The Cripple Creek-Victor mining district is located in Teller County, with an area about 5.5 miles wide by 6 miles long. Gold was the main mineral mined in this district. A gold rush started in 1891 with the opening of the Gold King Mine on the site of Robert Womack's El Paso claim. In 1892 the area was renamed the Cripple Creek mining district. Camps consolidated into towns with mineral processing facilities as populations rose in the 1890s. By 1894, the town of Victor had been established. Teller County was formed due to the success of this district. Production in the district peaked in 1900 and the subsequent decline that followed was only slowed by 1934 increases in gold prices, and construction of the Carlton drainage tunnel in 1941. By 1959 the district was mostly inactive with minor output. In 2000, the Cresson Mine was the only precious metals mine operating in Colorado. The Cresson Mine was still producing gold as of 2010. About one half of the gold produced in Colorado has come from the Cripple Creek-Victor mining district.
Below: Historic mining structure at Cripple Creek. Credit: Vince Matthews.
Below: View of the Strong and Stratton Independence mines with tailings, head frames, smokestacks, and houses, Victor, Colorado. Credit: Stewart Brothers (Firm). Courtesy Denver Public Library, History Colorado.