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Blue Bird mine Colorado

Photos Mike Sinnwell 10-2014

This place has quite a history, mining camp, tourist location, movie location, recording studio, hippie hideout and now a serene place to hike. The mine got its name from the blue and green carbonates of copper in the ore.

Over 140 years ago prospectors in the scrappy mining boomtown of Caribou were buzzing with news of the discovery of a nearby silver vein. Back in 1871 some said the ore was running six thousand dollars a ton. The mine was active for over 90 years finally closing in early 1960’s. In the early 1900s the narrow gauge train brought visitors up the Switzerland Trail to have an outing in this quiet meadow for picnics, wildflower collecting, and sightseeing. The miners' bunkhouse was converted into a boarding house, catering to tourists until the Switzerland Trail stopped running in 1919.

The film “Stagecoach” was remade here in 1965 and they used the bunkhouse as the Stage Stop. The complex was purchased along with surrounding lands by New York record producer James Guercio in 1971.  The record studio he established produced numerous great recordings. Do the names John Lennon, Michael Jackson and The Beach Boys ring any bells?  It was also a hangout for the 60’s,70’s and 80’s hippies.  

You can still see the bunkhouse dating back to at least 1877 and a stone caretaker's house that was built when mining resumed after the Great Depression. Several other structures, outhouse, mine entrance, chicken coop, can also be seen.  That bunkhouse must have looked awful inviting after a 10 hour day in a mine shaft.

And yes there is a Swimming pool that no one swam in because the water and the weather were always too cold. They did keep fresh trout in it. Yum !