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
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
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
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
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
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
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.