Silver Creek, Colorado

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Silver Creek
Mining ghost town
Silver Creek is located in Colorado
Silver Creek
Silver Creek
Location within the state of Colorado
Coordinates: 39°45′19″N 105°37′56″W / 39.75528°N 105.63222°W / 39.75528; -105.63222Coordinates: 39°45′19″N 105°37′56″W / 39.75528°N 105.63222°W / 39.75528; -105.63222
Country United States
State Colorado
County Clear Creek County
 • Type formerly incorporated town
Elevation[1] 9,300 ft (2,800 m)
 • Total 0
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes Dumont CO 80436
Area code(s) Area codes 303 and 720

Silver Creek is a mining ghost town in Clear Creek County, Colorado, USA. The town never had a post office of its own, but received its mail via the Lawson post office.[2] The town is only accessible via unimproved road. Most of the mines were located upstream from the town.


Originally known as Daileyville after James Dailey, a local mine manager, the inhabitants soon changed the name to Silver Creek after the local stream[3] that flows into Clear Creek near Lawson.[2] The town was first settled around 1875 when silver ore deposits[4] were discovered in the area; however, it was not officially incorporated until 1885.[5] The mines that supported the town were mostly closed after the 1893 silver crash, but reopened with the demand for metals leading up to and during World War I. The boom did not last, and by 1922 most of the mines were again closed. Among the biggest producers was the Nabob Mine,[6] where a new shaft was sunk in 1906.[7]

The town struggled on for a while, with the last inhabitants leaving during the Depression. By the 1970s only an old mill and a few building foundations made of stone were left.[5]

In Popular Culture[edit]

Silver Creek was the nearest settlement to the home of Annie Wilkes in the 1990 film adaptation of Stephen King's Misery.


  1. ^ Empire, Colo. 7.5 minute topographic sheet, 39105-G6-TF-024, DMA 4863 I SW-Series V877, United States Geological Survey 1974
  2. ^ a b Aldrich, John K. (1984) "Silver Creel" Ghosts of Clear Creek County: a guide to the ghost towns and mining camps of Clear Creek County, Colorado Centennial Graphics, Lakewood, Colorado, page 30, OCLC 12632763
  3. ^ According to William Bright in Colorado Place Names page 163, there are eighteen streams in Colorado known at one time or another as "Silver Creek".
  4. ^ For the geological context see Tooker, E.W. (1963) Altered Wallrocks in the Central Part of the Front Range Mineral Belt, Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties, Colorado (Geological Survey professional paper 439) U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, OCLC 3603852, especially page 31 on Biotite-Muscovite Granite and Microcline-Quartz-Plagioclase-Biotite Gneiss.
  5. ^ a b Krupar, Joseph J., Jr., "The Ghost Town of Silver Creek: A Remnant of the Clear Creek Silver Boom" Colorado Heritage (Summer 2002): pp. 16–21
  6. ^ Not to be confused with the Nabob on Pine Creek in Idaho.
  7. ^ "The Mines:Colorado: Clear Creek County" Ore and Metals March 1, 1906, page 19

Further reading[edit]

  • Brown, Richard Leaman (1973) "Silver Creek" Colorado ghost towns — past and present Caxton Printers, Caldwell, Idaho, pages 246-249, ISBN 0-87004-218-1