Vail Symposium present mining haunts tour in Leadville
Some locals of Leadville say that if people wander up and down the streets of Leadville at a certain hour they might see a glow or feel a draft cross their path. Other residents say the glowing images and drafts are the ghosts that haunt the streets, old miners, dance hall girls or workers passing through town but never really leaving it. The Vail Symposium presents a tour of the old mining town – the last remaining mining town in the west. In its 33rd year, the Vail Symposium will offer a walking tour with Roger Pretti, author of “Mining, Mayhem and other Carbonate Excitements,” beginning at 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Leadville.”It’s about the interesting, sad, funny, curious stories that these people lived and been long forgotten and being resurrected out of that forgotten closet and put in a form people might not otherwise have seen or heard about,” Pretti said. The tour will be patterned after material from the book, “Mining, Mayhem and other Carbonate Excitements,” available for purchase after the tour. The book – and the tour – will bring to life the lives of miners and other colorful characters about Leadville during the 19th century. The tour will be more than a conglomeration of facts found on other tours or in history books but rather an anecdotal look at the lives of the people who lived and died in Leadville, Pretti said.”I’ll talk about the ghosts, miners and dance hall girls – and the forgotten faces – that was as much a part of Leadville as anything else,” Pretti said.The tour will begin with a walking tour of Leadville, starting at the Mining Museum. After the walking tour, those interested can hop in the car to the Evergreen Cemetery, breaking for lunch around 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided by Cloud City Coffeehouse. After lunch, Pretti will take the guests on a walking tour of cemetery to visit some of the most noteworthy former residents of Leadville. Following the cemetery, the guests will head for the mining district, visiting some of the most prominent mines in the area – California Gulch and Strayhorse Gulch. The tour will wrap up around 3 p.m.”In places like Breckenridge, Lake City and Central City, mining cities are no longer there,” Pretti said. “The (mining) people are gone and the families died out. But Leadville is a mining town on the surface and right down to its soul. Leadville is the west’s greatest mining town. People here are mining families. In Breckenridge, there’s very few people left of that era.”Mining history tourJoin author Roger Pretti in Leadville for a day of bewitching tales on a tour of the state’s premier mining town of the 1880s. The tour will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, in Leadville.The tour will be $25 and includes lunch.For reservations, call 476-0954.