Crested Butte Colorado Museums & History

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Crested Butte is located in the East River Valley of Colorado and this area was originally used by the Ute Native Americans as their summer residence. The Utes, however, were quickly displaced when the early white explorers came into the region. Since that time, Crested Butte has enjoyed a rich and varied history.

Crested Butte Museums and Historic Sites

Crested Butte History

The first white men to come into the Crested Butte area were beaver trappers, followed by surveyors. Captain John Gunnison, after whom Gunnison County is named, was one of the early explorers to enter the area.

In the 1860s and 1870s coal and silver mines began to open in the region and many little mining towns formed one of which was Crested Butte. Because Crested Butte served as a supply town to the surrounding area, it was in a good position even when other small towns failed as the silver mining boom went bust.

Crested Butte was also supported by coal mines and by ranching. However, as the coal mines began to close, Crested Butte began to fade and did not revive until the building of the ski area on Crested Butte Mountain in the 1960s.

The Crested Butted Academy opened in the small town in 1993, and in 1997 the Crested Butte Community School opened.

US Energy Corp. owns mining rights for molybdenum on Mount Emmons ("Red Lady") near Crested Butte and as molybdenum prices rise, the town is currently fighting to prevent a molybdenum mine from being opened.

In 2004 Crested Butte Mountain Resort was sold to Tim and Dianne Mueller of Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT.

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