History of Coal Creek

Coal Creek Before The Big Fire

Welcome to the Oldest Coal Camp in Colorado!

Coal Creek was first settled in the early 1870’s just after coal was discovered. The first plat maps were filed by William and Henry Teller in Fremont and Arapaho county in November of 1878. On October 8th, 1881 about 65 citizens of the village of Coal Creek decided to petition to become incorporated. Coal Creek became incorporated February 27th, 1882.

During the 1880’s coal creek was a hustling, bustling place with 16 saloons, two drug stores, two hotels, all sort of grocery stores, a company store, numerous millinery shops, a lumber yard, notions store, a macaroni factory, theater, a couple of race tracks, busy ball park and a railroad depot. The railroad yard was busy with cars of coal, passengers and freight. The population was about 5,000 people.

Baseball was a major activity, one that was treated very seriously. The Coal Creek baseball team was a dandy known all over Colorado. Coal Creek also had a brass band with a big bash thrown on the fourth of July. This 4th of July celebration drew people from all over the state.

Jesse Frazier is credited with digging the first coal in our country and started the first apple orchard, delivering the first load of coal in Canon City to Anson Rudd. Others saw the potential in coal and entered the picture… Caldwell, Canfield, Allen, Clark, Thompson, Haddon and finally the CF&I Corporation.

By the 1890’s it was decided that the little school-house wasn’t big enough to handle all the children and a nice two-story school was built next to the old one and  School District #15 was formed.

In June 1907  a fire broke out at Alf Salmon’s Bottling Works which almost destroyed the town. The loss was estimated at nearly $200,000. Only a few of the original buildings remain standing today with a population in Coal Creek of under 500 people.