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Black Hawk Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell  January 2006

Black Hawk was named after an Indian Chief. After the initial gold rush into Gregory gulch Black Hawk became a mill town for all the mines in the area. Many floods took their toll on this town. Gaming came to Colorado in 1991.  Numerous casinos have sprung up all along the streets of Black Hawk. I tried to focus on the older parts of the town. The town was dying a slow death. Now it is a boom town again.

A viewer writes - November 2009 - Just kinda stumbled upon the site. I really enjoyed looking at all the old pictures. Back about 1960 I was in Black Hawk, I was 10 years old then. It sure looks alot bigger now than then. We lived west of Denver up a big mountain called Cold Creek Canyon. I have always wanted to go back there, Oh well maybe someday. Keep up the good work Rocky.

A viewer writes -  Wednesday, September 08, 2010 -  Hi, I just discovered your site.  I love it.  I grew up in Colorado, although I've lived in South Texas for a number of years.  This is a great way for me to keep in touch with my roots and my continued thirst for history.  My great grandfather Charles Stewart lived in Black Hawk in the 1880's; he owned some gold mines and claims in the area.  I still have his original assay case and a few of his samples.  He later settled in the Brighton area where he became the town's first mayor and one of the founders of Kuner Empson Company.  Thanks again for your great site, I will visit it often.   

A viewer writes - Friday June 3 2011 -   Thanks Mike  -- Having lived in Blackhawke like we did, we felt like we had lost a special love when we had to return to Ga, in 1988. I have longed so many years to go back again and be buried in the old cemetery above central city. I'm retired and to old to ever get back again, but your articles lets me go back to many places I loved.  This time it was about Estes Park.  I have spent many afternoons snoozing in a fold out chair snuggled under a light blanket. I enjoyed feeding those black and white birds and ground squirrels, and the occasionally call of a bull elk grazing out behind us. The sounds of that rushing stream still call me from the shadow of my mind and to my dying day will call my heart to the greatest time of my life.  respectfully --  Butch McDuffie

A viewer writes - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - I always come back to your site.. just love it. I'm not a native but worked up in Blackhawk and CC just when gaming started, when there was still "character" there and you could still sense the history, I felt such an odd affinity for the place. Spent many a day 'four wheeling' around Gilpin county in my '76 bug and just am so thankful for your site. Checked out your Mountain City pics too- which is gone now, I believe.. If I'm not mistaken they shoved all the houses they took out of Blackhawk up there.. Used to hike up that way, still have a dog tag I found.. Half of it anyway.. reads Blackhawk dog tax 18-... Anyway, sorry for the babbling, but thanks for the site! I can't bear to go up there without getting sick to my stomach these days, so the old pics are just wonderful.

A viewer writes Sunday August 18th, 2013 -- I enjoyed your site on Blackhawk.  My Great-grandparents arrived in Blackhawk after immigrating from Cornwall, England.  I have a journal and pictures.  My grandfather was a miner and opera singer.  I will try to transpose the journal into script and enter what I have on my sight.  I, myself, auditioned for a part in a musical.  The audition was in New York and the Musical was at the Hill’s BELVEDERE DINNER THEATRE in the late 1970’s.  Our group of actors were housed in one of the buildings just as you drive in.  It was called the SILVER SLIPPER SALOON. Ladies slept upstairs and Men downstairs.  The musical was PAINT YOUR Wagon.  Funny thing but my Grandfather Thomas Chapman was an opera singer and he did sing on the first radio broadcast from Denver and he spoke on it also.   -- Sincerely,   P. Komar from the Chapman and Hoskins

A viewer writes - Friday, September 30, 2011 - My family had move to Blackhawk in 1969,I was in the sixth grade my brothers were younger we to school at Clark elementary.  The next year I went to Clear Creek High In Idaho Springs yes it was a fun place to be a teenager as  we lived in Blackhawk Trailer Park it was on main  across from the Lace House  and the Gilpin Hotel.  My parents managed the trailer park. My Step father work for the Opera House Association,  My mother and I worked in the summer for tree summers. I have a lot of memories of the opera house and Teller House Hotel, some of homes the that they used for apartments for the actors.  The winters were ghost towns but in the summer with all the tourist it came a live, thanks for this website.

Rocky Says - You're welcome

A viewer writes -- Saturday, May 31, 2014 -- Found your site looking for info on my Grandfather's home town.  His name was Clifford Thomas Roberts told me stories of his Childhood all the time...he told me Black Hawk was heaven!  His father's name was Thomas and died in the early this the same Thomas you have diary entries from?  I know my great grandfather worked in mines but thought he past from black lung when Clifford was around 7. I was in Central City/Black Hawk last time in 1999.  There is a plaque in brass or bronze on the wall in city hall with my Grandfathers name and my great uncle John Menegatti. Is this still there?  Do you know anything about it?  I think it had something to do with the number of world war 1 veterans that came from this small town.  Can you let me know what you know about the plaque and if the author of the diary is related to my Grandfather? I truly appreciate it! Terri