The Wierd Investigator

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The Wierd Investigator

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:52 pm


Article in The Weird Investigator

The 2nd of October 1878

Rise and Fall of a Ghost Rock Mining Town

Calisto, Colorado: From Boom town to Ghost town.

By Jeremiah Spiggle

The brief history of Calisto, Colorado, began in 1858 when an enterprising family, the Calisto’s decided to reopen a nearby mining facility abandoned because of warring political factions and the black hole that the federal administration is in that part of the west.  

It struggled for many years but survived because the mine yielded a nice share of silver and copper.  Several passing families decided, either dreading the long trek still ahead of them or seeing an opportunity for themselves in the mining enterprise, to stay and strengthen the rising settlement.

On one particular occasion in 1862, or so the archives found tell it, the town that was now 200 strong was almost completely whipped by a outset of Yellow Fever ( some of the my usual readers may remember my article on the Amercan Plague,  see  13th of July 1876 ). They town survived but with many casualties, and in 1865 only 50 souls still resided in Calisto proper.  The Fever was attributed to a runaway slave named Saresh Utram formerly of the West Indies and brought to America like many others  to replace the dwindling Black workforce in the south.

By a curious turn of event the Disaster of 1866 saved the dying town when Ghost Rocks were found in the mine.

In almost one month news of the find brought 500 families, many fleeing the Disaster itself, to the town transforming the small and failing community into a miner’s camp stretching miles around the mine. With it lawlessness and sickness began to thrive and only a few actually made a real profit. One, Ferdinand LaClass, a French adventurer found a huge Ghost Rock and cleverly fled the town with his treasure before something ill befell him.  (Only the fact that I could locate the writ of the sell to the Union and that it mentions the name the seller and location of the find makes this more than a wild rumor.)

The reign of the Calisto family itself was ended several months after the discovery of the Ghost Rocks when their house tragically burnt down with all its inhabitant inside. The local sheriff was too busy at the time with several illegal shoot out and duels to properly investigate the accident. I couldn’t trace him after all these years.

By a strange twist of fate the town did not last long either.

Several things happened. First many families fled the dangerous place the town had become. Then the mine started to yield les and less Ghost rock and the miners went to other reported sites like the richer excavations in California. By the month of September of the year 1868 only 200 people still lived in Calisto and many could barely put food on the table.

For reason unknown (a few Cheyenne spoke of Manitou’s while the scientists blame a harsh winter) the town was found empty when the first mail deliveries arrived at the end of February 1869. From what was reported to me no bodies were found and the mine was sealed due to a cave in.
Since then there has been no reopening of the mines and the few people moving through the town have not stayed overnight speaking of ghosts and weird noises coming from the mines.

A colleague of mine, Oliver Thompson, is interested in mounting an expedition to found out what really happened but I believe he is more interested in discovering out if there are still Ghost Rocks to be found there.  Contact the journal if you want more information.

The End.

PS: I have found the person who owns the mine if you are interested in the writ of ownership though i have not yet contacted him.

Here is the only picture taken that i know of.





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