Creede, Colorado, is a small but significant mining town that has witnessed a number of significant historical events in its relatively short history. Here are seven events that have taken place close to Creede that have helped to shape the town and the surrounding area.
1. Discovery of the Last Great American Gold Rush
In 1890, two prospectors named Nicholas Creede and John Rich discovered gold in Willow Creek. This discovery led to the Last Great American Gold Rush and the founding of the town of Creede. The discovery of gold in the area led to an influx of people and caused the population of the town to swell from a few hundred to over 10,000 people in just a few years.
2. The Battle of Wagon Wheel Gap
The Battle of Wagon Wheel Gap was a small skirmish that was part of the Colorado Labor Wars. In 1914, miners in the area began to organize and strike for higher wages and better working conditions. The Colorado National Guard was called in to maintain order, and they clashed with the striking miners in Wagon Wheel Gap, not far from Creede. The battle resulted in the death of two miners and the arrest of many others.
3. The Execution of Alfred Packer
Alfred Packer was a prospector and chef who was accused of murdering and eating his fellow prospectors in the mountains near Creede in 1874. He was arrested, tried, and convicted of murder, and was eventually executed in 1883. His story has become a part of Colorado lore and has been the subject of several books, movies, and even a musical.
4. Completion of the Rio Grande Railroad
The Rio Grande Railroad was completed in 1882 and connected Creede to the rest of the country. The railroad allowed for easier shipment of goods and materials in and out of the area, and helped to establish Creede as a major mining town.
5. The Creede Underground Fire of 1892
In 1892, a fire broke out in the underground mines in Creede. The fire burned for several days and caused massive damage to the town's infrastructure. Fortunately, no one was killed in the fire, but it permanently altered the mining operations in the area.
6. The Creede Meteorite of 1929
In 1929, a meteorite fell near Creede and caused a large explosion. The event was witnessed by many people in the area and was reported in newspapers across the country. The meteorite itself has never been found, but fragments of it have been discovered in the surrounding area.
7. The Creede Repertory Theatre
The Creede Repertory Theatre was founded in 1966 and has become a major cultural institution in the area. The theatre produces a wide variety of plays and performances throughout the year, and has helped to establish Creede as a popular destination for tourists and theatre-goers alike.
These are just a few of the many historical events that have taken place in or near Creede, Colorado. Despite its small size, the town has played a significant role in the history of the Colorado mining industry and has left an enduring legacy for those who visit and live there today.
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