TELLER COUNTY COLORADO
TELLER COUNTY HISTORY
Teller County begins 20 miles West of Colorado Springs and is accessed via State Highway 24 West. It is almost directly in the center of the State of Colorado at elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in Woodland Park to over 14,000 on the back side of Pikes Peak.
Teller County is named after one of Colorado's first U.S. Senators, Henry Teller, and was formed on March 23, 1899. Land to form the County was given by El Paso and Fremont Counties. Teller County encompasses an area of 559 square miles.
Gold was discovered in Cripple Creek, which is the Teller County seat, in 1890 by cowboy and part time prospector, Bob Womack. This discovery forever changed the area which was to become Teller County. By 1900 more than 50,000 people called "the district" home. "The district" refers to the entire gold mining area (approximately 3 square miles) and includes Victor, Cripple Creek, Goldfield, and many towns which have disappeared. The value of the gold mined in Teller County is greater than all other gold mining operations ever conducted in the United States combined.
Today Teller County and it's cities are home to over 20,000 people. It faces the very real challenges brought about by rapid growth and the demand to preserve the natural habitat which drew folks to the area in the first place.
We hope our web pages will assist you with answers to some of your questions and provide you with additional information that you didn't know you needed. Included here are pictures from many of our beautiful areas. Spend some time browsing and let us know which areas of the Web Page you visited!
County was formed from the western portion of El Paso and the northern
portion of Fremont counties and officially became a County on March 23rd,
1899. Before 1890 most of what is now Teller County was uninhabited, was an
area that people traveled through to get somewhere else. This area was
known mostly for the old Ute Pass Trail which was an important route because
it offered passage through the front range of the Rockies for Indians,
buffalo, explorers, prospectors, and cowboys and their cattle.
your local library for many good books about Teller County and its history.
Cripple Creek in 1897
The ballad that follows is a superstition started by Cornish miners. These experienced miners feared nothing about a mine except the "TOMMY KNOCKERS." Their ballad and belief in the Tommy Knockers became famous among miners everywhere and the belief in Tommy Knockers among many miners of all nationalities grew from superstition into belief.
They believed that while working down in a mine the ghosts or spirits of dead miners who had been killed in mines would come to claim their souls. When all was quiet down in the mine shaft sometimes the miners would hear a taping, the sound of a pick hitting rock. This was the sound of a Tommy Knocker and many, many times when this sound was heard there would soon be a cave in of the mine and many miners lost their lives this way. Therefore, when the miners heard this sound those who believed in the Tommy Knockers would run from the mine and would not return to work in it again.
It is believed by others that the sound that the superstitious miners heard was actually rocks falling from the ceiling of the tunnel away from where the miners were working and thus, could not be seen by them. These rocks would fall and land on other rocks causing the taping sound that sounded like a pick striking rocks. this loose rock would fall from unstable areas that had been dug through and was at times followed by a cave in when to much earth gave way.
who worked down in the mines and had heard the Tommy Knockers while down
there and lived to tell about it would argue with any other explanation
other than it was the ghosts of dead miners known as the "Tommy Knockers!"