Colorado museum holding on to gold miner’s skull for now
CRIPPLE CREEK, Colorado – The body of a gold miner who died after being pistol-whipped at a bar is resting in pieces.
Documents say the body of James Roberts is buried in an unmarked grave in Cripple Creek, though the exact spot isn’t known. Part of his skull is now at the Cripple Creek District Museum, after changing hands around Teller County.
Museum Director Jan Collins says Roberts died Dec. 25, 1901, after exchanging words with bar owner William Brooks. Roberts was struck with a revolver, then fell and hit his head on the heating stove and the floor.
Roberts’ skull was preserved for use at Brooks’ trial, then went into a courthouse storeroom and at one point to a court employee’s home. Collins says the museum is keeping the skull for now.