America's Historic Towns and Oldest Places
Silverton, Colorado (estimated population of 700) is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in San Juan County, Colorado. It is a former silver mining camp, most or all of which is now included in a federally designated National Historic Landmark District, the Silverton Historic District. Silverton has been a beloved destination since its mining days, especially those pursuing outdoors, from OHV trails, backcountry camping, hiking, and fishing. The Denver & Rio Grande Railway (now the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad) reached the town in 1882. The surrounding region experienced a mining boom that lasted until the 1910s. In the summers Ute Indians hunted and lived in the Silverton area before the first explorers, the Spanish, arrived. The Utes remained until 1873 when the Brunot Treaty opened the San Juans to settlement. The first permanent white settlers came for diverse reasons, but gold and silver served as magnets to the region.