Ludlow Massacre Site (and ghost town!)

by Angelica Leicht

You probably haven’t heard of the Ludlow Massacre Site, the site of one of the deadliest labor protests in American history. But it’s a thing, it’s in Colorado, AND it’s now a ghost town you can visit.

Here’s what went down. So, back in 1913 in Ludlow, there were about 8,000 Colorado mine workers employed by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company. They lived together in the company town, but the living and working conditions weren’t ideal, so the miners formed a union to protest.

The company wasn’t about that union life, and managed to drive the workers from the town. The workers pushed back and set up a tent camp near the mines, and the company spent the next year or so trying to harass the miners out of town. But even with hired goons running raids, the miners would not stand down. You see where this is going.

In April of 1914, things escalated. The company’s militia started firing guns into the camp, and the miners returned fire. This went on the entire day, and when the sun went down, the militia burned the camp to the ground.

It wasn’t just the miners living in the tent city, though. Some had their families in tow. About two dozen people were killed in the shootout and firestorm, and a group of 11 children and two women hiding in an underground cellar were asphyxiated.

These days, the company town of Ludlow is a ghost town, with the original ramshackle buildings and even the cellar is still in place. You can even pop your head in and see the pit below, if you’re brave enough to do so.

Angelica Leicht

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