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Idaho Springs, Colorado

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Settled: 1859
Status: Active Town
Current Population: 1,800
Peak Population: 12,000
Elevation: 7524
Primary Mineral: Gold

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Idaho Springs is the site of the first significant discovery of the Colorado Gold Rush. George Jackson found gold at the confluence of Chicago Creek and Vasquez Creek on January 7, 1859. The town boomed throughout the 1860's - reaching a peak population estimated at over 12,000 people.

Idaho Springs is the site of the terminus of the Argo Tunnel and the Argo Gold Mill. The Argo Tunnel extends over four miles from Central City to Idaho Springs, under an area of extensive mining. The purpose of the tunnel was to drain problematic water from overlying mines, and to provide a direct route to ship ores from the mines to the Argo Mill. The tunnel took 17 years to complete and was the worlds longest tunnel when completed in 1910.

Today, Idaho Springs is a popular tourist stop along Interstate 70.