Colorado History and Genealogy Project

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 Central, Gilpin County, Colorado 1871

Central is the business centre of the gold mining districts of Gilpin County, its principal city and county seat, and the most populous of the mountain cities of Colorado. It is located in the central part of the county, in a portion of the valley of a tributary of North Clear creek, Gregory gulch, also in two other gulches, Spring and Eureka, and on the slopes of surrounding mountains. It is built irregularly, but quite substantially of wood, brick and stone. The streets are narrow, and some of thorn steep and rugged. It is surrounded and mined by the richest gold mines in the world. The gulches, which are now its principal streets, were formerly rich placer diggings, and the surrounding mountains are furrowed and pitted by surface openings, mining shafts, and "prospect" holes. Its location in the centre of the mining district, and midway between the great milling and mining cities of Black Hawk and Nevada, makes it readily accessible to most of the miners and mill-men in the county; hence its importance in a business point of view. Read More Central Gazetteer or Central Business Directory

Although comparatively a new mining camp, almost in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Central is not devoid of the educational, religious and literary institutions peculiar to older and more improved districts, East or West; nor is she behind in the fashions, follies and vices which follow civilization everywhere. The former is illustrated by substantial school buildings, churches, literary institutions and libraries; the latter by the appearance of fashionably and over-dressed ladies and gentlemen at public gatherings, and in the streets, and the same evidences of reckless living and dissipation which present themselves in every American city. Among educational institutions in Colorado, the high school building in Central is the most substantially built and appropriately furnished. Notice of this appear under educational in this work, but we cannot refrain from again referring to this structure, which speaks volumes in favor of the progressive spirit which prompted its projectors to inaugurate the enterprise, and sustained them throughout all the difficulties that attended its completion.

The earlier settlers of Central, like those of other mountain towns and cities, were miners and prospectors, who were soon followed by traders, merchants, professional and business men generally. At present the largest portion of the population are not miners, nor are they directly connected with mining enterprises; but, nevertheless, their interests are all identified with mining and milling, and Central is dull or brisk, with the activity or depression of mining industries.

The matter of railroad communications East and West is now exciting much interest among all classes in Central, and no doubt the desired object will soon be accomplished. The practicability of building a railway through the foot-hills has been clearly demonstrated by careful surveys, and no insurmountable obstacles stand in the way of Central and Georgetown being bound to the "plains" by iron bands of railroad communications. Make this an accomplished fact, and the value of all property in these mountain towns will be largely increased, and the future mining prosperity of the districts established on a firm basis.

The authorities of Central are those of Colorado cities generally. They act under regular charter and appropriate laws, and the city is orderly and apparently well governed by competent officials.

Central Gazetteer and business directory

Central is the business centre of the gold mining districts of Gilpin County, its principal city and county seat, and the most populous of the mountain cities of Colorado. It is located in the central part of the county, in a portion of the valley of a tributary of North Clear creek, Gregory gulch, also in two other gulches, Spring and Eureka, and on the slopes of surrounding mountains. It is built irregularly, but quite substantially of wood, brick and stone. The streets are narrow, and some of thorn steep and rugged. It is surrounded and mined by the richest gold mines in the world. The gulches, which are now its principal streets, were formerly rich placer diggings, and the surrounding mountains are furrowed and pitted by surface openings, mining shafts, and "prospect" holes. Its location in the centre of the mining district, and midway between the great milling and mining cities of Black Hawk and Nevada, makes it readily accessible to most of the miners and mill-men in the county; hence its importance in a business point of view.

Although comparatively a new mining camp, almost in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Central is not devoid of the educational, religious and literary institutions peculiar to older and more improved districts, East or West; nor is she behind in the fashions, follies and vices which follow civilization everywhere. The former is illustrated by substantial school buildings, churches, literary institutions and libraries; the latter by the appearance of fashionably and over-dressed ladies and gentlemen at public gatherings, and in the streets, and the same evidences of reckless living and dissipation which present themselves in every American city. Among educational institutions in Colorado, the high school building in Central is the most substantially built and appropriately furnished. Notice of this appear under educational in this work, but we cannot refrain from again referring to this structure, which speaks volumes in favor of the progressive spirit which prompted its projectors to inaugurate the enterprise, and sustained them throughout all the difficulties that attended its completion.

The earlier settlers of Central, like those of other mountain towns and cities, were miners and prospectors, who were soon followed by traders, merchants, professional and business men generally. At present the largest portion of the population are not miners, nor are they directly connected with mining enterprises; but, nevertheless, their interests are all identified with mining and milling, and Central is dull or brisk, with the activity or depression of mining industries.

The matter of railroad communications East and West is now exciting much interest among all classes in Central, and no doubt the desired object will soon be accomplished. The practicability of building a railway through the foot-hills has been clearly demonstrated by careful surveys, and no insurmountable obstacles stand in the way of Central and Georgetown being bound to the "plains" by iron bands of railroad communications. Make this an accomplished fact, and the value of all property in these mountain towns will be largely increased, and the future mining prosperity of the districts established on a firm basis.

The authorities of Central are those of Colorado cities generally. They act under regular charter and appropriate laws, and the city is orderly and apparently well governed by competent officials. The following is a list of these:

Mayor, William M. Roworth
City Clerk, O. L. Peers
Police Justice J. M Ginn
City Collector, A. Ham. Jones
City Marshal, A. Ham. Jones
Street Commissioner, A. Ham. Jones
City Attorney, C. Reed
City Treasurer, F. H. Messinger
City Engineer, Hal. Sayr
City Assessor, P. Leyden
City Council-First Ward, M. H. Root, _____ Bolthoff
Second Ward, B. W. Wisebart, D. M. Richards
Third Ward, H. J. Kruse, Jas. Sowden
Justices of the Peace, Wm. R. Kennedy, Eureka Street; C. M. Leland, Eureka Street

United States Land Office, Office, Eureka Street, Methodist Church building; I. W. Stanton, Register; Col. Arnold, Receiver. Like all of the mountain towns, the early history of Central is fraught with incidents of unusual interest; but space, at present, forbids any mention of these, or any reference to the hardy pioneers who reclaimed this mountain wild, broke down all barriers between it and civilization, and have laid the foundation of a city which will eventually number her population by tens of thousands, and her treasure by billions.

Central Gazetteer | Central Business Directory

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.

 

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