About 150 years ago, you may have seen two silvertons.
Read the history preserved on the website of the local Chamber of Commerce. salon.
Blair Street was just one block from Main Street. The ‘notorious’ Blair Street became known as the Red Light District and is commemorated by a sign today.
About 150 years ago, 2,000 people are believed to have lived in a remote area of the San Juan Mountains known as Charles Baker’s Baker’s Park, where they are believed to have discovered gold and silver in this narrow vertical valley. Now the annual population he less than 700 people. Today Silverton is almost a city, with the streets of Silverton, Green and Blair alike roaming with shops and eateries.
However, opinions are still divided in the city. For example, the decision to allow cars lined up with ATVs to drive down Green Street en route to the Alpine’s vaunted track. Some argue that peace and quiet should take precedence.
“It feels like a secret I want to know and tell my friends, but it’s so special that I want to keep it to myself,” Silverton once explained to us. It’s where we fight as a community, people are so excited about what Silverton is, and they’re so excited about it that they have the potential to change that.
Here there is little change above 9,300 feet. Stunning scenery and historic buildings remain from the days of the miners.
However, the attraction is relatively new.
The old Arcade Trading Company is a staple on Blair Street. What was once Bordello is now a family-friendly emporium selling souvenirs and homemade fudge, conveniently located just off the scenic Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Another notorious drug is the Silverton Soapbox. Here in Old Town Square you’ll find handmade soaps, candles, lotions and balms.
Back on Green Street, pick up a gift shop. Fitch’s Mining and Mercantile stocks books, t-shirts, socks, and unique rocks and minerals. A shopper came to the hive on the other side of the Rocky Mountain Gift shelf. My Favorite Things aims to “bring elegance to your daily life”. You can count on the quirky in Ye Old Livery.
The White Eyes Gallery is one of the art exhibition spots specializing in pottery, sand paintings, sculptures and jewelry from the Southwest. The Storyteller Indian Store is known for its collection of Hopi Kachina statues.
Where chain names seem forbidden, you might be surprised to find the world’s highest altitude Harley-Davidson store. Given the bikers’ love of riding along the Million Dollar Highway, it makes sense.
eating and drinking
Start your day with Coffee Bear. Cozy spot for breakfast burritos and pastries on the rooftop with 360-degree views. Breakfast is also popular at the old-fashioned Kendall’s Mountain Café.
Steaks and burgers at Handlebars Food and Saloon will take you back in time to the Old West. It’s akin to the feeling at the Shady Lady Restaurant on Blair Street. On last check, the upstairs room kept wallpaper and carpet from the night of the same name.
Further up Blair Street, the dinner-only Eureka Station is a sleek, modern Cornish tavern. Bison meatloaf is a favorite and best enjoyed with a signature cocktail.
Back on Greene Street, Thee Pitts Again is the BBQ joint that was once based in Arizona and caught Guy Fieri’s attention. Our “Diner, Drive-In, Dive” host raved about the smoked turkey.
Avalanche Brewing Co. is popular for pizza and beer. He has one brewery at Golden Block and a bar he has a full menu of grub. Call Bank Taqueria and Trattoria’s motto is ‘Come for a drink, come for a meal’. Mexican for lunch, Italian for dinner.
You can’t skip town without a nasty delight from the Rocky Mountain Funnel Cake Factory.
The main attraction is the train that runs between here and Durango through the majestic country. You can’t go wrong with wildflowers in the summer and other colorful displays in the fall.
The Million Dollar Highway runs from downtown Silverton to Ouray. The trail winds through an abandoned mining settlement to the top of Red Mountain Pass, which rises over 11,000 feet. Embracing the steep drop-offs, the drive can grow hair at times.
On Blair Street, Professor Shutterbug operates outside the town’s first Bordello. He dresses you up for old photos of you and your relatives. You can even impersonate a prospector on the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour.
Back on Green Street, the San Juan County Historical Society welcomes guests to the old prison and offers tours of the once-powerful mill.