C 2022 by Jan MacKell Collins
In 2016, I wrote Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County, an account of every known town in what began as a farming and ranching area and turned into the site of Colorado’s last major gold boom. The book focused on towns that are “truly lost,” which have been destroyed, buried or just plain forgotten over time. It was a tough selection to make since certain places, although they are just a shell of what they once were, still contain residents. What I wanted to showcase were the camps, cities and towns that will never be the communities they once were.
In making my selections for Lost Ghost Towns, I also had to leave out certain places for which I could find absolutely nothing other than a plat map, or mention in a newspaper, or referenced in a history book. These are communities which were so short-lived they were quickly lost to history. Some of them were never developed beyond the planning stage. Others were the dreamchild of someone who hoped to create their own slice of heaven somewhere in the 559 square miles that constitute tiny Teller County. They too deserve their place in history, however short that history may be. That being said, here are the towns which did not make it into Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County, but are shared here for you to enjoy.
Custer Cabin is a lone log structure located in Metberry Gulch where Teller County meets with Douglas and Park Counties. The cabin sits along the South Platte River, and is so-named because General George Armstrong Custer is supposed to have stayed there. That would date the building to sometime before Custer’s death in 1876. Others suppose that the cabin was actually relocated to its present site, but the date on that is very fuzzy. To date Custer Cabin has been the victim of vandals carving their names in the walls and even building campfires inside. At this writing, it is unknown whether the cabin is even still standing.
Hayden Park refers to an area between Divide and Woodland Park, and there is supposed to have been a community there of the same name in 1885.
Wilders is only known as a stop on the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad in 1895, just before the stop of Glenbrook.
Crescent Drive didn’t have a chance during the wild and woolly gold boom of the 1890’s. In 1896, the Castle Rock Journal announced that plans were being made to found a new town, Crescent Drive, roughly two miles southeast of Pemberton (today’s West Creek). It is uncertain whether Crescent Drive was truly located in Teller County, but either way the town was doomed. Why? Because Crescent Drive was promoted as a family town. “No saloons or disturbances of any kind will be allowed within its limits,” warned the Journal.
Fulton‘s plat map was filed in 1896. Three years later, the Cripple Creek Morning Times reported that Fulton’s total property value was assessed at $20.00. Both the map, and therefore the town, have since disappeared from official records.
Badger was located a little over halfway between Cripple Creek and Midway on the High Line of the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway, close to the tiny community of Vista Grande. The High Line was one of two electric trolley systems which offered transportation throughout the Cripple Creek District. A ride on the High Line in 1903 cost twenty cents, with stop all along the northern section of the Cripple Creek District between Cripple Creek and Victor. The tracks through Badger were abandoned in 1905, and the High Line shut down in 1922.
Camps, Towns and Cities That Never Made It Further Than the Planning Stage
Ellamo Mining Camp
Garden of Eden
Juanita Mountain Park