Bennett Avenue is a historic street located in the town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA. Cripple Creek is a small mountain town in Teller County, Colorado, known for its rich mining history and its association with the Colorado Gold Rush.
Bennett Avenue is the main thoroughfare in Cripple Creek and has played a significant role in the town's history. It was named after Bob Womack's burro, who was called "Bennett." Bob Womack is often credited with discovering gold in the area in 1890, which led to the establishment of the Cripple Creek Mining District.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cripple Creek was a booming mining town, and Bennett Avenue was at the heart of the action. The street was lined with businesses, saloons, hotels, and other establishments catering to the miners and the influx of people hoping to strike it rich.
Today, Bennett Avenue is a well-preserved historic district, and many of the original buildings from the mining era still stand. The town has embraced its heritage, and visitors can take a step back in time by strolling along the avenue. You'll find a variety of shops, restaurants, museums, and casinos that pay homage to the town's mining past.
The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, a popular tourist attraction, also starts its journey from Bennett Avenue. This scenic railroad offers visitors a chance to experience a historic narrow-gauge train ride through the mining district.
Overall, Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek is a charming and historically significant street that provides a glimpse into the town's fascinating past. It's a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, as well as anyone interested in experiencing the unique atmosphere of a once-booming mining town.
The Avenue is steeped in history, with numerous interesting facts and historical significance. Here are some key historical facts about Bennett Avenue:
- Gold Discovery: Bennett Avenue takes its name from Bob Womack's burro, "Bennett," and it was Bob Womack's discovery of gold in the area in 1890 that led to the Cripple Creek Gold Rush. This discovery played a pivotal role in the development of Cripple Creek as a major mining town.
- Mining Boom: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cripple Creek was one of the most productive gold mining districts in Colorado. Bennett Avenue was at the center of this mining boom, with numerous gold mines operating in the surrounding hills.
- Business Hub: Bennett Avenue became the primary business and entertainment district in Cripple Creek during the mining era. It was lined with saloons, hotels, restaurants, shops, and theaters to cater to the needs and entertainment of the miners and visitors.
- Preservation Efforts: Today, Bennett Avenue retains much of its historic charm due to preservation efforts. Many of the original buildings from the mining era have been maintained and restored, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the atmosphere of a Wild West mining town.
- Historic Architecture: The street showcases a variety of architectural styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Victorian and Western-style buildings. Some notable buildings on Bennett Avenue include the Imperial Hotel, the Palace Hotel, and the Butte Opera House.
- Cripple Creek Fire: In 1896, a devastating fire swept through Cripple Creek, including parts of Bennett Avenue. Despite the destruction, the town was quickly rebuilt, and some of the surviving buildings still stand today.
- Tourist Attractions: Bennett Avenue is now a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore museums dedicated to the town's mining history, take a ride on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, and enjoy the casinos and gaming establishments that have become part of the town's modern identity.
- Historical Landmarks: The street itself is a historical landmark, and there are plaques and markers that provide information about its significance and the history of the area.
- Events and Festivals: Bennett Avenue hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including historical reenactments, parades, and holiday celebrations, which help keep the town's history alive.
Overall, Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek is a treasure trove of historical facts and remains a living testament to the town's mining heritage and the vibrant history of the American West during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Cripple Creek itself is situated in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, specifically in Teller County. Here are some geographical aspects related to Bennett Avenue and the surrounding area:
- Elevation: Cripple Creek is located at an elevation of approximately 9,494 feet (2,894 meters) above sea level. This high-altitude setting contributes to the town's cooler climate and stunning mountain vistas.
- Mountainous Terrain: The town of Cripple Creek is nestled in the mountains of Colorado. The surrounding terrain is characterized by rugged, forested slopes and peaks, which are part of the larger Rocky Mountain range.
- Cripple Creek Mining District: Bennett Avenue is located within the historic Cripple Creek Mining District. This district encompasses a significant portion of the southern Front Range of the Rockies and was the epicenter of a major gold rush in the late 1800s.
- Breathtaking Scenery: The area around Bennett Avenue offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors can take in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies, with opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor activities.
- Narrow Gauge Railroad: The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, a popular tourist attraction that departs from Bennett Avenue, provides an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the area up close. The train winds through the mountains, offering passengers stunning vistas.
- Proximity to Other Towns: Cripple Creek is located in close proximity to other notable Colorado towns, including Victor (approximately 4 miles to the east) and Colorado Springs (about 48 miles to the northeast).
- Access Routes: The town of Cripple Creek can be reached via several scenic mountain roads, including Highway 67 and Highway 189. These routes offer picturesque drives through the Colorado Rockies.
- Climate: Due to its high elevation, Cripple Creek experiences a mountainous climate with cool summers and cold winters. Snowfall is common in the winter months, and the area is known for its crisp, clear air and sunny days.
- Historic Landmarks: In addition to Bennett Avenue, the town is surrounded by various historic landmarks, including old mining structures, abandoned mines, and preserved buildings from the mining era.
Overall, Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek is situated in a picturesque mountain setting, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies. Its geography plays a significant role in the town's history and provides a stunning backdrop for visitors exploring the area.