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 Tourist Guide Book Description... Geologic Survey Description...

 

red cliff town view pc.jpg (47319 bytes)
Town View c1910

 

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Redcliff, CO
Elevation 8,608 feet.
Population 347 (c1920).
Denver 294 miles.

The town of Redcliff lies in the Eagle River valley at the confluence with Turkey Creek. 

A flurry of activity around the Leadville region first led miners into the Redcliff area in 1879. Rich finds were made and soon this was one of the largest camps in the area. Still, times were hard at first and the winters were long. One severe winter the local newspaper ran out of normal paper and they were forced to put out several issues printed on wallpaper.

But the townsfolk stuck it out and soon Redcliff had five hotels, post office and school with numerous shops and saloons. Redcliff soon became the Seat of Eagle County and was noted for its opera and brass band. This was becoming a proper place indeed. 

In fact, after setting up their new cemetery, the town planners were so careful they refused to accept the bodies of two men that killed each other in a shootout. The planners felt it would give their new cemetery a bad name to have murderers as their first customers. So, the bodies were buried along the side of the road to the graveyard instead. 

The Denver and Rio Grande extended its railroad from Leadville to Redcliff in 1881. The town remained the railroad terminus until 1887 when the tracks were extended to Glenwood Springs.

Redcliff remained as the center of the rich mining area for many years. Mining is still carried out in the region. Today the area is a developing resort center with access to places like Vail and Aspen.

 

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Redcliff rail yard 1919

 

 

 

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