Silver Plume, Colorado: Historical Overview and Attractions


Welcome to Silver Plume, Colorado, a former mining town in Clear Creek County, Colorado, which sits at an elevation of 9,101 feet and boasts a population of just 175 residents as of 2020. It’s a place where time seems to stand still amidst the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Tucked away in a narrow canyon along the iconic Interstate 70 corridor, this historic small town exudes a captivating charm that transports visitors back to the heyday of Colorado’s silver rush. With its quaint Victorian architecture, winding mountain roads, and rich tapestry of local lore, Silver Plume offers a glimpse into the past while embracing the present with open arms.

Join us on a virtual journey through the streets of Silver Plume as we uncover its hidden treasures, colorful history, and enduring spirit, which make it a cherished gem of the Rockies.


  • Silver Plume played a significant role in Colorado's silver mining rush during the late 19th century
  • Today, the town offers various attractions and activities, including the Georgetown Loop Railroad and hiking trails
  • Preservation efforts have helped maintain the town's architectural heritage, featuring historic buildings and Victorian homes

Historical Context of Silver Plume

Silver Plume was established as a silver mining camp in 1880 following the discovery of silver in the area. During the height of the mining boom, the camp quickly grew into a town with a population of nearly 2,000 residents. Silver Plume’s success was closely tied to the prosperity of local silver mines, which attracted a large influx of miners to the area.

The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 led to a decline in mining activity, causing Silver Plume to lose its economic momentum. However, during World War II, the town experienced a small resurgence in lead mining before shifting its focus to skiing and tourism.

Geographical and Demographic Overview

Located just a few miles west of Georgetown, Silver Plume is part of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic District. The town is situated in a narrow canyon at over 9,000 feet of elevation, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

The climate in Silver Plume is typical of high-altitude mountain towns, with cool summers and cold, snowy winters. This climate significantly impacts local lifestyle and tourism, attracting outdoor enthusiasts year-round.

Architectural and Cultural Heritage

Silver Plume takes pride in its well-preserved historical buildings and structures, showcasing the town’s rich mining heritage. Notable architecture includes churches, old mines, and charming Victorian homes.

The George Rowe Museum, housed in the town’s original schoolhouse built in 1894, offers visitors a glimpse into the past, with exhibits highlighting historical fashion, schooling, mining, and religion.

Tourism and Attractions

Visitors to Silver Plume can enjoy various outdoor activities, such as hiking nearby trails that offer scenic views of the surrounding mountains. The 7:30 Mine Trail is a popular hike, providing a grand view of the town and the Silver Plume Valley.

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is another major attraction, connecting Silver Plume to Georgetown. This narrow gauge railroad offers a unique experience, with an optional mine tour at the Lebanon Mine, a living museum showcasing the area’s mining history.

The Historic Windsor Hotel Bed and Breakfast accommodates guests staying overnight in Silver Plume. This historic building was originally built in 1884 when it opened as the New Windsor Hotel to provide lodging for silver miners. We think you’ll love the feeling of traveling back in time that you have when you stay here!

Economic Landscape

Silver Plume’s economy today largely depends on tourism, with small businesses and local entrepreneurship playing a crucial role in the town’s economic stability. The town’s historic charm and proximity to outdoor recreation attract visitors, supporting the local economy.

Community and Lifestyle

Daily life in Silver Plume is a blend of old and new, with residents embracing the town’s rich history while adapting to modern times. Community events and local engagement are essential aspects of life in Silver Plume, fostering a strong sense of togetherness among residents.

The town offers educational and social resources to its residents, ensuring access to essential services despite its small size.

Future Prospects and Development

Silver Plume continues to focus on preserving its historical heritage while exploring opportunities for growth and development. The town faces challenges common to small, remote communities but remains committed to maintaining its unique character and charm.

Ongoing projects and future plans aim to balance residents’ needs with the desire to attract visitors and support the local economy.


What are the main historical attractions in Silver Plume?

The main historical attractions in Silver Plume include the George Rowe Museum, housed in the town’s original 1894 schoolhouse, and the well-preserved Victorian homes and buildings throughout the town.

How can visitors best experience the natural beauty around Silver Plume?

Visitors can experience the natural beauty around Silver Plume by hiking nearby trails, such as the 7:30 Mine Trail, which offers stunning views of the town and surrounding mountains. The Georgetown Loop Railroad also provides a scenic journey through the area.

What are some must-visit local businesses in Silver Plume?

Some must-visit local businesses in Silver Plume include the Bread Bar, a unique establishment in an old bakery, and the Plume Coffee Bar, a trendy spot offering a variety of hot and cold drinks.

What community events are typical in Silver Plume throughout the year?

Silver Plume is known for its Fourth of July celebrations, which often include band concerts, hand-drilling contests, and horse races. The town also hosts various events celebrating its mining heritage and community spirit throughout the year.

What are the future development plans for Silver Plume?

Future development plans for Silver Plume focus on preserving the town’s historical heritage while exploring opportunities for growth and economic stability. The town aims to balance residents’ needs with the desire to attract visitors and support local businesses.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.