"Hey, partner, it looks like the stage just arrived in Whitehorn."

This is in 1902. But the history of Whitehorn started a number of years before that.

This is the stage stop and store in Whitehorn, Colorado.
Probably right in the middle of the valley

In the late 1880's, the area was known only to cattlemen and Native Americans. Ranchers free-ranged their cattle and constantly bickered over ranging and water rights. Mind you, water was plentiful up here, but every cattleman wanted control over even the smallest pond. Elk and mule deer were plentiful, as well as bear and big cat, wild turkey and bighorn. Timber was plentiful. The country was wild and pristine. Before the cattlemen arrived, huge herds of buffalo roamed South Park and the vicinity of Whitehorn. The Utes and Arapahoes both used the area for summer hunting grounds, Kit Carson trapped beaver along Badger Creek. Indeed, about 2 miles northeast of what was to be Whitehorn was a buffalo jump where even today people still find artifacts from days gone by. For those of you not familiar with the term buffalo jump, it is a cliff where native americans would chase herds of buffalo over the edge to kill them, thereby supplementing their diet and clothing means in vast easier method than hunting on foot or even on horseback. Indian tribes would spend days cleaning skins and meat, and at this particular jump they had an endless supply of fresh water as Badger Creek runs just a few hundred yards from the jump.

In the mid 1890's a railroad worker discovered gold near what would soon become Whitehorn. A few prospectors got word, and soon there were a handful of miner tents spotting the valley, hoping to strike it rich. This is just a brief introduction to the story of Whitehorn, a familiar story played out across much of Colorado. A more detailed history is included with this article.

During the days of its heyday, if one wanted to travel to Whitehorn, most likely they would board the stage in Salida.

Here is one persons version of
life in Whitehorn.

Another brief description of Whitehorn appears in Under the Angel of Shavano.

Here are 3 reports on the potential riches that were expected from the Whitehorn mines.

Here are some pictures of the old town of Whitehorn, Colorado.

This is the Turret and Whitehorn stage stop in Salida at 2nd and G Street.

For nearly 15 years Whitehorn had it's own newspaper - The Whitehorn News. Here are some samples of life in Whitehorn as reported by the people who lived there. We often sit up on the hill above Whitehorn and watch the ghosts and think about the lives of the people who lived there, about their victories and their hardships. Life wasn't easy in the early 20th century at 9300 feet up in the Rocky Mountains. We thought you would be interested in reading some of their day to day happenings.

Pictures courtesy of Denver Museum of Western History