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St. Elmo

38°42′17″N 106°20′42″W

20 miles southwest of Buena Vista in the heart of the Sawatch Range lies St. Elmo, one of Colorado’s best preserved ghost towns.  St. Elmo, (originally Forest City), was first settled in 1878 and then made into an official town in 1880 when the draw of gold and silver brought miners to the area. The town reached it’s peak in 1881 after the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad connected St. Elmo to Pitkin, Colorado through the Alpine Tunnel.  There were 150 patented mine claims within the area, a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, dancing halls, a newspaper office and a school house.  Eventually the mines started shutting down, and most of St. Elmo’s residents left on the last train out of town before the railroad was abandoned in 1922.

Besides the multitude of beautifully preserved buildings, St. Elmo attracts may toursits every year to the area with it’s old mining roads that are now used as Jeep and ATV trails and great fishing in Chalk Creek.

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