Latitude / Longitude:
39°31′58″N 106°23′33″W / 39.53278°N 106.39250°W / 39.53278
8,950 ft (2,728 m)
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Gilman is an abandoned mining town in southeastern Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The U.S. Post Office at Minturn (ZIP Code 81645) now serves Gilman postal addresses.
Founded in 1886 during the Colorado Silver Boom, the town later became a center of lead and zinc mining in Colorado, centered on the now-flooded Eagle Mine. It was abandoned in 1984 by order of the Environmental Protection Agency because of toxic pollutants, including contamination of the ground water, as well as unprofitability of the mines. It is currently a ghost town on private property and is strictly off limits to the public. At the time of the abandonment, the mining operations were owned by Viacom International. As of 2007, The Ginn Company has plans to build a private ski resort with private home sites across Battle Mountain — including development at the Gilman townsite. On February 27, 2008 the Minturn Town Council unanimously approved annexation and development plans for 4,300 acres (17 km2) of Ginn Resorts’ 1,700-unit Battle Mountain residential ski and golf resort; Ginn’s Battle Mountain development includes much of the old Gilman townsite. On May 20, 2008 the town of Minturn approved the annexation in a public referendum with 87% of the vote. As of September 9, 2009 the Ginn Company has backed out of development plans for the Battle Mountain Property. Crave Real Estate Ventures who was the original finance to Ginn will now take over day to day operations of the property.
The townsite is a victim of vandalization, and the town’s main street is heavily tagged. There are only a few intact windows left in town, as twenty years of vandalism have left almost every glass object in the town destroyed. However, many parts of the town are almost as they were when the mine shut down. The main shaft elevators still sit ready for ore cars, permanently locked at the top level. Several cars and trucks still sit in their garages, left behind by their owners. Because of its size, modernity and level of preservation, the town is also the subject of interest for many historians, explorers, and photographers.
In the 1880s, Clinton acquired a number of mining operations in the vicinity, including the profitable Iron Mask, noted for its numerous caverns with crystal formations. Clinton developed the area as a town and improved the mining operations with higher capitalization. The town, which Clinton developed in order to keep miners at the site, was initially named for him. He donated the land for its initial schoolhouse and built its first boarding house. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reached the mining camp of Belden at the base of the cliff in 1882. By 1899, it had a population of approximately 300, as well as a newspaper, called the Gilman Enterprise.