The City of Cripple Creek is a Statutory City that is
the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States.
Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles
(71 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes
Peak. The Cripple Creek Historic District, which received
National Historic Landmark status in 1961, includes part or
all of city and includes surrounding area. The population
was 1,115 at the 2000 census.
At an elevation of 9,494 feet and just below timberline, for many years
Cripple Creek’s high valley was considered no more important
than a cattle pasture. Many prospectors avoided the area
after the misnamed Mount Pisgah hoax, a mini gold rush
caused by salting (adding gold to worthless rock).
On October 20, 1890, however, Robert Miller “Bob” Womack
discovered a rich ore and the last great Colorado gold rush
was on. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region, and
before long W. S. Stratton located the famous Independence
lode, one of the largest gold strikes in history. In three
years, the population increased from 500 to 10,000 by 1893.
Though $500,000,000 worth of gold ore was dug from Cripple
Creek, Womack himself would die, penniless, on August 10,