Gold panned out of East Willow Creek in a tin cup gave birth to Tincup (1880, 10,160 feet), one of Colorado's most picturesque “ghost towns.” Set in a lush mountain meadow, this quaint, dirt-streeted log and frame town is well maintained by a summer community who annually condemn one of their number to winter there to guard the town. In 1900, 264 residents sustained two newspapers and numerous saloons, but fires in 1906 and 1913 hastened the town's decline. By 1917 it was abandoned during the long winter. Approximately fifty structures, most constructed between 1879 and 1910, survive, many of them native pine log cabins chinked with the local gray clay. Log interiors were smoothed so the cabins could be insulated with newspaper or muslin. The Tincup Store (c. 1905) was the first headquarters for the Gunnison National Forest. Frenchy's Restaurant (1984), northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Main Street, is a new log cabin built to look old. The cemetery in the nearby forest includes both wrought iron and log fences to protect family plots.
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