Hey guys! I’m super sorry for the lack of updates. I was asked to be a part of a really cool podcast so I was focusing on getting my first episode out. https://open.spotify.com/episode/648WeBLJspsHracy3CpXgI)
Last weekend I spent 4 days camping with some of my favorite people, and it turns out that we were staying right by Independence Ghost Town. I’d heard of it, but always thought it was too far for a day trip. I was pretty dang excited to say the least. Ghost towns have a special place in my heart. Not so much because I believe they’re haunted, but they are filled with the spirits of Colorado’s past. It sounds cheesy, but you can close your eyes and really picture how it was to live there a hundred years ago.
The town of Independence was founded as a mining town in 1879…supposedly on July 4th! Obviously, this is where the name comes from. Eventually the town came to life, but was very short lived, as many mining towns were. Boom or bust!!!
According to the Aspen History website “During the winter of 1899 the worst storm in Colorado’s history cut off the supply routes to Independence. The miners, who were running out of food, proceeded to dismantle their homes to make 75 pairs of skis and to escape en masse to Aspen. They made light of their adventure by making it a race of the Hunter’s Pass Ski Club—entry fee: one ham sandwich.”
Being there and seeing the vast canyon area with the remnants of a small town was breathtaking…but this is in August. How in the world did people manage to live there during the winter? As it stands now, the pass is closed down for a good portion of the year, and that’s with plows and salt. The people were probably stuck there for many months, dealing with elements.
I’m happy to say that there are still buildings standing that have been well preserved, minus the absolute IDIOTS who carve their initials or Twitter handles into things. Nobody cares, Mike from 2006!
It was interesting walking around because there is so much broken glass on the ground everywhere! One of the ladies who works there said some of it is from when the town was populated, but also during the 1970’s people from Aspen used to go and party there. I’m assuming this was before the town was really being preserved. There were a lot of other artifacts found, though.
Colorado is such a wonderful place to live, and there is just so much history here. The ghost town of Independence was like stepping into a time machine and if you ever have the chance to visit, I would highly recommend it.