Wildlife and water attracted the nomadic Ute Indians to the Valley of Waterfalls centuries ago. They lived among herds of bison, elk and deer here in the summertime. Come fall all migrated to the lower red-cliffed canyonlands or rolling prairies that offered more tolerable winter climes. Spaniards and trappers came to Telluride and the San Juans as early as the 1500s. As time past and “Manifest Destiny” took hold in America, the Westward Movement brought more and more people into the valley. These people spread the word of Telluride’s beauty and bounty. As the California Gold Rush took hold around 1849, prospectors ventured into the southern Rocky Mountains and poked around for gold and silver; discovering some significant lodes. But it wasn’t until after the Civil War that waves of prospectors came into the San Juan Mountains. As gold and silver mining went into a boom cycle and those who “mined the miners” flooded into the San Miguel Valley, our town took root. It was first named Columbia. However, even back in the late 1800s, the postal service went “postal” with a Columbia, California, and a Columbia, Colorado. So, our rough and rugged camp town changed its name to Telluride. Its namesake is Tellurium, which is a chemical that is silvery-white, shiny and brittle. It’s also known as Element 52.
Telluride’s mining legacy is profound and ever-present. Reportedly, there’s more gold, silver and other ores in these mountains than most places on earth. Presently, the cost to extract the ores outweigh what would be gotten in the marketplace today. Fortunately, Telluride’s landscape not only earmarks us as “The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski,” but as a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. World-renowned skiing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, gliding and so much more make the Telluride culture and environment very sought after. Naturally, this “high style” living has made our land prices higher than most towns in the Lower 48. True to its heritage, Telluride further serves up an incredible menu of architectural styles, trendy fashions, top-notch dining experiences, festivals and a montage of winter events.
Culture needs to be the parent of (in top navigation bar) pull downs should read in this order (like when you pan over Shop Here)
• Heritage (big photo, history/descriptive paragraph, main historic events, old map)
• Culture & Arts (big photo, descriptive paragraph of galleries, performing arts, events & dates, art profiled)
• Cultural/Art Businesses (a listing of each biz in town with logos that hyperlink to “their webpages)
• Fesitval (a listing of each biz in town with logos that hyperlink to “their webpages)