Historic Downtown Walsenburg

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Colorado 45 minutes

A City Built on Coal

This tour will help you explore the downtown area in Walsenburg. Walsenburg was once a booming coal mining community. In fact, the city gets its name from Fred Walsen, who opened the first coal mine in the region. Those early mines were little more than underground tunnels, but in 1876 the railroad came to town and the coal mining boom was soon in full swing. Coal mining made many men rich but it was dangerous and back-breaking work. Men worked long shifts in the damp underground mines, often crawling or hunched over for hours on end.

On this tour you'll hear how immigrants came through Ellis Island and were enticed to go onto Walsenburg, with promises of finding a prosperous and good life there. Unfortunately, that was not often the case, and you'll also hear about mining strikes that turned violent as labor organizers clashed with the mine owners. As you explore Walsenburg on this tour you'll learn about the men and women who were instrumental in the city's history, and you'll see a representation of the architecture that gives this place its unique aesthetic.

This tour is presented by the Huerfano County Tourism Board and was paid for in part by a History Colorado - State Historical Fund grant.
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