Colorado Mining Town Destroyed by the 1884 Silver Plume Fire
One story from Colorado's history books was undoubtedly catastrophic, yet remains fairly unknown to many. Keep scrolling to learn about the fire that nearly destroyed the town of Silver Plume, Colorado back in 1884.
What is Silver Plume Colorado?
Let's begin with Silver Plume itself, which is known as a living ghost town. The town is located just off of I-70 on the opposite side of the interstate from Georgetown and while it was once home to a robust mining community and population in the thousands, as of 2010 only 170 residents were reported.
The town technically predates the state of Colorado as it has been around since 1870, although it was not incorporated until 1880.
Silver Plume Colorado is Nearly Destroyed by a Fire
November 4th, 1884 is a date that lives in infamy for Silver Plume. This was supposed to be the date of merely the town election that year, but tragedy would soon overshadow the evening's plans.
Allegedly, many of Silver Plume's residents were drinking heavily at a saloon on Main Street owned by Patrick Barrett, when someone knocked over a kerosene lamp and set the building ablaze.
The aforementioned owner of the bar would, unfortunately, parish in the fire, along with several others and numerous buildings and homes. In all, most of the small town's businesses on the east side of town would fall victim to the fire and only one survivor would be rescued from the blaze.
Four days later, the newspaper would write the following:
It is impossible at present to obtain an accurate account of the loss of life and the amount of property destroyed.
Following the devastation, the town of Silver Plume would make some drastic changes to avoid another disaster like this.
The Aftermath of Fire in Silver Plume Colorado
It was reported that one of the reasons that the fire got so out of control was that at the time, the town didn't have much of a fire department and had to resort to using two-gallon buckets to try to put out the blaze.
Because of this, the town installed a water system that same year, and a hand pumper the following.
Unfortunately, the town would see tragedy strike again in the form of a mudslide in 1895, but luckily only seven homes perished and no lives were taken in that particular disaster.