Mount Silverheels from Boreas Pass.
|Elevation||13,829 ft (4,215 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||2,283 ft (696 m)|
|Location||Park County, Colorado, U.S.|
|Topo map||USGS Alma|
Mount Silverheels, elevation 13,829 ft (4,215 m), is a summit in the Front Range of central Colorado. The mountain is located between Breckenridge and Fairplay in the Pike National Forest of Park County. Mount Silverheels is one of the 637 thirteeners in Colorado and the 96th highest peak in the state.
Legend of Silverheels
The mountain was named for Silverheels, a dance hall girl in the nearby mining camp of Buckskin Joe, now a ghost town. She was nicknamed "Silverheels" because of the silver shoes she wore while dancing. She wore a blue or white mask so as to conceal her face, and her actual name is unknown. Well-compensated by the trappers and prospectors who watched her dance, Silverheels was personally generous, having used her own money to bring in doctors during a smallpox epidemic in Buckskin Joe. After the disease waned, Silverheels left Buckskin Joe and was never heard from again. In the words of Frank H. Mayer, a United States marshal in Park County: "The best we could do was to name the mountain after her."
The smallpox epidemic struck in 1861. Most miners remained behind to protect their claims, but the women and children largely fled to Denver. Silverheels stayed behind to nurse her friends and neighbors. She too contracted the disease but survived, having taken refuge in her cabin located at the base of Mount Silverheels. Once the epidemic was over, the surviving miners raised $5,000 in appreciation of her efforts in fighting the epidemic. However, Silverheels had left her cabin. According to legend, she had remained in isolation because the smallpox had scarred her face. The money was returned to the miners, and she was instead honored by the naming of the mountain. Several years later when Buckskin Joe was desolate from the decine of the gold rush, someone claimed to have seen a black-veiled woman placing flowers on the graves of those who died in the smallpox epidemic. Some since claim to have seen a black veiled woman wandering around the Buckskin Joe Cemetery.
- "Silverheels ET". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- "Mount Silverheels, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- "Mount Silverheels". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "Colorado 13,700-foot Peaks". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Laura King Van Dusen, "Colonel Frank Mayer: Buffalo Hunter, Civil War Drummer Boy, Author, Met Dancehall Entertainer Silverheels When U.S. Marshal of Buckskin", Historic Tales from Park County: Parked in the Past (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2013), ISBN 978-1-62619-161-7, pp. 57.
- Brown, Robert L. Ghost Towns of the Colorado Rockies. Caxton Press. pp. 71–73. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- "Mount Silverheels Trail". U.S. Forest Service.