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Capitol City

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1877–1920. 10 miles west of Lake City on Henson Creek Rd. (Hinsdale County 20)

This would-be capital of Colorado is sited in a broad mountain valley. Founder George S. Lee platted an ambitious 200-acre townsite and built his large brick house as a “governor's mansion.” Lee incorporated what he claimed would soon be a city of thousands. Census records show a peak population of 59 in 1910, although Capitol City boosters contend that it reached 500 between the ten-year counts. Capitol City's fantasy of displacing Denver was still alive in 1895, when The Resources and Mineral Wealth of Hinsdale County boasted that it had “all the appearances of a metropolitan town … is situated in the richest belt of Southern Colorado” and had “produced several million dollars worth of ore when silver and lead were at fair prices.” Today an easily drivable dirt road leads to a restored post office of hewn, V-notched logs, one old cabin, and a few new log summer homes. The “governor's mansion,” like Lee's state capital dream, has vanished.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Capitol City", [Lake City, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 550-551.

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