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Alma Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell 2006

Some say the town was named after the daughter of a local shop owner. Apparently she was quite a looker.  This was first silver mining territory. At least until the Sherman act was passed in 1893.  In the late 1890s and early 1900s hydraulic mining, using high pressure water hoses,  was active along the Middle fork of the South Platte river. They literally washed the gold out of the rocks. Tailings are evident everywhere. They have turned the old firehouse into a small museum.

A viewer writes - Your Alma photo gallery is true. I've worked, lived in or owned four of the buildings shown and I'm not a ghost. Thanks for the love. Twenty one years here and I still love it.

A viewer writes 12/2008 - Is the Alma Hotel still there? I didn't recognize it from the pictures, but I knew the guy that ran it in the early 70's, Manger was his name. I used to stay there when I would ski at Breckenridge. Been a long time, but I will get back one day. David Linton, Friendswood, Texas

A viewer writes  Wednesday, March 11, 2009  -- My father Frank Payne worked in a mine in Alma in 1934-1936. My mother joined him up there when I was two years old. We lived in an apartment with a small woodstove for heat and cooking. I wonder if there are any old mine records available. Love the pictures.

A viewer writes - September 2009 - Re: Alma Hotel and David Linton's question:  The hotel is the left part of the Alma's Only Bar. My husband, Wilber, and I ran it for a bit in the spring of 1973.  We filled it with our hippies friends and had a grand time!!  Nonnie, now in sunny California  

A viewer writes - Thursday, January 14, 2010 - Hello. Great website. I really appreciate your photos of Alma. My Great-Grandmother, Flora Alma Bateman (nee Jones) was born there in 1875.  (That must have been wild!)  Thanks again.  Martin Kauper, Covina, CA mkauper (at)

A viewer writes - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - Any information anyone would like to share about someone who lived in Alma or is buried in our historic Buckskin Cemetery is encouraged to contact The Alma Foundation - 501-c-3. We would greatly appreciate your stories to add to our archives and current work on surveying our Cemetery. or

A viewer writes -  Sunday, May 09, 2010 -- Dave * Pat St. Louis, Mo  We go this way every year on the way to Mosquito Pass. Last year I couldn't believe they put a dummy (in uniform) in the police car & parked it on the side of the main drag to slow the traffic through town. Nice place to visit. I've been going through this way since 1976. I noticed quite a few changes.

Rocky  says - An urgent request for some help in gathering information for a great little town in Colorado. A Mineral Group from Lake George is doing a study of the history of the Alma area to help the historical society. They will present their findings at The Socorro NM Mineral Symposium and in Alma.  

They don’t need my help but they need yours. Anyone connected with Alma, Park City, Montgomery, Buckskin Joe, and that general area around Alma Colorado is being asked to help. How can you help? By sending via email your stories, your photos, and your experiences from personal history or general knowledge. It would be nice if you copied me so I could add them to my site but it is not necessary. You can also volunteer for an oral history.

I hope we flood them with information. Let’s help them gather some great historical data.  Send them an email.   or  or  

DO IT NOW as time is short. It will be presented in September 2010. If you are curious about what type of information, take a look at the good work they have done

A viewer writes - Sunday, January 08, 2012 --  I worked in Alma and Fairplay in 1978.  The town marshal for Alma (lived in the yellow Victorian shown in the pictures of Alma), used to talk about the the front room of the house on the second floor and how cold it was.  He also talked about a story of a young girl that was visiting one day and she was playing and started screaming about something she saw in the house.  No one saw anything so they tried to calm her by letting her look at photo albums of the family.  She came across a picture and started screaming again saying, old man in stair, old man in stair.  The picture was of the grandfather who had died in the house.  I can't remember the town marshal's name.  Living in Alma was quite an experience with so many stories of strange events that occurred there.  Loved the experience, would love to reconnect with some of the people from that time.

A viewer writes July 10th 2018 - - My grandfather, and possibly his father, and several of my uncles worked in the South London Mine in the 30s and 40s. I know my grandpa, Samuel Bradner Harris, was a carpenter there. My uncles, Ben, Gilbert and son-in-law Albert Gussie show up in the 1930 census as miners. I had a half sister born in 1937, with the name Virginia Dorsey. Would love to share information with anyone having information about Alma and it’s citizens in that time period. You can contact me at Any information to help me further my search would be appreciated.  Nancy Garrett