Colorado Ghost Towns: Eureka and the Sunnyside Mine
Along the Animas River, between Silverton and Animas Forks lies the ghost town known as Eureka, Colorado.
Prospectors began exploring the area in 1860, even though it was considered Uter land and what they were doing was illegal. Ultimately, the Ute tribe gave the U.S. 4 million acres in the San Juan mountains in exchange for perpetual hunting rights and $25,000 per year, according to the Brunot Treaty.
Gold was found in 1871 nearby in the Little Giant vein near Silverton and so mining began in earnest in Eureka. A post office opened in 1875 and in 1896 the Silverton Northern railroad made its way into Eureka.
When the original mill closed, with no reason given, the Gold Prince mill was disassembled and turned up in Eureka, where it was renamed the Sunnyside mill.
The mill remained open until 1939 when it finally closed for good. The foundations and roads remain, as does the restored jail, but that is all that remains of the town of Eureka.