Silver Plume, Colorado

The Silver Plume Post Office
The Post Office

Silver Plume is at the uphill end of the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Silver Plume was founded about 1870, at the site of the Pelican Mine. Surrounded as it was by many good silver mines, Silver Plume was another central node in the network of silver mining towns that flourished in this part of Colorado until the Panic of 1893 (after the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed and the value of silver plummeted). And as much as it has officially been termed "The Panic of 1893," what it really was was a manipulation of Congress that stopped the forced buying of silver and put the country on the "Gold Standard."

At that time, the price of gold was officially fixed at $20 per ounce. In the 1930s that was raised to $32 per ounce. Then came Richard Nixon and he signed the law officially taking America off the Gold Standard: that's when the price took off to reach the astronomical levels we see today. In reality, it's not that gold is worth that much more but that the paper money is worth that much less... and if you'll notice: only a few years ago the paper money had a statement on each note indicating that it was "Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government." Not any more.

Today, Silver Plume is part of the Federally designated Georgetown - Silver Plume National Historic District but is nearly a ghost town. The photo to the left shows the Silver Plume Post Office. I didn't come across much in the way of retail business in town, most of these old store fronts are now private homes.

A retail clothing and arts store in Silver Plume
A shop that is still a shop
Several former stores are now private homes in Silver Plume
Former stores, now private homes
Another row of converted storefronts in Silver Plume
More private homes
A retail shop, warehouse, boarding house and miner's shack on Main Street
More structures on Main Street
Another shop that is still a shop with a home in the back
Shop in front, home in back
Some newer homes along Main Street with the mine tailings pile as a background
Some newer homes down the hill toward the old mine portal
The front of the Silver Plume Hose Company building
The Silver Plume Volunteer Fire Department
The former Silver Plume High School, a rather Gothic-looking stucture
Formerly the Silver Plume High School, now the George Rowe Museum
Looking up at the front of the George Rowe Museum
The George Rowe Museum

Photos are courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License