Cripple Creek, Colorado
Gold Mine Stock Certificates
|City of Cripple Creek, Colorado|
The City of Cripple Creek is a Statutory City that is
the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States.
Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles
(71 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes
Peak. The Cripple Creek Historic District, which received
National Historic Landmark status in 1961, includes part or
all of city and includes surrounding area. The population
was 1,115 at the 2000 census.
At an elevation of 9,494 feet and just below timberline, for many years
Cripple Creek's high valley was considered no more important
than a cattle pasture. Many prospectors avoided the area
after the misnamed Mount Pisgah hoax, a mini gold rush
caused by salting (adding gold to worthless rock).
On October 20, 1890, however, Robert Miller "Bob" Womack
discovered a rich ore and the last great Colorado gold rush
was on. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region, and
before long W. S. Stratton located the famous Independence
lode, one of the largest gold strikes in history. In three
years, the population increased from 500 to 10,000 by 1893.
Though $500,000,000 worth of gold ore was dug from Cripple
Creek, Womack himself would die, penniless, on August 10,
By 1900 Cripple Creek and its sister city, Victor, were
substantial communities. During the 1890s, many of the
miners in the Cripple Creek area joined a miners' union, the
Western Federation of Miners (WFM). A significant strike
took place in 1894, marking one of the few times in history
that a sitting governor called out the national guard to
protect miners from forces under the control of the mine
owners. By 1903 the allegiance of the state government had
shifted, however, and Governor James Peabody sent the
Colorado National Guard into Cripple Creek with the goal of
destroying union power in the gold camps. The WFM strike of
1903 and the governor's response precipitated the Colorado
Labor Wars, a struggle that took many lives.
Through 2005, the Cripple Creek district produced about
23.5 million troy ounces (731 tonnes) of gold. The old
underground mines are exhausted, but open pit mining has
operated since 1994 east of Cripple Creek, near its sister
city of Victor, Colorado.
Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to establish
legalized gambling in 1991. Cripple Creek is currently more
of a gambling and tourist town than a ghost town. Casinos
now occupy many historic buildings. Casino gambling has been
successful in bringing revenue and vitality back into the
area. It also provides funding for the State Historical
Fund, administered by the Colorado Office of Archaeology and
In 2006 Cripple Creek broke ground on the new Pikes Peak Heritage Center. Constructed at a cost over $2.5 million, the building is over 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) of educational displays. State of the art electronics are used throughout the building and there is also a theatre showing historical films about the area. Newly named the Cripple Creek Heritage Center, admission is currently $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for military (please show ID), and children 16 and under are free.
Cripple Creek features many events throughout the year
like the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, Donkey Derby Days, the
4th of July Celebration, and a Gold Camp Christmas.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city
has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.9 km?), all of it
There were 494 households out of which 23.3% had children
under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married
couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with
no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 30.4% of
all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The
average household size was 2.26 and the average family size
The median income for a household in the city was
$39,261, and the median income for a family was $41,685.
Males had a median income of $27,600 versus $25,000 for
females. The per capita income for the city was $19,607.
About 4.7% of families and 6.4% of the population were below
the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and
6.1% of those age 65 or over.