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Caribou Colorado Ghost town

Photos 2002 Mike Sinnwell

Caribou was the site of a very large and prosperous Silver mine. The first time I visited the site, about 30 years ago, a cabin was still standing in the valley below the site.  I remember it is because that was the first time I saw a  snow escape hatch or "Snow Chimney".

A viewer writes - I ran into your website.  I found it interesting that your pictures only show the remains of one stone building.  In the mid-1990s there were definitely more.  We hiked from the Rainbow Lakes campsite to Caribou and were caught by a thunderstorm just as we arrived.  We hid in the remains of one building that still had a partial roof. It had several rooms and a large frame of a window that faced down the valley. (Sketches of that building with the window can be seen in Stampede to Timberline.) We watched lighting strike down the valley through that window.  I have pictures of the building.

A viewer writes - Monday, July 12, 2010 -  Rocky, your ghost town pictures fit right in with my family genealogy.  For instance; I have two families in Caribou on the 1880 Census.  Maybe they are known by other people as well.  My Great Uncle, John Retallack, was a miner and blacksmith in Caribou and he lived there with his wife Jennie Willis, Daughter Louise, Son John who died in Caribou in 1881 age 4. and son George.  The Census for 1880 shows a good many people. James Collins is a relative as well and he was in Caribou with his wife Mary and her sister Alma. James and Mary had a daughter Mary Ann who was two years old. Maybe some one will find the cemetery and little John's grave,  Thanks, Velda Stubbings Chico, CA

A viewer writes - Friday, November 02, 2012 -- Mike, My wife and I love to visit Colorado.  We never tire of the mountains and their beauty.  We especially love to visit ghost towns and off the commercially traveled areas.  We have probably seen more of Colorado than a large majority of the Colorado population.

We have visited Caribou about three times, but never really looked around extensively until this last time this August.  Many of the stone foundations are visible on the side of the hill opposite the stone buildings.  I counted about 15-20 separate foundations outlined by rock and surrounding flat areas.  I am sure there were other buildings on  the surrounding hills, but my wife was afraid to venture around those areas.  I wanted to see the cemetery, but we were short on time as it was starting to rain on us.

The covered mine at the end of the stone buildings was of some interest as I had not noticed this before.  Was this the only mine near the town and if not where were the others?  It is fascinating to hear of yours and others experiences.  I hope you add more to this site.  Thanks for your research in this fascinating area of Colorado.  As others have said, Missouri has nothing to compare.  Although I love it here in Kansas City, I look forward to visiting Colorado time and time again. My email is and I would love to hear from you.      Bob and Kelly Francisco.

Rocky Says - THANKS for visiting my site and the comments. I appreciate them. I am also glad you enjoy Colorado. In reference to your comments about Caribou. You are correct. Most people do not take the time to wander around in the area of the stone foundation to look for other items. They stop, take a couple quick photos and are on their way. Most don't even know about the cemeteries. As in most mining towns numerous mine shafts were dug. The one you saw was by no means the only one in the area.

A viewer writes -  Thursday, June 27, 2013 - I live in Cocoa Beach, Fl, but my grandparents and 3 generations back from them are from CO.  I have family buried in the Caribou cemetery.  I know my great-great grandfather, Frances Andre', was a silver minor and his daughter, Jennie Andre (Williams) - my great grandmother - grew up in Caribou and lived there until she married and moved to Denver.  Could you please verify if there are any headstone with the last name of Andre? Please reply to Thank you so much for your wonderful website!!!

Rocky Says. -- Unfortunately the cemetery has been vandalized numerous times and many headstones have been stolen or destroyed. I am unaware of any tombstones with the headstone Andre. I even did a quick search of the Cemetery records and I did not find the name Andre. That does not mean one of your ancestors was not buried there as many burials were never recorded. It appears that Frances was in Colorado perhaps before 1865. If that is true it is entirely possible no records were saved.

A viewer writes - Saturday March 1st 2014 -- I was about 7 or 8 years old which would have been 1967 or 1968.  Our family of 7 kids, Mom and Dad vacationed in the Green Mountain Falls area.  We drove to Caribou and got out and explored.  At the time and with the exception of the elements of time and nature, the cemetary seemed undisturbed.  I remember numerous head stones being that of infants or toddlers.  My father explained it was because of the harsh conditions and lack of medical treatment availability made it difficult for children to survive the environment.  My brothers and I walked right up to a vertical shaft mine (I guess that's what it was) with a weathered old rickety wood fence/railing around it.  It appeared a strong wind could blow it down any time.  As a child of only 7 or 8 years old and standing maybe 10-15 feet back it just looked like this perfectly square abyss of a black hole maybe 15 feet square.   Pretty cool site you have here Thanks

A viewer writes - Thursday, October 08, 2015 - Hi I just got back from Caribou for a visit on a beautiful fall day. My family and I used to love coming up here in the 80's to poke around and see the fabulous scenery. This time I was saddened to see that all of the headstones are missing in the nearby cemetery, and there is quite a bit of campers trash scattered around the area. Still a wonderful place to come and imagine Colorado's early history.