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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Clarkson

Why Leadville?

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

We have been asked many times by friends, family, and anyone else who gets a chance, "How did you decide to build a house in Leadville?" It's a good question. Leadville is a unique place and is unlike any other town in the state of Colorado. I have heard, and I agree, that it resembles Butte, Montana, in many ways. Both towns are remnants of the late 1800's mining glory days. Leadville's distinctive qualities are apparent the moment you drive in from either the north or south. At first glance, it appears a bit sketchy and run down. But as soon as you round the corner onto the main section of Harrison Avenue, it is apparent that Leadville is special. It is as though Leadville stopped in time and only slowly has been reaching modern-day, somewhat reluctantly. Its history has not been cloaked in Disneyland tourism; it is raw. Here it is, folks, nothing to hide or change. No casinos or fancy pants dollars are coming in to take over and gentrify Leadville. This is a working-class town with folks trying to make an honest living. And mining is still alive and well.

Leadville's ambiance was only part of the appeal to us. The best part was the natural surroundings. It is an outdoor adventure in every direction with a variety of activities for every season. For many summers, our family had an annual camping trip to Turquoise Lake. A while back, I caught the 14'er bug, which continued to bring me to Leadville many times in the summer to hike Mt. Evans and Mt. Massive to the west, and Quandary Peak and Mt. Sherman to the east. Driving to every other peak in the southern part of the state, we found ourselves passing through Leadville and falling more in love each time. We just felt good here.

At one point, my husband John and I were talking about how cool it would be to have a home base in the mountains, and Leadville, being located fairly smack dab in the middle of Colorado, would be perfect. We would find time to come into town during our Turquoise Lake camping trips and drive up and down every street looking at for sale signs. We toured a few homes, but most of them scared me as they were built in the late 1800s. Side note: I was haunted once, and I have quite the PTSD from that experience; maybe another blog in the future where I describe that horrifying experience. Nonetheless, I'm not too fond of houses with scary attics or trap doors in the basement. Then the apparent light bulb went off. I said, "Hey, honey, you're a home builder, why don't we build a new home?" Eureka! We then changed direction and looked for land lots. The rest is history.

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