The Start of the Colorado Gold Rush

There is much discussion about where the Colorado Gold Rush actually began, but experts agree that the first major discovery of gold in our state took place in Idaho Springs. Not only was the discovery great, it has also left a lasting mark on the town. Remnants of the gold rush can be seen throughout and the rich history of Idaho Springs is on display for all to see.

The Start of the Colorado Gold Rush

The Colorado Gold Rush saw its official beginning at the start of 1859. George Andrew Jackson discovered, while mining at the intersection of Chicago Creek and Clear Creek, gold. Jackson had experience mining in California and was drawn to the area for its hot springs. His knowledge lead him to what is now Idaho Springs!

Jackson did not reveal his discovery immediately, but once the news broke the rush “Jackson’s Diggings” was almost instantaneous. Gold was found in the river and in the rocks. This lead to a booming mining town with the development of mines, mills, and more!

A Continued Role

As Idaho Springs grew, over the next several decades, the mining continued. First an official settlement was created, than the town was incorporated. Businesses were established and Idaho Springs became the place to be during the Colorado Gold Rush. The town grew to have a population of over 10,000 at the height of the gold rush. That is far cry more than the current population, which sits under 2,000.

The gold rush was the start of Idaho Springs’ history and played the main role in the establishment and growth of the town. Now, that history can be seen throughout the town, from main street to the old mill to the people keeping the town alive.