About This Place
The historic town of Georgetown is a Territorial Charter Municipality that is the county seat of Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States. The former silver mining camp along Clear Creek in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains was established in 1859 during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. The federally designated Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic District comprises Georgetown, the neighboring Town of Silver Plume, and the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park between the two towns. The town population was 1,088 at the U.S. Census 2000. The Georgetown Post Office has the ZIP Code 80444.
The town sits at an elevation of 8530 feet (2600 m), nestled in the mountains near the upper end of the valley of Clear Creek in the mountains west of Denver along Interstate 70. Although a small town today, the town was a historic center of the mining industry in Colorado during the late 19th century, earning the nickname the "Silver Queen of Colorado". It has evolved into a lively historical summer tourist center today with many preserved structures from the heyday of the Colorado Silver Boom. The town stretches roughly north-south along Clear Creek, hemmed in by the mountains, with the historic downtown located at the southern (upper) end and modern development located at the northern (lower) end of town.
The town was founded in 1859 during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush by George and David Griffith, two prospectors from Kentucky. It was named "Georgetown" in honor of the older of the two brothers. Although founded during the gold rush, the town grew rapidly following the discovery of silver on September 14, 1864 by James Huff at a site approximately 8 miles (13 km) up the canyon in the Argentine Pass area. In the following years, thousands of mines were dug in the mountains surrounding the town and the town quickly grew into a center for prospectors and mine workers in the surrounding mountains. Located in the valley floor, the town itself was not a mining camp but a center of commerce and entertainment for miners in the surrounding mountains.