Lake City is a small mountain town, settled in 1874 by Enos Hotchkiss, in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The town was shaped by nineteenth-century silver and gold mining and twentieth century tourism.

Its remote location and mountain elevation also influenced Lake City’s growth and design of its historic architecture. The town is located 55 miles southwest of Gunnison and 55 miles northwest of Creede, at an altitude of 8,671 feet on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. Lake City is also located on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, which is a primarily four-wheel drive backcountry tour of historic sites emphasizing the silver mining boom of the 1870 to 1890s. This byway connects Lake City to Silverton and Ouray, also historic mining towns.

The Town of Lake City currently boasts more than 200 historic structures. Homes, outbuildings, barns, churches, public buildings, motor courts, the oldest operating courthouse and more tell stories of day gone by. The Lake City Historic District was designated so in 1978, honoring Lake City’s role in the development of the American West. The Hinsdale County Museum offers walking tours for visitors to travel through history.

For those interested in getting more involved with history will enjoy the numerous shops and restaurants located in historic buildings. A stroll through the downtown historic district takes visitors along 500 feet of boardwalk, past the beautiful garden plots at the Third Street Market and the multi-functional Town Park. The park is home to a playground for children of all ages, a sand volleyball pit, picnic tables, a grassy area perfect for tossing the football or Frisbee, and several special events. The Moseley  Arts Center in the historic Hough Building features musical performances, art shows, dance shows and more. Come to the Lake City Historic District and enjoy the living side of history.

Lake City / Hinsdale County Museum

Get Involved!

Lake City DIRT is currently working collaboratively with the Hinsdale County Historic Society and Museum to assemble information pertaining to the history of the area, historic property maintenance and funding opportunities to help preserve historic locations. If there is something you are looking for that is not available here please call our office to inquire about obtaining what you are needing, 970-944-3478 or email us.

The following photos were found at the Denver Library

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