Status: Active Town
Current Population: 169
Elevation: 9,450 Feet ( 2,880 meters)
Gallery: View 16 Ward, Colorado Photos
Date Settled: 1860
Peak Population: Several thousand
Primary Mineral: Gold and Silver
The town was named for Calvin Ward, who prospected a claim on the site known as Miser's Dream. The town boomed the following year with the discovery by Byrus W. Deardorff of the Columbia vein. Over the next several decades the population fluctuated, growing from several hundred to several thousand before declining once again. The mines in the area remained profitable for many decades, with one mine eventually producing over 2 million ounces (62 metric tons) of silver. The city was incorporated in June 1896. The railroad reached the area in 1898, arriving over the Whiplash and Switzerland Trail, which climbed over 4,000 feet (1220 m) from Boulder over the course of 26 miles (42 km). In 1901 over 50 buildings were destroyed by a devastating fire, although the profitability of the mines led to the immediate rebuilding of the town. The town was largely deserted by the 1920s, but the construction of the Peak-to-Peak Highway in the 1930s led to a revival of the town.