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This month we’re taking a look at mining, the history of it in Colorado, and how towns have evolved as the ebb and flow of the industry cycles through.
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Western Skies is a Collaboration between KRCC News and the Big Something.
Listen to the edited version here (about 20 minutes):
You can also hear the full version here (about 26 minutes):
Cripple Creek is a gold-mining town, since the first lodes were found in the 1890s until the present day. It’s also a gaming town, with limited-stakes gambling approved by voters in 1991. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska investigates these two industries’ complex relationship with the city and with each other.
For Leadville in Central Colorado, it’s the beginning of a new era. The Climax mine just north of town recently reopened for the first time in nearly two decades. It used to be something of a beating heart for Leadville, with thousands of jobs. When it closed, the town struggled to stay alive. Climax is up and running again, but this time with a lot fewer workers, and the town’s economy has largely moved away from the mining industry. KRCC’s Elise Thatcher went to Leadville to find out what it means to have the Climax mine open again.
Few rags-to-riches stories are as American as the story of Winfield Scott Stratton. His name now adorns street signs, buildings and parks throughout the Pikes Peak Region, but the story of just how hard he worked to become the working man’s gold baron is a true Cripple Creek melodrama.