Silver Plume (c. 1870, 9,118 feet) is noted for its silver mines and granite quarries. While merchants and mine owners gravitated to Georgetown, Silver Plume housed most of the mines and miners. The town, named for ore so rich that silver flakes broke off in feathery plumes, runs the length of a narrow, steep-sided valley. Some 1,500 people lived here in 1890, ten times the present population.
Small vernacular frame homes reflect the limited space in the narrow valley and the meager wages of miners. Most homes have fewer than four rooms, with ornament limited to pediments over doors and windows, suggesting a Greek Revival influence. Relatively stable property values and lack of development pressure have left much of Silver Plume's nineteenth-century architecture intact, making it one of Colorado's best-preserved mining towns.
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