Ghost Town Wednesday: Whitehorn, Colorado

GhostTownWednesdayAccording to a Fremont County, Colorado web site the population of Whitehorn was less than ten as of 2014.  Accounts vary, however, as to who founded the town in the mid-to-late 1890’s.  In one account prospector Dennis Patno came to the area in February of 1897, struck gold and started a rush to the area in the mountains northeast of Salida.  In yet another account the town was founded in May of 1897 by Arthur L. Whitehorn – according to a 1901 article published in the Whitehorn News, he was indeed the founder.


Whitehorn had recently been appointed as U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyor in Pitkin County, having also mined around the Tin Cup area.  He set up his assayer’s tent at the camp some miners humorously referred to as “Suckerville”.  However, the specimens he examined were promising enough and soon the town named in his honor began to be laid out.



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  1. Very interesting Sharon, thank you!

    But I wonder… if gold production was still going strong, why couldn’t the town rebuild after the fire? Perhaps gold production was petering out at about the same time.

    • That I don’t know. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • David, we owned a piece of Whitehorn for 10 years up until 2013. It is my understanding because of the 1893 recession, they couldn’t get money to operate, at least that was the fate of the Bruce Mine, which set in our front yard, allegedly, there is a 40″ wide vein of silver down 140 feet deep, they jus dynamited the shaft and walked away
      . you can read much of the history hear from our website

      • That is very interesting … thanks for stopping by to share more about the story of Whitehorn, Colorado. The blog article has been snipped of most original content and will be featured later in an issue of Digging History Magazine, a monthly digital publication ( available by individual issue purchase or subscription. I have plans to feature a Colorado-themed issue in the not-too-distant future and will likely include this article (and others) about Colorado history.

        Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine


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