1890s era Silver Cliff Colorado Fire Department Photo

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  • Item Category: Fine Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 22, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House
This is a large cabinet photo of a fire department hose company making a mad dash in a race or parade. It is titled in the negative "Silver Cliff team beats the world Fricke & Co." Fricke & Co. were photographers in Canon City Co. as noted in Carl Mautz's book on Western Photographers. Silver Cliff is a small town, pop. 589, located in the Wet Mountain Valley in south-central Colorado in Custer County. Located along State Highway 96 at an elevation of 7,982 feet, Silver Cliff has spectacular views of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and retains a small-town atmospHISTORYSilver Cliff, once a silver boom town, is located in the Wet Mountain Valley. The first permanent settlers arrived in the valley in 1869. The following year a colony of more than 100 German families from Chicago took up homesteads in the valley. The search for mineral wealth would soon bring prospectors into the region. The mining boom near Rosita created a demand for a new county and Custer County, named from General George Armstrong Custer, was created in 1877 from what had been part of Fremont County. The town of Ula was the first county seat. A few months later Rosita became the county seat. Silver Cliff came into being when silver was found on a sheer cliff beside the present location of the town. In June 1878, it was discovered the dark greasy-looking rock, when melted, turned out to be 75% silver and was given the name horn silver. Silver Cliff's "boom" then began. Silver Cliff became an incorporated town in February 10, 1879. The Silver Cliff Town Hall and Fire House constructed in 1879 and early 1880 held the first town meeting in the new town hall on April 10, 1880. Silver Cliff is indicative of the "boom and bust" cycle that was typical of many Colorado mining communities in the late 19th century. Perhaps the best description was provided by Crofutt, in his 1881 Grip-Sack Guide, who described Silver Cliff as "the infant of September 1878, the mushroom of 1879, and the giant of 1880." By 1881, estimates of the number of people living in Silver Cliff ranged from 6,000 to 16,000. The official census, conducted in June 1880, listed a population of 5,040. This figure placed Silver Cliff as the state's third largest city, behind only Denver and Leadville. Despite its large population, the terminus of the D&RG RR was placed a mile to the west in 1881, securing the existence of Westcliffe. And by 1882, the process of decline for Silver Cliff had begun. The mining boom was over, and with the closing of mines and mills, businesses began to close and the population decreased. Many businessmen and home owners put their buildings on rollers and moved them to Westcliffe. Abandonment of a nearby railroad line in 1888 further isolated the town and by 1900, the official census records listed a population of 576. Please look at the photos to get an idea of what this is. I am not an expert, so please feel free to ask any questions, and I will answer them the best way I can. I may not be able to answer your questions immediately, but every question will be answered. Please try to ask questions before the last day of the auction because I am not always around to answer them then. Realistic reserve set just to protect my investment, if t is a reserve at all. I am not interested in selling off of ebay so please do not ask, HOWEVER I collect early photographs and relics and would entertain trade offers, please check out my ME page for more info. If reserve is not met high bidder will get first chance at buying item. Payment by Money Order or Check ok, although US Postal money order is prefered. Payment must be recieved within ten days of close of auction. California residents must add 7.75% sales tax to their purchase unless they hold a valid California resale permit. If you have a permit please include it when sending your payment so that I can have it on file. Insurance will be added to purchase price at end of auction based on sale price. All items sold as-is unless I misrepresent something. Good luck and thanks for looking!!!