Get outta town: Leadville’s Silver Dollar Saloon

by Patty Templeton

By 1880, Leadville was one of the richest silver camps in America, hosting 15,000 people, more than 30 mines, and 10 smelting works. Its gold boom went bust, but silver was the next best thing. The mines were worth $15 million annually and Leadville became a rival to Denver. It was a bustling metropolis people wanted to visit, people like O.K. Corral gunfighter Doc Holliday.

Holliday was in Leadville from 1883 to 1887, an attempt to assuage his tuberculosis, but the high country air did not do him well. Nor did his drinking and gambling. One of his favorite haunts to play faro till all hours of the night was a bar called The Board of Trade.

If you’re a nerd for historical hangouts, the Irish American saloon The Board of Trade still exists, but now it’s called the Silver Dollar Saloon. The place is cluttered with historical pictures and memorabilia, one being a rope that is supposedly the last legal hanging rope used in Leadville, along with a morbid picture of the hanging. Ask a bartender and they’ll tell you about the ghosts, too. The bar spots its 1880s tile floor, an enormous, one-piece mahogany bar, and its original diamond dust mirrors brought to Colorado by covered wagon from St. Louis.

If you wanna lean on a bar that Doc Holliday did, get outta town and head to the Silver Dollar Saloon, 315 Harrison Ave., Leadville.

Pro tip: If you don’t give a fig about Doc Holliday, watch the movie “Tombstone” and see if your opinion changes.

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Patty Templeton


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