Tuesday, October 2, 2007

There aren't any ghosts in a ghost town??

Well, at least there weren't any that we could see, though Michelle teased us about seeing "orbs" in the sunlight that filtered into the ghostly-looking houses we walked through yesterday.

Anna (4), who is our resident scary story teller (I'm not kidding, this girl will tell you a scary story about Slurpee if you give her half a chance!), was very disappointed that we did not run across any apparitions. Nevertheless, even without the ghosts, exploring Ironton , a ghost town at the foot of Red Mountain was a very cool experience.

We four-wheeled it as far as we could in our 15 passenger van (Hey, very little scares this Mom, or I wouldn't have 11 children, now would I?), then hoofed it the rest of the way. We had to walk down a riverbed, which the kids thought was pretty fun, though it was a bit chilly ~ especially for those people who insisted on wearing flip flops and sandals on this outing!

When we got to the site, we were delighted to find many of the original buildings, not only intact, but open to explore. Some of the floorboards were a little iffy, but with care, we were able to walk through most of the rooms in most of the houses. The Colorado Historical Society is working to preserve the site and seems to have kept it relatively safe, though I wouldn't let the Littles roam free here.

In a place like this, history really comes alive. The town site is a hop, skip and jump from the remnants of the mines where the original inhabitants worked. Four houses remain almost whole, as well as several outbuildings. We could imagine the sounds of the horses in the falling down stables, and the ancient wallpaper peeling from the walls left a sort of handprint of the people who had once lived in the houses. The nicest of the houses had built in cupboards, and the remnants of kitchen shelves still stand in another. Who built those shelves and who first used them to prepare a meal? Who was the first person to look out the windows at this beautiful scenery?

Very cool field trip.
The better road to the site which we found after coming in the harder back way. Gabe says,"Wait up, kids!"
This house looks like it has a face ~ and is saying "Boo!"

This white house was, by the far, the nicest and most well preserved. We expect that it may have been one of the last still inhabited into the 1960s. At first we thought it might have been a church, but looking at the interior, it had to have been a house.

No indoor plumbing in the heyday of Ironton. The remnants of this old outhouse probably hide a very scary hole underneath. Kept the kiddos a good distance from here.

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