By Allen Best
When does a town cease to be a town? That’s been the question this year for Bonanza, a place that for most of its existence has failed to live up to its name.
It’s located in south-central Colorado, 13 miles of gravel road from the nearest highway, post office or business. This is in the forested fringe of the northern San Luis Valley, a broad triangle of high desert sandwiched by 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks.
The town was launched as a formal municipality in 1881. This was during Colorado’s mining boom. Bonanza had seven dance halls, four smelters, two hotels and one newspaper, along with 1,000 residents.