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Creede, Colorado

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Settled: 1890
Status: Active Town
Current Population: 377
Peak Population: 10,000
Elevation: 8852
Primary Mineral: Silver

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Rich silver deposits were discovered near Creede in 1890. The remoteness of the area slowed the growth of the town and surrounding mines until 1891 when the railroad arrived. The railroad created an overwhelming boom almost overnight. Creede grew to a town of over 10,000 people by 1893. The silver panic of 1893 brought the boom times to an end, but silver mining would endure in the area for almost a century. The last mine closed in 1985.

Creede was home to the notorious Soapy Smith, where he ran an extortion racket. After the crash of 1893, Smith left Creede and in 1896 ended up in Skagway Alaska, where he famously terrorized the town with his gang of criminals until he was shot to death in 1898.

Today Creede is still a very isolated town. Mineral county is the least populated county in Colorado. Downtown Creede has been revitalized by artists and tourism and is the home to the Creed Repertory Theatre.