Granite (1868, 8,920 feet) was the first Lake County seat (1868–1878) and, for one year, the first seat for Chaffee County. Granite lies at the junction of the Arkansas River and Cache Creek, where argonauts first found pay dirt in 1860. The stage stop and town hub for the upper Arkansas Valley until eclipsed by Leadville to the north and Buena Vista to the south, it retains a hewn log blacksmith shop and livery stable (1870s) and several antique log and stone structures. On a hillside overlooking the town and fronting the old stage road is the white clapboard Granite Schoolhouse (1888), with its steep gable roofs, shed additions, and outdoor privies.
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