Colorado Ghost Towns: The Tomboy Mining Camp
Colorado has a number of former mining camps around the state, each one with their own story. The Tomboy mining camp near Telluride is one such camp.
Situated two miles east of Telluride, the town was built at an elevation of 11,509 feet. And, while the camp closed down in the 1920's, you can still see many of the buildings that were used, although many others have since turned into piles of rubble.
At the height of its popularity, Tomboy had around 2,000 people living there. There was a school, stables, a dining hall, a general store, and cabins. It also had a YMCA with a bowling alley a pool hall and tennis courts.
Situated in what is known as the Savage Basin, the camp was originally known as the Savage Basin Camp. The camp operated until 1928, but miners were there until 1978.
One miner, however, refused to give up. Whispering Jim built a cabin (pictured above) and remained for years. He died in 1998. He was the last resident of Tomboy.
Still, there is the tunnel used to pass ore from Ouray to Telluride to be processed as well as what was known as the "social tunnel, where "ladies of the evening" would meet the miners and have some "social time", because they weren't allowed near the mining camp.
It's a bit of a hike to get to, but worth the effort. You will see what remains of the "Smuggler" mine as well as the large mill used, and the buildings that were used then.
One piece of our past we can go to and enjoy.