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Clear Creek County, Colorado

Clear Creek County administrative offices are located at 405 Argentine Street, Georgetown, CO 80444; phone: 303‑679‑2300.


Beginnings [1]

The first important discovery of placer gold in the Rocky Mountains was made in Clear Creek County by George A. Jackson. He was a Missourian who had been to California and knew something about mining. In January, 1859, he was prospecting at the mouth of Chicago Creek, a right-hand branch of Clear Creek. He had been out on a trip about 2 weeks and supplies of provisions had run low, except the meat he got by hunting.

"Good gravel here," Jackson cheerily writes in his diary (January 5, 1859); "looks like it would carry gold. Wind has blown snow off the rim, but gravel is hard frozen. Panned out two cups; nothing but fine colors."

Clear Creek County was organized soon after Colorado was admitted as a Territory, in 1861. It got its name from the brawling stream that winds eastward through the canyon of the same name and empties unto the South Platte River. It is said that the waters of Clear Creek were then almost transparent and that every pebble in its depths could be seen; by the early 20th century, it was anything but clean.

  1. Eugene Parsons, A Guidebook to Colorado, Little Brown and Company, Boston, 1911.


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