Central City, CO


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Central City is a home rule municipality in Clear Creek and Gilpin counties in the U.S. state of Colorado, and the county seat of Gilpin County. The city population was 515 in the 2000 United States Census. The city is an historic mining settlement founded in 1859 during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, which came to be known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth." Central City and the adjacent City of Black Hawk form the federally designated Central City/Black Hawk National Historic District.
On May 6, 1859, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, John H. Gregory found a gold-bearing vein (the Gregory Lode) in Gregory Gulch between Black Hawk and Central City. Within two months many other veins were discovered, including the Bates, Gunnell, Kansas, and Burroughs. By 1860 as many as 10,000 prospectors had flocked to the town, then known as Mountain City, and surrounding prospects, but most soon left, many returning back east. The 1900 census showed 3,114 people.
As placer mining was gradually replaced by underground lode mining, the year 1863 brought the first attempt by hard rock miners to form a hard rock miners' union. Of 125 miners signing a union resolution in Central City, about fifty broke windows and doors at the Bob Tail mine, forcing other workers out. After a night of shooting and fighting, the union effort among Central City miners failed. A month later more than 300 miners successfully organized at the Comstock Lode, although this effort also faded.