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Gold Run, discovered on January 15, 1859, was the first gold lode discovery in what is now the state of Colorado, and the first lode to be exploited (mining began on March 7th). Naturally, new arrivals flooded into the area, and Gold Hill became the first permanent mining camp in Colorado. A quartz stamp mill (the first such piece of equipment in the region) was erected at the base of the hill that August, and soon four productive local veins were being worked.
The local surface deposits of gold were depleted within two years, resulting in a temporary population decrease, but the construction of a smelter in nearby Black Hawk allowing the processing of lower-grade ores somewhat alleviated Gold Hill's decline. A second local boom was brought on by the discovery of Tellurium in 1872, and the population of Gold Hill reached almost 1,000. During this second era of prosperity, Gold Hill had its own newspaper and a number of hotels, including the recently restored Mines Hotel.
Gold Hill's population dwindled in the early years of the twentieth century as the local mining industry waned. The town still retains
over two hundred residents, however, as well as many of its original wooden structures (this author, while inadvertently discovering Gold
Hill during his first visit to the area, was struck by the fact that the general store appeared to be indeed the original general store).