Touring Colorado ghost towns: my visit to Tin Cup

If you haven’t noticed by now, one of my favorite past-times is dragging my family on excursions to find old houses and abandoned, historic, or out-of-the-way towns.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

I’ve been chastised for it before, but that’s how I grew up – exploring old abandoned houses in rural areas with my dad – so I feel it’s important to carry on the family tradition, despite the risks it might pose to my kids.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

They are already little hooligans anyway – as you can clearly see from the photo above. :)

After we visited St. Elmo, Colorado, we drove the long way around to the tiny town of Tin Cup. It is actually only 6 miles (as the crow flies) from St. Elmo – but that is via a rugged ATV trail which we thought would pummel our Honda Pilot. So off we went all the way over Cottonwood Pass to Tin Cup.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Tin Cup is so named because of a prospector who in 1859 found gold in a nearby stream and carried it back to camp in – what else – a tin cup.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Tin Cup, like St. Elmo, is not really a true ghost town. Although the homes are very old – most dating from the 1870’s and 1880’s – all of the houses are privately owned and well kept.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Most of these cabins/homes have functional shutters that I imagine are closed all winter long in an effort to protect the delicate single-pane sash windows from the blistering winter storms…

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Notice the electrical boxes in the photo below…

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

So yes, there is electrical service in Tin Cup. I saw a lot of outhouses around the small town so I’m not 100% sure if there is public water and sewer (or even wells and septic systems), but at least there is electricity!

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

I’m so enchanted by these old log cabins with their antique lace curtains and brightly painted doors and window frames…

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Tin Cup also has a small general store and a restaurant but I couldn’t get any pics of those because they were crawling with scrappy bikers and ATVers – it was the Labor Day weekend after all.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

A true spooky ghost town – it is not. But Tin Cup is a charming, rustic little sojourn form the ordinary.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

And if you are looking for a vacation cabin, or an ambitious full-time residence in the Colorado mountains, here’s one that is for sale

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

The photo below shows the Tin Cup town hall. A sign outside the hall read: “Sorry, dances are done for the season – we’ll see you again in June 2013!”

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Well that concludes my tour of the quaint, quirky and historic town of Tin Cup, Colorado.

For more information about Tin Cup (and directions on how to get there) see the town website here.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my long weekend photos!

~ Don’t forget to check out my tour of St. Elmo Colorado

~ And if your prefer a true Colorado ghost town, check out my post on: Summitville, Colorado.

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