Best Kept Secret
San Juan County, Colorado
high in a valley in the Heart of the San Juan mountains, San Juan County
is America’s 13th least populated county,
with a population of just 692. The county is home and hideaway
for residents and visitors who desire a simpler way of life.
The county's history is a tribute to the survival of a gritty,
tough community for whom quitting was never an option.
Juan County opened to miners in 1874, following the Brunot
Treaty with the Utes. An estimated 2000 men moved into the
region that year. They came from across the U.S.,
many parts of Europe and even China, to endure severe winters
hazardous mining conditions
in their quest for the minerals they hoped would make them
rich. Mining reached its peak between 1900 and 1912, and the
population of San Juan County
peaked at 5000.
heyday, the county boasted four railroads, three smelters, and
over thirty mills serving innumerable gold and silver mines
high in the mountains. Miners worked year-round, living in
boarding houses, coming off the mountains via tram bucket over
long cable tram lines designed to carry the ore from the mine
to the mill several thousand feet below. On the rare occasions
the men came to town, many of them spent their money in the
numerous saloons and bawdy houses Silverton offered.
for Sale In, Around or About San Juan County Colorado
years since, San Juan County has endured the boom and bust
cycles typical of the mining industry. The boom cycles saw an
influx of people from just about every ethnic group on earth
and yielded millions of dollars worth of precious metals. The
bust cycles saw the settlements of the county turn into
ghostly reminders of an incredibly rich past. The last
of the big mines closed in the early 1990s.
Juan County is a favorite destination for train fans, history
buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts. Silverton remains Silver Queen
of Colorado, beloved by those who live here and those who come
to visit. The entire town of
has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Maybe it
isn’t so lonely after all.
County supports a strong, cohesive community where involved
citizens of all ages work together to preserve our small-town,
rural lifestyle, promote stewardship of the land, preserve
open space and value clean air. It is a community where people
have a high regard for their neighbors, a strong sense of
place and attachment to the land and have commitment to
sustaining a community-oriented way of life.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of San
Juan County was 558 in the year 2000. By 2005 there were 568
residents. Six months later there were an estimated 578 people
who called San Juan County, Colorado their home. The median
value of a home is $131,500 and 67.7% of the residents own
their homes within the boundary of the county's 387 square
miles. The median cost of home ownership for the rest of
the state is $166,600.