As many of us know, Colorado has a very rich and unique history. Everything from the vast varieties of Native American tribes that thrived here for many years before anyone else had discovered it to the amazing amounts of gold that were found here in the mountains west of Denver. The gold rush was probably one of the most important things that happened to the state of Colorado, being that it brought hundreds of new people here from all over the east and allowed for this to even be a state today. Those who came looking for gold wiped out most of the Natives and also found many other things that Colorado could be useful for, such as a lot of animals (mainly beavers) to trap and make pelts out of and also silver. Surprisingly Colorado had a lot of silver that wasn’t very discussed in history because its not as important as all the gold mined, but still was a very valuable thing that was found in Colorado.
Colorado actually used to call itself the Silver State; this was before anyone had known about the massive gold deposits in the eastern Rockies. There were several silver mining camps in Colorado that were important, but the last silver mining camp in the state was in Creede. Although it wasn’t an essential silver provider until about 1891, it was founded some four years earlier. Creede started in the East Willow Creek Canyon, and started as three separate camps that met up throughout their journeys and became one large settlement. After not too long, the whole settlement had a circumference of about six miles. The founder of Creede was a man named Nicholas Creede, he was just another person from the east moving west to strike it rich in the mineral business, and he did. Until the railroads hit Creede it was a pretty small and unknown camp. Then railroads came and the camp blew up and turned into more of a town, it was one of the biggest mining towns in America.
Before the town was established, in the year 1873, the Burnot Treaty was signed with the Ute Indians. This treaty made it legal for prospectors to mine in the San Juan Mountains. This brought large amounts of fortune seeking miners to this state, and these areas that would later become Creede. By 1874, there were numerous mining camps within the area and they had set up road systems and stagecoach stations every 10 miles from Del Norte to Lake City Colorado. Among the many miners heading west to these areas, was John C. MacKenzie. He set up camp with two partners (H. M. Bennet and James A. Wilson) about three miles west of what is present day Creede in 1876. Eight years later they had no luck and decided t follow the majority to Leadville, where apparently a lot was going on.
Things weaken with the silver industry until about 1889 when Creede, Naylor, and Smith found