Central City is located in the state of Colorado and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Central City, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in Central City
There are many vacation possibilities in Central City, United States. For the outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and more. Central City is home to several parks, including the Central City Park, which offers a playground, picnic pavilions, and a walking trail. The city also has a public pool, which is open during the summer months.
For those interested in history, Central City is home to several museums, including the Central City Museum and the John Explains His Dream Museum. The city is also home to the Central City Opera House, which is the second oldest opera house in the country. Those interested in the arts will find plenty to do in Central City, as there are several art galleries and performance venues.
There are also many restaurants and shops in Central City, making it a great place to spend a weekend or a week. Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation or an actionpacked getaway, Central City has something to offer everyone.
Sights in Central City
Named for its central location in the state of Colorado, Central City is a historic mining town that sits about an hour west of Denver. While coal and gold mining brought early prosperity to the area in the 1800s, the town fell on hard times when the mines began to play out in the early 1900s. Central City’s fortunes changed again in the 1960s when it became a popular filming location for cowboythemed television shows and movies.
Today, Central City is known for its wellpreserved Victorian architecture, its many art galleries and its lively casino scene. The city also offers visitors a taste of the Old West with its annual “Bang Up to the Elephant” festival, which celebrates the city’s mining heritage, and its “Deadwood Alley” gunfights, which are held daily in the summer months.
If you’re looking for a glimpse of Central City’s past, be sure to visit the Teller House, a luxurious hotel that was built in 1872, and the Himan Bradley House, a Victorianstyle home that was once the residence of a wealthy miner. For a more modern experience, check out one of the city’s casinos, such as the awardwinning Dostal Alley Casino & Brewery, or enjoy a meal or a glass of wine at one of the many restaurants and cafes located throughout the city.
History of Central City
On March 28, 1854, a group of prospectors gathered at John Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California to hear James W. Marshall read aloud the words he had found carved into a sawmill beam the day before: “I have found it!” With that, the California Gold Rush was begun, and within weeks, some 10,000 men had converged on Sutter’s Mill in the hopes of striking it rich.
A few miles away from Sutter’s Mill, another group of men was busy staking claims and building a town that would soon become known as “the richest square mile on earth” – and which would eventually come to be called Central City.
Gold was first discovered in the streambeds of nearby Tucky Creek in May of 1859 by a group of Georgians who had camped there on their way to California. Realizing the area’s potential, they quickly staked claims on the best ground and began mining. News of the new “Georgian Diggings” soon spread, and by the summer of 1860, some 500 miners were working the creek.
In an effort to unify the various mining camps and towns in the area, a group of citizens met in September of 1861 and decided to form a new county. They named it after James W. Marshall, the man who had first discovered gold in California. The county seat was to be located in the town of Clear Creek, which was renamed Central City.
The following year, 1862, was a boom year for Central City. A quartz vein was discovered on Mt. Baldy, and the prospectors who raced to stake their claims were soon pulling $100,000 worth of gold out of the ground each month. With the population of Central City swelling to 10,000, businesses and services quickly sprang up to meet the needs of the miners. Hotels, saloons, gambling halls, and dance halls flourished, and the town became known for its overthetop lifestyles and lawlessness.
By the mid1860s, however, the easilyaccessible gold began to play out, and many miners moved on to other parts of the state in search of new strikes. Central City managed to hang on, though, thanks to the opening of the Idarado Mine in 1873. The mine, which was located on the side of Mt. Bross, became one of the largest and most productive in the area, and kept Central City’s population steady through the end of the century.
The early 1900s brought a new kind of riches to Central City – the kind that could be found on stage and screen. The city’s theater district, which boasted 12 different venues, became a popular destination for Colorado residents and tourists alike, and in 1932, Hollywood came calling. The movie industry had been booming in Southern California, but the advent of sound film made it necessary to find locations that were closer to the east coast, where most of the nation’s movie theaters were located.
Central City, with its Victorian architecture and scenic mountain setting, was the perfect place to film a new generation of Westerns. Over the next 30 years, more than 100 movies and TV shows would be filmed in the area, including classics like “High Noon,” “The Searchers,” and “Gunsmoke.”
In Central City’s heyday, the population swelled to more than 15,000, making it one of the largest cities in Colorado. But as the20th century wore on, the city’s fortunes began to decline. The last major gold mine in the area closed its doors in 1955, and tourism dollars dwindled as the popularity of Westerns waned. By 1980, the population of Central City had fallen to just under 500.
In an effort to revitalize the town, the state of Colorado designated Central City and the surrounding area as a National Historic Landmark District in 1961. This protected the city’s historic buildings from being demolished or altered, and helped to spur the development of the Central City Opera House, which opened its doors in 1968.
The Opera House wasn’t enough to revive Central City’s economy, however, and in 1991, the city was declared a federal disaster area. Things began to turn around in 1994, when Colorado voters approved a limitedstakes gambling amendment to the state constitution. This allowed casinos to open in the city, and within a few years, Central City was once again a thriving community.
Today, Central City is home to eight different casinos, as well as the Central City Opera House. The city’s population has rebounded to around 600, and it continues to attract tourists from all over the world
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