Nederland Town Hall
Nederland was down the hill below the rich silver mines of Caribou (which is long since a ghost town). Nederland was founded around the site of a stamp mill that separated the silver from the ore. After the silver ore ran out, there was a resurgence of mining in the area for tungsten during World War I, and the silver mills were reworked and reopened for processing that ore. The town got its name from a Dutch company that acquired several mines in the area.
Nederland is located at the top of Boulder Canyon at the junction of Colorado Highways 119 & 72, both parts of the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. Nearby are the James Peak and Indian Peaks Wilderness Areas and the Eldora Mountain Ski Resort. At the edge of Nederland is the Barker Reservoir, and the town is essentially surrounded by the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest.
A barn in the nearby ghost town of Caribou became a major recording studio back in the 1970s and 1980s with folks like Elton John, Joe Walsh, Rick Derringer, Chicago, and Earth, Wind & Fire recording some of their best works there. The recording studio was first opened in 1972 and closed when a fire destroyed most of the place in 1985. Over the years in between many of the biggest names in rock & roll, R & B, country, bluegrass, folk and jazz recorded there.
These days it seems the major business in Nederland is tourism and many of the homes in town look to be second homes for folks who normally live and work in Boulder and the Denver Metroplex. For a few days every August, the Jeff Guercio Memorial Baseball Park in Nederland hosts the NedFest (The Nederland Music & Arts Festival). This 3-day bash is for lovers of jazz, bluegrass, jamband and world-beat music. Only 2,000 tickets for the music show are sold each day but the Arts part of the festival (arts & crafts, merchandise, information, services, food & beverages, etc.) stretches out through town and also features many of the wares of the local micro-breweries (hint, hint...).
Nederland was also the site of the famous Frozen Dead Guy Days festival held every year on the first full weekend in March. This festival commemorated an attempt by a now-deported resident to practice "home-made" cryogenics using dry ice to preserve the corpse of his recently (1989) deceased grandfather. When the grandson was deported for overstaying his visa, the frozen body was left in the care of his mother who was living in an unfinished house in Nederland. She was eventually evicted from that home for living in a house with no plumbing or electricity and that's when the story of the "frozen dead guy" came out. As of 2009, the frozen body was still being kept in a specially made Tuff Shed and the CEO of Delta Tech (a local environmental company) was still transporting dry ice to preserve it.
During the festival you can get tours of the Tuff Shed or you can just catch a showing of the documentary film Grandpa's Still in the Tuff Shed. The town also puts on a "polar plunge" in the waters of Barker Reservoir (they have to break through the ice to do this), pancake breakfasts, arts & crafts shows, etc. Glacier Ice Cream of Boulder even makes a special flavor (a mix of fruit-flavored blue ice cream with sour gummy worms and crushed Oreo cookies) named "Frozen Dead Guy" specifically for the festival. As a result of the original discovery of the frozen body, the Town of Nederland changed their municipal code to outlaw the practice of keeping "the whole or any part of the person, body or carcass of a human being or animal or other biological species which is not alive upon any property." Then they enacted a "grandfather clause" to protect that place in their history now occupied by the "frozen dead guy."
In downtown Nederland