In the June issue of
Colorado Central Magazine

Thousands of spectators watch the carnage that is the annual Hooligan Race at Salida’s FIBArk Festival which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Read all about FIBArk in the June print issue. Photo by Mike Rosso.

Stop Trashing Colorado

By Jan MacKell Collins

I love Clear Creek Canyon. The first time I visited this unique place off of Highway 24 between Buena Vista and Leadville, I fell in love. Here are four quaint ghost towns – Beaver City, Vicksburg, Rockdale and Winfield – with numerous camping sites in the woods beyond Clear Creek Reservoir. Clear Creek itself veers off of the Arkansas River to wind its way through the scenic canyon, and there are even a couple of tiny museums maintained by the Clear Creek Canyon Historical Society.

The second time I visited the canyon was disappointing. One of our favorite spots is at the confluence of Clear Creek and Lake Fork Creek. Rockdale is on the hill above, and the site makes a great place to watch various vehicles as they negotiate the road crossing the creeks. To our horror, we found the campfire ring full of garbage. Beer bottles bearing exotic labels clued us in that the litterbugs were outsiders; certainly none of us could afford that stuff. All around were what I call “toidy bombs,” little wads of toilet paper hanging in the bushes and scattered in the grass. Read more


Places: Iron City Cemetery and Cabin

By Mike Rosso

The old mining town of St. Elmo is a very popular Chaffee County attraction for those seeking a glimpse into Colorado’s past, but there are also several other noteworthy historic sites nearby.

First is the Iron City Cemetery. A rather sparse burial ground, there are a few headstones made of granite, but many are composite and added long after the initial burial.

A roster is posted at the entrance to the cemetery listing all those buried there as well as the date and cause of death. For instance, Dr. T.H. Hodges – from Iowa – who died in September 1881, was found frozen to death 1.5 miles above nearby Hancock. Robert E. Sheldon, age 20, fell into a mill hole at Mary Murphy Mine in September 1898. Nathan Ray, who died of typhoid pneumonia in 1885, was an early settler and miner, marshal, constable and deputy sheriff of nearby Alpine. Overall there are approximately 50 souls buried there, including a number of infants and several members of the Carey family. Read more


The Temple Israel Synagogue and Museum, Leadville, CO

By William Korn

Leadville’s preeminence amongst the mining camps of the High Rockies attracted adventurers and opportunists from distant places including a significant population of Jews, many of whom were recent immigrants from western and central Europe. Predominantly arising from a culture of peddling and small shops, Jewish merchants became an important element in Leadville’s business district along Harrison Avenue. Enjoying the general prosperity of the boomtown, the Jewish community was sufficiently established by 1884 that it was able to commission the construction of a proper place of worship: the Temple Israel synagogue.

Reflecting the assimilationist aesthetic of the reform movement which had followed the immigrants from Germany, the Temple Israel building was conceived in the Carpenter Gothic style then popular and is a perfect match for the identically formed St. George Episcopal Church (1880) directly across West 4th Street. The Temple served as the physical focus of Jewish life in Leadville until 1914 although a schism in 1892 led the more orthodox to hive off to a second synagogue, Knesseth Israel, on West 5th Street. Read more