About GTC

Letter from The President

May 2020

Greetings to all GTC members,

It is unfortunate that we cannot meet in person for our monthly meetings, but safety to our members and the community comes first.  We will get through this crisis together and come out stronger and more resilient.  If we can stay flexible, we will not break.  I encourage each of you to reach out to others by phone, text, Facebook, email or snail mail to stay in touch and inquire about others safety and well-being.  A conversation can brighten the day and combat loneliness.

I am trying to remain upbeat about this COVID situation by counting my blessings and taking this time to reflect on what is important.  I am grateful that the virus has not impacted us much financially since Carl and I are semi-retired, as are many of you.  My heart breaks when I hear about families living from pay check to pay check, having lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and worrying about paying rent and feeding their family.  If you don’t need the federal rescue funds, consider donating it to some family in dire need or charitable organization.  I am grateful that I can still participate in church services through video recordings on Facebook.  All my family, as far as I know, are well and some are still working.

On a practical note, this period of confinement has given me time to clean out closets and drawers, to simplify and ask myself why I am keeping all this stuff.  It is a good opportunity to go through pictures taken on GTC trips and select special ones to share with you all.  I am grateful to wake up every morning, even if I don’t remember what day it is, to receive the precious gift of a new day and another chance at life.

I’m sure all of you can take heart, be thankful, and find joy during this chaotic time in your own ways.  Please stay safe until we can all meet again.

~ 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.