a general store, gas station and post office and now houses a café, hosts town meetings and has become a legendary Boulder County music venue. It still has its original floors and remains virtually unchanged.

Jamestown Town Hall  
Construction on this simple stone building began in early 1935 with local stonemasons hauling rock out of nearby James Creek. It was designed by Jess Vickery and Roy Watson.  In addition to the Town Board, the building plays host to musicians, school plays, dances, and many other community functions.

SALINA

Little Church in the Pines
Built between 1902-1908, the wood frame church is part of a small cluster of buildings remaining from Salina’s late 19th and early 20th century mining boom.  The original portion of the building has a front gabled roof, and a bell tower entry extends from the façade.  The foundation is stone, and the walls are faced with narrow clapboard siding. Circa 1930s and 1950s additions are found at the rear. In 1948 it was purchased by a neighborhood group and has been used ever since for nondenominational worship and community events. During the 2013 floods, the ground washed out from underneath half of the building, including the bell tower, and emergency supports had to be installed to stabilize the structure until a new foundation could be built.

Salina School
Established in 1874, after Colorado’s first gold discovery in 1859, Salina was founded by miners who migrated to Boulder from Salina, Kansas. It is located at the junction of Four Mile Canyon and Gold Run roads. This ca. 1875-1876 wood frame, one-room, rural schoolhouse is one of the oldest school buildings in the county.

SUNSHINE
Sunshine School
This well-built 1900 rural schoolhouse, of granite with sandstone trim, reflects the prosperity of the town, founded in 1873 when rich gold ore was discovered. It remains one of the finest stone schools in Colorado. A bake sale with arts and crafts is held in the school during the fall to raise money for its maintenance.

WALL STREET
X-13991Wall Street Assay Office
The circa 1901 building was constructed as part of Charles Caryl’s ambitious development plan for his Gold Extraction Mining and Supply Company, which he founded in 1897. The primarily stone two-story building is topped with a steeply pitched metal covered hipped roof. The structure is one of only a few remaining intact buildings associated with the history of precious metal mining in Boulder County.

HISTORIC PLACES
Western Boulder County
Gold Hill Historic District
Location: Main, Pine, College, Horsfal sts, Gold Hill
Date Listed: National Register, August 3, 1989

Snowbound Mine
Location: Boulder County Rd. 52, Gold Hill area
Date Listed: National Register, August 3, 1989

Jamestown Mercantile Building
Location: Main Street, Jamestown
Date Listed: National Register, August 3, 1989

Jamestown Town Hall
Location: 118 Main St., Jamestown
Date Listed: National Register, July 3, 1997

Little Church in the Pines
Location: 414 Gold Run Road, Salina
Date Listed: National Register, August 3,1989

Salina School
Location: 536 Gold Run Road, Salina
Date Listed: National Register, August 3,1989

Sunshine School
Location: 355 County Rd. 83, Sunshine
Date Listed: National Register, August 3,1989

Wall Street Assay Office
Location: 6352 Four Mile Canyon Dr., Wall Street
Date Listed: National Register, August 3,1989
Boundary Increase, January 28, 1992

Historic photos courtesy of Denver Public Library/Western History Department (used with permission)

Originally published in the July 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly

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