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Overview of Leadville

Got History? Leadville does!

Incorporated in 1878, Leadville, Colorado grew from surrounding mining camps and today is known for its beautiful scenery, Colorado’s tallest mountains, outdoor activities and Western heritage. 

All roads of Colorado and American history lead to Leadville. In the late 1800s, industrialists, entrepreneurs and mavericks built Leadville into the second most populous city in Colorado with a population of 40,000 and the richest 12 miles in the world. A list of historic figures with Leadville connections read like a Who’s Who of American history, including:

  • Horace and Baby Doe Tabor
  • Margaret (Molly) Brown & JJ Brown
  • Oscar Wilde, Harry Houdini
  • Rockefeller, Carnegie
  • David May, Daniels & Fisher
  • Doc Holiday, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
  • And many, many more

The mining district is credited with producing over 2.9 million troy ounces gold and 240 million troy ounces silver. When the city’s fortunes declined with the repeal of the Sherman Act in 1893, mining companies turned to lead, zinc and molybdenum. In the late 1970’s the Climax Mine north of Leadville produced 75 percent of the world’s molybdenum.

Leadville has always been a blur of hard work and fast paced fun. In its heyday, the town boasted 150 saloons, 23 brothels and bordellos, and 15 churches. During WWII, 10th Mountain Division soldiers trained at nearby Camp Hale and R&R’d in Leadville, after the town reigned-n the last of its raucous bars and set curfews at the request of the US Army.

Today, Leadville embraces its history while celebrating its surrounding natural beauty. At 10,152’ elevations, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs, Leadville remains authentic, friendly Colorado. For the vacationer and the community, The Delaware Hotel is the social hub in the center of historic Leadville, Colorado.