Cripple Creek began as two tiny hamlets called Fremont (est. 1891) and Hayden Placer (est.
1892). Nearby lay Poverty Gulch, the site of several promising gold discoveries. Tents, cabins, and flimsy wooden shelters housed hundreds of miners as the boom began. Within a few years, the two towns merged to provide better services to the thousands of people living there.
By 1900,Cripple Creek thrived as the marketing and financial center for incredible wealth flowing from the mines. The business of this era included three stock exchanges, three banks, fifty two stockbrokers, and ten insurance agents. A thoroughly modern city, Cripple Creek offered residents electricity, telegraph and telephone systems, two opera houses, eight newspapers, and transportation around the district via electric streetcars.
Today, the entire commercial and residential area of Cripple Creek is a National andmark and limited stakes gaming has revitalized Cripple Creek's economy with casinos, shops and restaurants. A self-guided walking tour of the historic downtown begins at the Cripple Creek District Museum. In the summer, the historic Butte Opera House offers a traditional melodrama, music and other fun.
Listen to a narration about mining in this area: