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7 modern-day ghost towns

By: Matt Hickman on June 19, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
Gilman Colorado Superfund site

Photo: pam Morris /Flickr

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Gilman, Colo.

Colorado isn’t short on eerie, long-abandoned mining outposts, forsaken farming communities and barren boomtowns that still stand as a testament to the state’s rowdy, gold-crazed salad days of the 19th century.

While a majority of Colorado’s defunct mining settlements went belly-up long ago, the Eagle County mining outpost of Gilman wasn’t forsaken until 1984 … by order of the Environmental Protection Agency.

For years a hotbed of mining activity, this once-prosperous town perched on a cliff high above the Eagle River was abandoned due to significant hazardous waste contamination. The Eagle Mine and a 235-acre swath of land around it — Gilman sits atop the mine — was deemed a Superfund site and placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1986 due to “high levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in the soil and in surface and groundwater.”