Crystola Colorado

photo courtesy of the Ute Pass Historical Society.

The town of Crystola Colorado was built on a psychic prediction, and many travelers wished they had a different way to head west up Ute Pass instead of going near this town.

Rumor has it, during the early days of the development of Ute Pass and it's westward heading towns, Crystola was a haven for the occult, con men and, before Harry Potter, wizards.

Psychics and spiritualists were the trend of the early days across the country and one man, Henry Clay Childs, headed to Colorado on the advice of a psychic.

Before Childs moved to Crystola, there had been much turmoil in the area.  Rival ranchers had been feuding with each other and causing havoc in general.

Childs built a grand house in the valley and it has been said that he and his wife would gaze into their crystal ball for guidance and entertain mediums in their home who would perform seances.

At one particular seance, Mr. Childs was told that there was gold on his property.

He built a lab on his land and started studying about minerals and metals.

In 1897, a medium named Professor Kimball, visited the area and claimed he could "witch" gold.

Childs and his spiritual cronies promptly formed the Brotherhood Gold and Mining and Milling Company.

This was the biggest stock selling scheme in Colorado at the time.

It has been said that a prospector could save time and his back if he contacted a wizard who would, for a fee, find his mother lode for him.

Supposedly a large number of different minerals were found this way up and down Ute Pass.

The towns of Victor, Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls fell for this scam.  They couldn't wait to see millions of dollars coming to their area.

In 1899, the town of Crystola was formed and was laid out in the canyon.

A gold processing mill was built and a hotel.  Workers and psychics overflowed the hotel.

The town built a railroad station, grocery store and post office.  It was growing in leaps and bounds.  Gold fever was the fuel for the fire.

However, with no gold being found over the years, the town soon became almost deserted.  You would think the psychics would have foreseen this.

The Colorado College bought 75 acres of land in the Crystola Gulch so the staff could enjoy a retreat from the city.

The town never developed.  On a rainy night in 1929, a dam burst at the Ute Pass Fish Club and a wall of water buried the college structures.

Later, the hotel, grocery store and post office burned to the ground.

Today, a few cabins can be found in the interior canyon of Crystola.

The Crystola Inn, now the Roadhouse, is still standing and serving three meals a day and hosting great entertainment all year long.

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