Lake County was one of the original 17 counties created by the Colorado legislature on November 1, 1861.  Lake County included a large portion of western Colorado to the south and west of its present boundaries. It was named for the Twin Lakes in the area.

Neighboring counties include: Park, Summit, Chaffee, Eagle and Pitkin




David Wright designed these sites and is giving us permission to use them on this site.  They are a must see when it comes to seeing what Leadville was all about.



What's in Lake County?



    I got to be tolerably prosperous. I had $800 in cash, a three-hundred dollar horse, a gold watch and chain, a good pack mule, a rifle, two revolvers, a dog and a Meerschaum pipe. One day I came into town and drew all my money, in order to pay for part of a claim which I wanted to buy. I met a couple of fellows I knew just after I got my cash, and we resolved to have a little game of poker. Well, sir, I never struck of lead of bad luck since I was born as I did that afternoon. It was a square game, but if anybody won anything they naturally intended to keep it. Men don't have much pity for each other out in that country.
    After I'd been out around Leadville for several months, says a Pittsburgh youth, giving his experience, Well. the first thing I did was to lose $500.00 on four queens. In less than an hour I lost every cent I had, then I lost my horse, then my mule, then my rifle, my revolvers, and my dog.  I didn't have money enough left to buy a cigar. I went out of the place and resolved to borrow a revolver and shoot myself. I walked off out of the edge of the town, and without thinking of what I was doing I put my hand in my hip pocket to take out my revolver. There was no revolver there, of course, but my Meerschaum pipe was there, looking like a piece of shiny coal, it had been colored so prettily.
    As soon as I felt the pipe I gave a yell of delight and started off on a run for the house where the boys had won my money. They were still there. I got twenty dollars on my pipe and sat down to play again. I won a little money and then I got my dog back, then my revolver, then my rifle, my mule, my watch and my horse. It seemed as though there was a perfect revolution in my luck. At last I won $1,200 on one hand. The fellow who was betting me had an ace, king, queen, eight and four spot flush. and I had an ace, king, queen, jack and five spot flush. When I got up from the table it was daylight in the morning, and I had $4,800 in cash, besides the money and things I had started with. I went down to the hotel, borrowed the land lady's Bible, and swore I'd never gamble again as long as I lived, and I never have since, and never will.

The Indiana Progress
17 Jun 1879
Page 3
Indiana Pennsylvania


Another Generation

McKaela and Shaelynn Irwin

Michael Irwin, Emily,
McKaela & Shaelynn Irwin

McKaela & Shaelynn Irwin

Fly over before parade


These are a must see.  These links bring the past to the present and have been done in an awesome way.  Thanks Dave for letting us use these links for our viewers to see and watch.


county administrator for the Lake County site on Trails to the Past, if you have any questions, have any information to share with us, have time to do look-ups, maybe you have time to do some transcriptions or even go out and photograph the cemetery markers we need all the help that we can muster up to get this job done.

We are also looking for more people to adopt states and counties in the states.  If you have the time and would like to help with this project please contact and tell us what your interests are and where you would like to help out.

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Trails to the Past - Lake County, Colorado:: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the internet, data may be used by non-commercial researchers, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for presentation in any form by any other organization or individual. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author, or the submitter and from the listed
Lake County Administrator.




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