Victor, Colorado

Cerro Gordo, California
May 9, 2016
Rimini, Montana
May 9, 2016

VictorColoradoIt is believed that Victor Adams was the earliest settler of this ghost town and that there was a mine named after him called Victor Mine and this is thought to be the origin of the name given to this town. Winfield Scott Stratton discovered gold close to where this town was located and after a short while, Victor town was established.

What followed after this was the founding of the Mt. Rosa Mining, Milling and Land Company in 1892 by Frank, Harry and Warren Woods. The most prolific mines were located at Battle Mountain and were the largest within this locality and because of this the town was referred to as the “City of Mines.”

In 1894, the Woods brothers struck gold as they dug the foundation of a building, which led to the creation of Gold Coin Mine. It is around the same time when Victor became a city officially with 8,000 individuals living here at the time. Cripple Creek mining district was within the vicinity of Victor town too and once it became the most productive gold mining district, the town was booming with business.

Together with Victor, Cripple Creek produced 21 million ounces of gold and the value of this measure of gold in 2010 was estimated to be over $10 billion. The gold mining district soon became the 2nd largest in the history of the country after hitting its peak in 1900. Cripple Creek had finally overshadowed Victor.

Although this was the case, most of the best mines of Cripple Creek district were based at Victor and this included the Portland Mine as well as Stratton’s Independence Mine and Mill. Portland Mine was referred to as ‘Queen of the District’ and half of the gold from Battle Mountain was extracted from this particular mine.

William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey a heavyweight boxing champion was a mucker in this mine at the time. Cripple Creek was home to investors and mine owners while Victor was the habitation of most miners who worked in the 500 mines located in the district. A five-hour fire burnt down the whole business district in August 1899 at a time when there were 18,000 individuals living here.

Therefore, most of the buildings available here were those which had been established by that particular year including the Victor Hotel, St. Victor Roman Catholic church, the First Baptist Church of Victor among others. By the 20th century, gold mines in the area were already exhausted and the cost of mining was higher now compared to the price of gold. This marked the start of the decline of the town of Victor.

Later on, most of the miners working at the mines in this area then, enlisted for World War I and a sharp decline in mining activities here was experienced. The town has never recovered from this. Resurgence was experienced in 1934 when the price of gold went up leading to an increase in mining activities but when World War II broke out, mining stopped. Some mines became operational after the war but by 1962 all mines in the district stopped operating.

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