Telluride. Even the name sounds exciting, doesn't it? Telluride is the county seat of San Miguel County and over the years has undergone many changes, including the name of the town. Let's see what else we can uncover.


  • Once Known Under Another Name

    Telluride was founded in 1878 and was named Columbia, but because of a town in California bearing the same name, there was some bit of confusion so the name was changed to reflect the minerals being mined.

  • Named a Historical Landmark

    The Telluride Historical District is listed on the National Register of Historic places and was named one of Colorado's 20 National Historic Landmarks.

  • Butch Cassidy's First Crime was Committed Here

    Before Cassidy became known for his Wild Bunch, he robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, getting away with over $24,000. This was his first crime. He would go on to commit many more, as well as hook up with his infamous partner, the Sundance Kid.

  • Labor Disputes Cost Miners Their Lives

    As if mining wasn't dangerous enough, a dispute between the miners and the mine owners was brought to the attention of the Colorado National Guard. There were deaths on both sides. As a result, the miners formed a union. Contentions would remain for years.

  • The Colorado Labor Wars

    As a result of the unrest, murders and explosions happening in Telluride's mines and in mines across the state, it became known as the Colorado Labor Wars. In nearly all of these disputes, the state sided with the mine operators.

  • The First Hydroelectric Plant was Built Here

    Built four years before the one at Niagara Falls, the plant sent electricity 3 1/2 miles to the town. It was the first time long distance transmission of industrial grade ac power had been successfully achieved anywhere in the world.

  • Skiing Wasn't Added Until the 1970s

    1972 saw the first ski lift erected in Telluride, which changed the town from a mining town to a ski town, and with it, the overall attitude of the town, as the 60s "hippies" began moving in.

  • The Place for Celebrities

    As the 70s gave way to the 80s, celebrities fell in love with the amazing views and history of Telluride and would often vacation there. Glen Frey included the town in his song Smuggler's Blues.

  • Telluride Film Festival Begins

    The Telluride Film festival began in 1974 over Labor Day weekend to bring the premiers of new, unheard of movie projects to the town. 43 years later it is one of the preeminent film festivals in the world.

  • Colorado's Tallest Free Falling Waterfall is in Telluride

    Bridal Veil Falls falls 365 feet, making it the highest in the state for free falling falls (no obstructions) and is one of the most photographed in the state. The hike to the top is a modest 1.8 miles. A great hike, a great view and a great place to visit.

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