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1880–1912. 11 miles south of Aspen on Castle Creek Rd.

Silver strikes on Castle Creek in 1879 led to the founding of the first Pitkin County town. Ashcroft and its wagon road to Leadville smelters were important until 1887, when a railroad reached Aspen and it became the county's main smelter town. By 1890, Ashcroft had withered to twenty-five residents. Jack Leahey, an 1878 pioneer, poet, and self-appointed mayor, kept the town alive until his death in 1939. Ashcroft was a backdrop for a 1950s television series, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, costarring the famous huskies raised by Stuart Mace, who revived the town as a haven for dog sledding and crosscountry skiing. In 1974 the Aspen Historical Society leased the townsite from the U.S. Forest Service and stabilized and roofed the structures left standing in a lush mountain meadow. This well-embalmed mining town contrasts sharply with the lavish new resorts and homes creeping up Castle Creek.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Ashcroft", [Aspen, 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, 498-499.

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