Colorado has a rich (no pun intended) mining history, and when I was a kid growing up in the southern suburbs of Denver, my mom would devise elaborate lessons for my brother and me to carry out over summer break, packing us into the minivan for day or weekend trips to obscure corners of Colorado. We were particularly fascinated with the gold rush and this state's boom-and-bust dramas, and we spent a lot of time in towns like Cripple Creek and Leadville.
But in all those travels, we never made it to Gold Hill, an old mining town ten miles outside of Boulder. Today the population of the place is just 230, but at its peak in the 1870s, Gold Hill had more than 1,500 people residents, many of whom had come to first chase gold and then tellurium.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
During that time, a number of hotels were built, including the property that eventually became the Gold Hill Inn. For the past fifty years, it's been in the hands of the Finn family, who enticed history buffs and food fans alike with a fixed-price meal offered in rustic dining room reminiscent of a camp mess hall, and filled with relics of the past.