Colorado Gold RushColorado Gold Rush
Trappers and explorers had previously noticed gold in what is now Colorado including prospectors on their way to California in 1849. In 1858 a party of prospectors from Georgia returned and found small quantities of gold in Cherry Creek, near the present site of Denver, Colorado. When word got back east, the rush was on; Pike's Peak or Bust! was the slogan. By 1859 large numbers of prospective miners and settlers had come to the Denver area. At first there was only the slight showing in Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, but soon paying quantities of gold were discovered at Idaho Springs and Central City. By 1860 Central City had a population of 60,000 people and Denver and Golden were substantial towns serving the mines.