Central City for Lunch

I, Zeb the Duck, love to go out to lunch.  I went back to Central City, Colorado with Soapy Smith Duck, Soapy’s dog Steve, and our moms.   Look at this train engine.

Train engine in Central City

Train engine in Central City

It was built in 1896 and ran between Golden, Colorado and Central City.  The tracks were along Clear Creek, near highway 6 today.  The last run was April 10, 1941. Central City, Colorado now owns this engine.

Near the train engine is the Reserve Hotel and Casino.

Historic building hosting Reserve Hotel and Casino

Historic building hosting Reserve Hotel and Casino

When gambling was legalized in Central City, the casinos could not build new buildings or change the outside of any existing structure.  The casinos are in these great old historic buildings.   Here, at the Reserve, we ate lunch.  The casino includes the Guitar Bar.

65 foot Guitar Bar

65 foot Guitar Bar

The web site says this is largest themed guitar bar in Colorado, maybe everywhere?  The 65 foot long bar is shaped like a guitar, has 14 slot machines and autographed guitars.   Also there are big screen TVs and a state of the art sound system.   Keeping with the theme, we saw this picture of Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi

Jimi

We did not sit at the bar, but our moms did try, or should we say, donate, to this slot machine.

Slot machine at Reserve Casino

Slot machine at Reserve Casino

It was fun, but not profitable.   We enjoyed the buffet at the Reserve Casino’s Chef’s Kitchen.  There was so much food, but we did have to try these desserts.

We like pie

We like pie

The pies look so good (and they were), but look at this chocolate fountain.

Chocolate fountain with marshmallows, strawberries and more

Chocolate fountain with marshmallows, strawberries, pineapple and more

Humans and ducks love chocolate fountains.  As we left the casino, we learned that they would miss us.

We will come back

We will come back

We will miss them also and we will come back soon.

Next was Central City’s Coeur d’Alene Mine Shaft House.

Tours available in summer.  Closed now.

Tours available in summer. Closed now.

Remember Central City was a mining town.  They have tours here in the summer, but not now.   Steve was happy to explore the area.

Steve loves to explore but stays with the humans

Steve loves to explore but stays with the humans

Here we are with Steve.  She is expecting a treat from Soapy’s mom.  Steve is a good girl, so she did get a treat.

We watch Steve anticipate a treat

We watch Steve anticipate a treat

We like Central City and know you would like it also.  You can enjoy the scenery, hike, gamble, shop or eat.  Central City is great.

Central City for an Opera

Zeb the Duck here and we returned to Central City, Colorado.  Today mom and a friend brought me here to see the opera.  Mom’s friend’s grandson is in the opera!!  We arrived early to experience some of Central City.  First stop was the visitor’s center.  Upstairs the Gilpin County Arts Association displays work from mostly Colorado artists.  I liked this pottery by Steve Briggs.

I like Steve's pottery

I like Steve’s pottery

To learn more about Steve visit www.thepotterystudiogallery.com  About 50 artists are featured at that gallery in Littleton, Colorado.

Then we went on a tour of the Teller House.

Teller House in Central City, Colorado

Teller House in Central City, Colorado

Mr. Teller built this grand hotel in 1872.  Today the hotel is not available for guests, but sometimes the bar and small restaurant are open.   This clock came from Europe especially for the Teller House.

Sent from Europe to Central City

Sent from Europe to Central City

Another room has a wonderful mural on the ceiling.

I like ceiling murals

I like ceiling murals

It is big. This is just one part of it.  From the piano room you can see into another room.

Spacious rooms

Spacious rooms

This sure was a luxury hotel when it opened.  The Teller House is famous for the bar

Great place for a drink

Great place for a drink

and the face painted on the bar room floor.  Mom could not get a good picture of the face on the barroom floor so we bought this post card.

Face on the barroom floor post card with Zeb

Face on the barroom floor post card with Zeb

After lunch at Stella’s Upstairs Café in the Bonanza Casino, we went to the opera.

Central City Opera

Central City Opera

The grand opening of this opera house was in 1878.  We saw Deadman Walking.

Other operas also this summer.  Deadman Walking was ours today

Other operas also this summer. Deadman Walking was ours today

We were not allowed to take pictures during the performance.  This is just before the opera began.  The stage is dark, with only one chair.

Opera will begin soon.  See the orchestra pit.

Opera will begin soon. See the orchestra pit.

You can see the orchestra pit under the stage.  This was my first opera.  Does this mean I am a cultured duck?  I really liked this opera and our friend was fabulous.  He can act and he can sing!

Central City is an old mining town, so we looked around one of the cemeteries.

Old towns have interesting cemeteries

Old towns have interesting cemeteries

This headstone is for William Quiller.

Headstone of William Quiller

Head stone of William Quiller

He was born in England on March 31, 1816 and died January 10, 1897.  That is an old headstone.  It began to rain, so we left.  You might remember that I was in Central City last September.  To read about that visit, click on this link   www.coloradotravelingducks.com/2013/09/09/zeb-visits-central-city-colorado/  We like Central City and we think you would also.  Hope you visit here soon.  It is so pretty!

Zeb visits Central City, Colorado

Today we are going to Central City.  The town is about 35 miles west of Denver.   When gold was discovered in 1859, this was ”The richest square mile on earth.”  Rich!  And I, Zeb the duck, am going there.

Central City Parkway

Central City Parkway

Mom tells me to calm down, the mining has stopped now and Central City is on the historic registry.  That means the buildings built after the fire of 1874, rebuilt with stone and brick, are still standing.  About that brick—this was a gold mining area, so the bricks have gold dust in them.  WOW!  The city looks like an old mining town with shops and restaurants for us to explore.

Central City main street

Central City main street

We visited a few shops selling a variety of items—not regular tourist T-shirts, but glassware, books, clothes, old jewelry and even stuff I did not recognize.

We went to the visitor’s center.  The lady there was very helpful.  Upstairs the Gilpin County Arts Association has a very interesting art gallery.  We saw photographs that looked better than life.  We saw beautiful paintings also.  My favorite was wood with zippers.

By Paul Stafford.  A wood turner

By Paul Stafford. A wood turner

Yep, zippers on wooden vases and bowls.  My favorite was Walnut Vase by Paul Stafford.  View more of Paul Stafford’s art at www.woodturner-gallery.com

That art gallery was great and then we went to the old courthouse, which has another art gallery, also featuring artists from Gilpin County Arts Association.  This building has several rooms of art displays.  We were in the courtroom, the first district courtroom in the territory of Colorado.  Art was displayed on the judge’s bench, the witness platform and the jury platform.  All original wood items from over 100 years ago.  The art was beautiful.  My favorite things were cards made from original photographs.  What a great way to share your treasures.   From one room of art, we went outside to the Sculpture Garden.

Love this fountain in sculpture garden

Love this fountain in sculpture garden

This was a nice retreat and I loved the fountain by Richard Emmert.

Leaving the former courthouse and present art gallery, we went to the museum.  We were just in time for the tour to the Opera House.  The grand opening of the Opera House was held in 1878.  Plays are held here in Central City at the famous Opera House during the summer.  The season is over for this year.  We could only see the inside on a tour.  When you go, notice the horse sculptures on the sides near the stage.

Inside Central City Opera House

Inside Central City Opera House

They are not sculptures—they are paintings!  Really.  On the wall on either side of stage.  Paintings!  Walk over to them and look.  This duck was fooled.

Next time we go to Central City we will take a tour of an abandoned mine,

An abandoned mine by Central City

An abandoned mine by Central City

probably the Hidee Mine, or explore the three cemeteries.    Maybe even go to the casinos.  The casino profits help preserve Central City.  There are a couple ways to get to Central City from Denver.  We took I-70 to the Central City Parkway.  This is about 20-25 minutes west of Denver.  The Central City Parkway goes directly into Central City.  Very easy drive.  We were there in less than 45 minutes.  We drove home through Clear Creek Canyon, on US 6 which goes into Golden and then to Denver.   What a great Colorado road.  US 6 goes through a canyon and follows Clear Creek.  River and mountains–everything I love.   This duck is so proud to live in Colorado.  See you soon.