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Endangered Place

Central Staff

Brief – March 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine –

The Paris Mill in Park County was listed as one of Colorado’s six “most endangered places” at the annual convention of Colorado Preservation in Denver in February. The list is designed to “create awareness of and assistance for historically significant places in Colorado that are most in danger of being lost.”

Paris Mill, photo by Lara Abcarian, Fairplay Flume
Paris Mill, photo by Lara Abcarian, Fairplay Flume

The mill, built in 1894 to process gold and silver ore from nearby mines, sits in Buckskin Gulch above Alma. It was connected to the mines with an aerial tramway, and some machinery, including heavy ore stamps, remains inside.

It is owned by the Chihuahua Mining Co. of Spokane, Wash., and is currently for sale, along with 900 surrounding acres, and there are fears that the land could be sold for housing developments. In 1996, it was designated the top preservation priority by the South Park Heritage Area Committee. The mill’s roof is in bad shape, which hastens the decay inside.

Other properties on the 2004 list are the Beaumont Home in Pueblo, the Luigi Gianella bank building in Aguilar (near Trinidad), the old Bent County High School and the Columbian Elementary School in Las Animas, and the Redstone Castle near Marble.

Last year, the Hutchinson Ranch between Salida and Poncha Springs was placed on the list. Other designated sites in our part of the world include the Inter Laken Resort near Twin Lakes, 2001; the Leadville Mining District, 1998; and the Snowstorm Gold Dredge in Park County, 2001.

Since the list began in 1998, only two structures have been lost: Currigan Hall in Denver, and a Christian Science Church in Teller County.