Leadville, Colorado
and
the Silver Boom
of the 1880's

 

Harmon and a partner invested in silver mine at Leadville, Colorado. When the mine came in rich, he and his wife went to Leadville. It was a wild frontier town... Harmon lost one eye in a mine accident. The two traveled back and forth between Colorado and Iowa and finally brought their family to Leadville. On one occasion Louisa (his wife) and the children were on the train when it was stopped by robbers… the women and children were told they would not be harmed if they kept quiet.

 

Next they moved to the Grand Valley, near Palisade, Colorado, where Harmon had peach orchards. He was influential in getting irrigation started, and was director of a bank.” “Later they moved to California where he developed lemon orchards at Whittier.

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mouse over pictures for captions - click for expanded view

"Farming is not for the

weak-of-heart. Like gambling, today’s fortunes can quickly

become tomorrow’s losses."

—Anonymous

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The Glitter of Gold? No, Silver!

In 1874, during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush that started in the 1860’s, miners at a find near Oro City, Colorado, labored to sluice the precious metal but were hampered by a heavy darkly-colored sand. One of them being a metallurgist tested the sand and discovered it was rich with silver. When the news became public, two-hundred prospectors a day poured into a small berg in the area that would become known as Leadville. (Photos courtesy of www.miningartifacts.org)