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Lake City, Colorado

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Settled: 1871
Status: Active Town
Current Population: 382
Peak Population: ~5,000
Elevation: 8820
Primary Mineral: Silver

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Lake City, Colorado (population 382), is located on the eastern side of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. It is the seat of Hinsdale County, the least populated county in the state. The town originated as one of the most isolated of the major 19th century Colorado silver camps and was named for the nearby Lake San Cristobal.

Prospecting began in the area around 1871, and after a road building party found gold in nearby hills, the town flourished. The arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad in 1889 provided cheap transportation for the ore, facilitating full development of the mines. Until the silver boom ran out, prosperous Lake City supported two banks, two breweries, seven saloons, and the first church and newspaper on Colorado's Western Slope.

Today, Lake City is a very well preserved town full of turn-of-the-century architecture. Visitors can explore the Victorian charm of downtown with over 75 buildings from the late 1800s - one of Colorado's largest historical districts.

Text courtesy of Preserve America