Mountain City was founded about the time of the first gold strike by John
Gregory in May, 1859, and was originally known as “Gregory Diggings.”
Mountain City grew haphazardly with some of its business district situated
along the main road between Black Hawk and Central City, with other
businesses located up Packard Gulch on a steep road called Bent Street. The
Mountain City post office was one of the earliest in Colorado territory,
established in January, 1860. It lasted nine years before being moved to
Why the town was named Mountain City is obvious; the town was built on the side of a mountain so steep that terraces had to be graded for most of its buildings. Mountain City had a log theatre, the first saloon in a Colorado mountain town, and on June 12, 1859, it was the first site of a religious service held in a Colorado mountain mining town.
Businesses included the Mountain City Brewery, a jewelry shop and a butcher shop. Along the main road to Central City was a restaurant, the Masonic Temple, a general store, the office of L. W. Borton, Attorney at Law, and a claims and recorder’s office. A saloon, sawmill, boarding house, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop and a second butcher shop rounded out Mountain City’s businesses.
By January, 1860, the population of Mountain City was estimated at 800. The demand for housing was tremendous as the number of miners and prospectors grew daily, but there was little space available for the construction of homes in Mountain City. As a result, other towns, such as Black Hawk, Central City, Nevadaville, etc. sprang up and eclipsed Mountain City. In 1880, Mountain City was annexed into Central City, and its last listing for businesses in the Colorado State Business Directory was 1878.
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This page was last updated 01/12/08
Copyright 2007 by Mark Baldwin