Best Place to Learn About Mining's (Ugly) Legacy Denver 2002 - Idaho Springs Heritage Museum and Visitor's Center
2060 Miner St.
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Next time you drive through the mountains and see an old mine that evokes romantic images of Colorado's gold-rush days, stop by the Idaho Springs Heritage Museum and Visitor's Center. The Clear Creek Watershed Exhibit that takes up an entire back room is a reminder of the mess mining left behind. More than a decade ago, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency decided that the thousands of mines in Clear Creek County needed cleaning up, because metals-laden run-off from the abandoned sites was contaminating the creek -- a source of drinking water for many Coloradans. The EPA declared the town and surrounding mines a Superfund site, and the residents revolted. After years of bickering over cleanup methods, the locals and the government finally agreed on a plan, and this exhibit details it. Now that's gold!