The World's Greatest Gold Camp!
In the late 1800s thousands of fortune-seekers made their way to Cripple Creek. Gold had been discovered in Poverty Gulch, starting a country's last great gold rush.
The town of Cripple Creek developed along the small creek winding its way from the mountains where gold was found by ranch hand Bob Womack.
By 1894, what had been a quiet, serene cattle ranch was a booming gold camp of about 50,000. The camp was to become the fifth richest gold strike in the world.
Several celebrities either grew up here or spent time in the mining district, including: Groucho Marx, Lowell Thomas, Wyatt Earp, and Jack Dempsey.
Disaster struck Cripple Creek twice in 1896. In late April of that year, a “taxi dancer” on Myers Avenue (the Red Light District) got into a fight with her beau and a kerosene heater was overturned starting a fire. Three days later, a cook at one of the hotels overturned a pot of grease on a hot stove, which started another fire.
Today the streets of Cripple Creek are lined with brick buildings constructed after the fire and renovated in the 1990s as casinos.