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The Ghost Town Club of Colorado is an active and energetic group of people with diverse backgrounds who share an interest in the history of the west, especially Colorado. 

The club enjoys visiting historic sites and is committed to the preservation of these sites for future generations.

The club holds monthly meetings with programs on historical subjects. In addition, the club conducts field trips to sites throughout Colorado, and occasionally beyond to locales in the western United States and Canada.

Historic preservation is a focus of our work and preservation work is done in conjunction with field trips. Also once a year the club distributes its preservation funds to nonprofit historical sites in need of financial help.

Exploration, enjoyment and preservation of historical sites.

About GTC

Letter from The President

January 2020

My first letter will be very short. My computer has been being a pain, it’s getting old. I hope I haven’t signed up for more than I can handle with the President’s office. I can only promise to do my best to conduct the monthly meetings and encourage participation. I would like to thank everyone for the support in filling committee chairs. I think we have a great slate of officers and committee people. At the January meeting, Ethan still has a few people to thank for their service who were not at the December meeting and then he will pass the gavel to me. I will say a few words about my hopes and aspirations for the Club in 2020. I am looking forward to a productive and fulfilling year and thank you for electing me.
~ Shirley Miller, President


From Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Matters by Shanna Lewis with CPR’s Ryan Warner

October 31, 2018 – There Are 700 Ghost Towns In Colorado, And Ron Ruhoff Has Visited Many Of Them

Listen now


 

What do we do?

The Ghost Town Club of Colorado was founded in 1958 by two Denver teachers, Jack Morison and Bob Brown. Together with several other people who shared an interest in Colorado history and historic preservation, they created a group focused specifically on ghost towns – their history and preservation.

Ghost Town Club of Colorado (GTC) holds monthly meetings featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics related to western history, ghost towns, Colorado history and relevant historic subjects. Past presentation topics include: the adventure, danger and romance of Colorado’s railroads, Denver’s great mansions and the people who inhabited them, and the unusual opportunities and challenges of living in a fire observation tower. There is something for everyone in this group of enthusiastic lovers of Colorado history!

Members also plan, organize, and lead many field trips to ghost towns and/or historic sites. These include day-trips to local sites such as old Fort Lupton to learn about and observe reconstruction of the fort, as well as to the ghost town of Dearfield to explore a hundred-year-old African American agricultural community on the arid high plains. Our excursions may include leisure driving, four-wheel driving, and/or hiking to our destinations.

Our field trips also include weekend excursions such as a motorcoach tour to Nebraska and the Lincoln County Historical Museum depicting a WWII canteen serving more than six million soldiers traveling by train through North Platte.

We also organize longer tours traveling to several states and parts of Canada, visiting significant historical sites and monuments, national parks, and local historians along the way.

And lets not forget about historic preservation. The club collects money throughout the year in a preservation fund to distribute at the end of the year to nonprofit historic sites in need of finacial support. Also, we will often help by doing actual preservation work with hands-on labor.

Who are we?

We are a diverse and active group of people with a shared sense of and reverence for history. We honor the significant contributions of many people through our strong desire to study, learn from, and preserve ghost towns and the memory of the people who built and lived in them. Perhaps most importantly, we are a group of friendly people who enjoy getting out, socializing, learning, and having a lot of fun.

How do we operate?

We are a volunteer-run organization. Our board of directors consists of six members who are elected to two-year terms. The president and other officers are elected for a yearly term. Subcommittees plan and execute special projects such as the yearly banquet, preservation fund awards, volunteer coordination, or outreach activities, to name a few.

Snapshot of GTC History

During the first three meetings of the Club back in 1958 when organizers were trying to decide on a name for the club, one lone stranger kept insisting that “toll roads” be added to the name. Finally Ghost Town Club of Colorado was “railroaded” through. In December 1963, the Club was legally incorporated with the Secretary of State.

First dues for the Club were $1 a year. In 1979, dues were $5 a year. Slowly postage, printing, insurance and rent have caused minimal increases. It’s been many a year since we had to raise the dues, and as Dick Ramsey says, “It’s still the best bargain in town.”


Join us!

We invite you to attend a monthly meeting to learn more about us. Our membership dues are $30 per year. Join GTC today! Costs for field trips vary based on distance and length.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Programs & Monthly Meetings

January 9, 2020 at 7:30p.m.

Charles Russell, new GTC member, will offer a presentation entitled “Dyersville: Then and Now – A History and Field Report.”

February 13, 2020 at 7:30p.m.

Carl Sandberg brings us a program about his favorite ghost town entitled “Red Mountain Town: A Tale of Two Cities”.

March 12, 2020 at 7:30p.m.

Josh Robinson will offer a ghost town program based on his ghost town explorations and his professional knowledge as an architect.

Monthly Meeting Schedule

We hold ten regular meetings per year on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:30p.m. We meet at the Grace United Methodist Church located at 4905 East Yale Avenue, Denver, Colorado (just west of I-25 and Yale). Additional parking is available in the church parking lot on the north side of the building.


Upcoming Field Trips

More trips coming soon…

Field Trip Report Museum of Boulder

TRIP LEADERS: Ray & Dottie Imel, Kevin Jochems, & Shannon Kanan

The Museum of Boulder and the Carnegie Library were the destinations for our GTC field trip on October 16th. Sixteen members gathered that morning at the Museum of Boulder; our group became seventeen with the arrival of a later guest.

Our first stop in the museum was ARCHIVE 75 – AN EXHIBITION OF 75 HISTORIC OBJECTS. The objects and artifacts in ARCHIVE 75, brought together in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Museum of Boulder, were intended by the museum to highlight “a range of prevailing tales and previously overlooked stories in Boulder’s history”. One of the objects of special interest to those of us who love ghost towns was a painting by Muriel Sibell Wolle, artist and author of Stampede to Timberline: The Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Colorado and other well-known works. Leaving ARCHIVE 75 behind us, we made an excursion by elevator to the museum’s rooftop deck where we were rewarded by the gorgeous view of The Flatirons. We were also able to visit (briefly) The Boulder Experience Gallery, the museum’s permanent exhibit of the history of the Boulder area. We then made the short walk next door for our scheduled time at the Carnegie Library.

The Carnegie Library had invited us to come during private hours when it is otherwise closed to the public. We were warmly greeted by Carnegie staff and library manager Wendy Hall who treated us to an excellent orientation to the library’s history and its collections. Wendy pointed out a set of framed illustrations of the historic Switzerland Trail which were displayed along one wall of the library… and the artist who had created them was none other than the iconic Muriel Sibell Wolle! The materials that members had previously requested were waiting for us and additional requests were graciously honored. Soon the entire space was filled with a scene of both excitement and concentration as members of our group, all wearing blue gloves provided by the library to protect its collections, began to examine the photos and documents before them.

Very reluctantly, we had to stop our research so we could keep our lunch reservation at Lucile’s Creole Cafe. The photos taken at Lucile’s show a group of happy people enjoying good food and each other’s good company.

The success of this trip would not have been possible without the work and support of all of the trip leaders. Thank you!


Do you enjoy our field trips? Have you ever thought about leading one?

It’s easy! Find a friend, team up, and plan a trip for the club. Field trips can be for a few hours, a morning or afternoon, a full day, a weekend, or a week long excursion.

Want more information? Check out our printed guide on planning field trips for a step-by-step how to guide. Remember it’s always easier and more fun to work together. Some of our greatest field trips were been led by people who had never planned a trip before. Let’s go exploring together!