Abandoned Buildings of Colorado #5

On my last day in Colorado I decided to do a little exploring. On my to-do list was a trip to St. Elmo (post coming soon). On the way there I saw this old school house, and I couldn’t help but stop.

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Some research into this building lead me to find that it was once the Gas Creek School House. It was built in 1890, and was used until 1942.

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This building is now privately owned, but it is unclear what it is currently used for. When looking at the building you can still see the two doors in which boys and girls entered and exited separately. 

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Going back down into Salida, Colorado, I spotted a sign for a historic site. Curiosity, of course, got the best of me, and I just had to stop and check it out.

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It turned out to be the Salida Smokestack. It is all that remains of the former smelting industry that once supported the nearby town of, Smeltertown. The building was owned by The Ohio-Colorado Smelting and Refining Company, and construction began in 1902.

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The large smokestack was completed in 1917, towering at 365 feet tall.

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The smelter was no longer in operation after 1920, and in 1938 the property was almost destroyed. The Salida Museum Association acquired the building and was able to save it in 1974.

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The fencing around the building does little to keep people out, and there is graffiti covering many of the walls. As I’ve worked on this project I have been to many remote locations, and deserted buildings, but this one left me with a definite feeling of unease. Even as I worked on editing the pictures from this visit, I was revisited with that feeling once again.

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Thank you to The Salida Museum for the information about this amazing piece of history. If you’re just starting the series, and want to see it from the beginning, click here.

Be sure to check back for more of Colorado’s historical buildings!

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