City of Victor, Colorado
The Victor Hotel.
"City of Gold Mines"[3]
Location of the City of Victor in Teller County, Colorado.
Location of the City of Victor in Teller County, Colorado.
Victor is located in the United States
Location of the City of Victor in the United States.
Coordinates: 38°42′35″N 105°8′27″W / 38.70972°N 105.14083°W / 38.70972; -105.14083
Country United States
State Colorado
CountyTeller County[2]
IncorporatedJuly 16, 1894[4]
 • TypeStatutory city[1]
 • Total0.29 sq mi (0.74 km2)
 • Land0.29 sq mi (0.74 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation9,708 ft (2,959 m)
 • Total379
 • Density1,300/sq mi (510/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code[8]
Area code719
FIPS code08-80865
GNIS feature ID0204771
WebsiteOfficial website

The City of Victor is a Statutory City in Teller County, Colorado, United States. Gold was discovered in Victor in the late 19th century, an omen of the future of the town. With Cripple Creek, the mining district became the second largest gold mining district in the country and realized approximately $10 billion of mined gold in 2010 dollars. It reached its peak around the turn of the century when there were about 18,000 residents in the town. Depleted ore in mines, labor strife and the exodus of miners during World War I caused a steep decline in the city's economy, from which it has never recovered. The population was 379 at the 2020 census.[7] There is a resumed mining effort on Battle Mountain.


Gold discovery

Victor was founded in 1891, shortly after Winfield Scott Stratton discovered gold nearby. The town was named after the Victor Mine,[9] which may have been named for an early settler, Victor Adams. In 1892, Harry, Frank and Warren Woods founded the Mt. Rosa Mining, Milling and Land Company.[10][nb 1] Battle Mountain, located just above Victor, had the largest, most prolific mines in the mining district and the town became known as the "City of Mines." Victor officially became a city on July 16, 1894.[10] In 1894, the Woods brothers discovered gold when they began digging the foundation for a building, which resulted in the creation of the Gold Coin Mine. At that time, 8,000 people lived in Victor.[10]

The town boomed as the surrounding Cripple Creek mining district quickly became the most productive gold mining district in Colorado.[11] Mines in Victor and Cripple Creek provided 21 million ounces of gold. In 2010, the value of the gold would have been more than $10 billion. The mining district, which hit its peak in 1900, became the 2nd largest gold district in the country's history.[12]

Although Victor's fame was overshadowed by that of its neighbor, Cripple Creek, many of the best gold mines of the Cripple Creek district were located at Victor, including Stratton's Independence Mine and Mill[10] and the Portland Mine. Half of Battle Mountain's gold was extracted by the Portland Mine, which was called the "Queen of the District". Heavyweight boxing champion William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was a mucker in the Portland Mine.[12]

Mine owners and investors lived in Cripple Creek, while most of the miners for the districts' 500 mines lived in Victor.[10][12]

Fire of 1899

In August 1899, the business district was destroyed in a five-hour fire.[13]The town had about 18,000 residents at the time.[10][14][15] As a result, many of the historic buildings date to 1899, including the St. Victor Roman Catholic church, the First Baptist Church of Victor, and the Victor Hotel.[citation needed]

Unionized workforce

The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) began to organize workers in a fight for shorter work days and standard wages.[16] The workforce became heavily unionized after the Western Federation of Miners conducted a significant strike in 1894. A subsequent strike in 1903 had such an impact that it came to be called the Colorado Labor Wars.[17] At this point, the amount of available ore to mine had declined significantly and mining in the district was further impacted by slow production as the result of violent strikes.[18]

The WFM's union hall in Victor still stands, with telltale bullet holes left intact. The building has structural problems and needs renovation.[19]

Mining decline

The town declined steadily in the 20th century, as the gold mines became worked out,[18] and the cost of mining rose relative to the price of gold (fixed at $20.67/troy ounce).[20] Area miners enlisted during World War I, and the loss of workers created a steep decline in mining activity from which the area has not recovered.[21]

Gold mining increased in 1934 when the federal government raised the price of gold to $34/ounce, but gold mining was shut down during World War II as nonessential to the war effort. Some mines opened after the war, but all mines in the district closed by 1962.[22]

Resumed mining activity

The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company formed in 1976 as a joint venture to restart mining in the district. From 1976 to 1989, the company produced 150,000 troy ounces (4,600 kg) of gold by reprocessing tailings and mining two small surface deposits. The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company began the first large-scale open pit mining in the district in 1994.[23] In 1995, an open pit gold mining operation, which taps into "legendary" mines, began on Battle Mountain.[12] The Cresson mine open pits are located a few miles north of Victor. Mining continues at the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine, under the ownership of AngloGold Ashanti,[22] producing about 250,000 troy ounces of gold in 2012,[24] in addition to several locally owned mines, all of which provide employment and revenue for the community. Ownership has recently changed from Anglo Gold to Newmont mining.


Victor is located at 38°42′35″N 105°8′27″W / 38.70972°N 105.14083°W / 38.70972; -105.14083 (38.709609, -105.140859).[25] According to the United States Census Bureau for 2010, the city has a total area of 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2), all of it land.[26]


Victor experiences a humid continental climate (Koppen: Dfb), bordering on subalpine (Dfc). Summers are very mild, while winters are relatively cold.

Climate data for Victor, Colorado
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 57
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 35.1
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 13.6
Record low °F (°C) −27
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.32
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.5
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[27]


Historical population

As of the census of 2010, there were 397 people, 212 households, and 103 families residing in the city.[28] The population density was 1,635.8 inhabitants per square mile (631.6/km2). There were 360 housing units at an average density of 1,323.3 per square mile (510.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 0.5% African American, 2.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 2.8% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.8% of the population.[citation needed]

There were 212 households, out of which 12.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.4% were non-families. 16.5% of all households had individuals under 18, and 19.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.55.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 17.6% under the age of 19, 4.8% from 20 to 24, 20.6% from 25 to 44, 47.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,250, and the median income for a family was $34,375. Males had a median income of $38,750 versus $17,019 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,242. About 14.0% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.7% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.[citation needed]

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

Victor is in the heart of Colorado's gold country,[29] home to two of the major gold mines in the Cripple Creek mining district. Though the goldrush-era mines are closed, near the center of town the fortress-like remains of a wrought iron-gated mine entrance, shaft elevators (which carried the miners down), mine carts (now employed by the town as flower planters), barred tunnels, two outbuildings (an office overlooking the entrance and the building from which the miners set out), and other sites of interest from that era still stand. Several towering 'gallows frames', which house the antique elevator pulleys, can be seen on the hillsides.[citation needed] Victor has many mining and history related attractions:

Victor also lies along the Gold Belt Tour National Scenic and Historic Byway.[31]

Arts festival

"Victor Celebrates the Arts" is a judged painting contest held on Labor Day weekend,[32] which began in 2000.

Photography book

A 2015 book, City of Mines, by Anderson & Low (ISBN 978-1907893773), depicts the buildings and scenery around the town without showing the people.[33]

World Record Home Run Distance Attempt

In 2022, youtubers The Baseball Bat Bros attempted to break the Guinness World Record for Longest home run hit, set by Babe Ruth in 1921 with a verified measurement of 575 feet.[34] The attempt was made at The Gold Bowl baseball and soccer field. Victor, having one of the highest elevations in the United States was an ideal location as thinner air at high elevations creates less drag on a traveling baseball than at lower elevations, thus allowing it to travel farther in the air. Various high school, college, and former professional baseball players were invited to attempt to break the record but none were successful with elevated land beyond the outfield and unfavorable winds likely spoiling the attempts. The longest home run hit on the day was an estimated 534 feet.[35]


Students are served by the Cripple Creek-Victor Junior/Senior High School.

See also


  1. ^ Harry and Frank Woods arrived in the Victor area in 1892 with their father Warren Woods. Warren, born in Ohio in 1834, "was the president of most of the Woods' enterprises." Frank managed the Woods Investment Company operations. Harry was a newspaper man before moving to Colorado; he was born in Illinois in 1859. In addition to the Gold Coin Mine and the Victor Bank Block, the Woods also owned or invested in the Pikes Peak Power Company, Golden Crescent Water and Light Company and the First National Bank of Victor. The power company sold power to Pueblo, Cripple Creek and Victor. In 1927, their "empire ended".[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  2. ^ "Colorado Counties". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  3. ^ "City of Victor Colorado". City of Victor Colorado. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  4. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. December 1, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  5. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ a b United States Census Bureau. "Victor city; Colorado". Retrieved April 20, 2023.
  8. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  9. ^ "Profile for Victor, Colorado, CO". ePodunk. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "History". Victor, Colorado. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Mark W. Davis, Randall K. Streufert (1990). Gold Occurrences of Colorado. Colorado Geological Survey, Resource Series 28. p. 28.
  12. ^ a b c d Philip Varney (July 4, 2010). Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and. Voyageur Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-61060-090-3. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Fire in a Colorado Town.; Business Section of Victor, Near Cripple Creek, Destroyed -- The Loss Estimated at $2,000,000". The New York Times. Cripple Creek, Colorado (published August 22, 1899). August 21, 1899. p. 5. Retrieved December 14, 2023 – via
  14. ^ Alexandra Walker Clark (July 28, 2011). Colorado's Historic Hotels. The History Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-60949-301-1. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "History". Victor Hotel. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  16. ^ Philip Varney (July 4, 2010). Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and. Voyageur Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-61060-090-3. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  17. ^ William Philpott (1994). "The Lessons of Leadville, Or, Why the Western Federation of Miners Turned Left (Monograph 10)". Monograph. Denver: Colorado Historical Society. ISSN 1046-3100.
  18. ^ a b Philip Varney (July 4, 2010). Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and. Voyageur Press. pp. 63–65. ISBN 978-1-61060-090-3. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Deedee Correll (March 30, 2005). "Victor hall hanging by thread In 2014, the Hall was struck by lightning and burned. It is now just a shell". The Gazette. Colorado Springs. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ Shapiro, Alan; Hanouna, Paul (December 12, 2019). Multinational Financial Management. Wiley. p. 70. ISBN 978-1118572382.
  21. ^ a b c d e Philip Varney (July 4, 2010). Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and. Voyageur Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-61060-090-3. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "Cripple Creek Mining District Timeline". Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  23. ^ Keith Dyas and Jerry Marcus (1998) The Cresson project, Engineering & Mining Jour., 6/1998, p.32KK-32OO.
  24. ^ "Cripple Creek & Victor". AngloGold Ashanti - Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  25. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  26. ^ "2010 Census" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  27. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  28. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  29. ^ "Victor". Colorado Past and Present. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  30. ^ "Victor Lowell Thomas Museum". Victor, Colorado. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  31. ^ "Gold Belt Byway". US Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  32. ^ "Victor Celebrates The Arts". Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  33. ^ Dan Damon (December 12, 2015). "Colorado gold rush ghost town revisited". BBC. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  34. ^ "Longest home run hit". Guinness World Records (in German). Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  35. ^ GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempt for the FARTHEST BASEBALL EVER HIT | backed by @justbats, retrieved March 24, 2023