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Animas Forks Colorado - Ghost town

Well worth the easy drive from Silverton.

Animas Forks, named for the three forks of the Animas River, which flows through the town site. Animas Forks is tucked away twelve miles northeast of Silverton, Colorado, at 11,200 feet more than two miles above sea level The town's first log cabin was built in 1873; by 1876, this bustling mining community boasted 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office.
 


The population of Animas Forks grew to about 450 people by 1883. The town also had a newspaper, The Animas Forks Pioneer, published from June 1882 through October 1886 at the highest newspaper printing plant in the history of the United States. Every fall, most residents left in a mass exodus to "warmer" Silverton. In 1884, Animas Forks suffered a blizzard that lasted 23 days and dumped 25 feet of snow on the town. Residents dug tunnels to get from building to building.

Before Silverton became an incorporated town, Animas Forks was the San Juan County seat, where court cases were heard. One man who was fined $10 and court costs didn't like the outcome of his trial. During the trial he  promised the judge, "I'll take this to a higher court!" Responded the wry judge Dyer, "There is no such thing. This is the highest court in the United States."


 

Animas Forks in the Distance

Famous Bay Window House

View looking out from Bay Windows

Town view

Cabin

Inside Bay Window House

Cabin on hill

Famous Bay window house

Distant Cabin

Back of Bay window house

Cabin

Cabins

Front of Bay Window house

Cabin

Mill foundations

Cabins

Cabin

Cabin

Mine Site

Cabin

Cabin

Mine in the distance

Cabins in the distance

Miners Shack

Cabins

Mill Foundations

View of cabins

Photos taken Summer 2002

For Photos updates September 2007 go here.

By Joan Sinnwell and Wyatt Hajda

 Rocky Mountain Profiles Colorado Ghost Towns and Colorado Photos Niwot Colorado

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Last modified: 08/19/13 


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