Silverton Notorious Blair Street: Then and Now

Silverton’s Notorious Blair Street—once crowded with saloons, gambling halls, and bordellos—rang with the raucous clamor of young, single men, so the Ladies who worked this stretch were considered a social necessity to this mining town. Though their lives were often hard, filled with drug abuse, violence, and loneliness, fines from their businesses kept town coffers full. And though they were often harshly judged, it was their willingness to nurse the sick during the 1918 flu epidemic that saved numerous lives. 

In the 1950s and 60s, Silverton’s historic buildings garnered the attention of Hollywood, and actresses—including Marilyn Monroe. By then, they were the only ones leaning over these spindled balconies. 

Westerns such as “A Ticket to Tomahawk,” “The Maverick Queen,” “Night Passage,” and “How the West Was Won” all took their turn creating the mythological West where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday had actually walked.

Today, the Blair Street Historic District Association is working hard to restore and enhance the street into their vision for the future. A recent donation of $50,000 from former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell will allow for the additions of street lights, wooden sidewalks and new public restrooms, as well as, a performance venue in Columbine Park. 

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