DEL NORTE, CO., (April 15, 2017):  Join us for an April 22nd celebration at the Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte honoring the Summitville heritage site from 10 am to 4 pm.  This fun-filled day will include live music by Steve and Konnie Crawford (at 1:30 pm) and story-telling beginning at 2:00 pm with Floyd and Glen Getz, Gene Fuchs, and Bill Ellithorpe.  The new Summitville exhibit will also be on display before being relocated to the site.
In 2013, the West Fork Complex Fire burned in the Upper Rio Grande.   Economic Recovery funds from the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Local Affairs were awarded to Rio Grande County.  A post-disaster plan was developed.  One goal sought to increase heritage tourism sites in the region.  In Rio Grande County, the Summitville project was identified as the highest priority.  At 11,500 feet above sea level and located 25 miles south of Del Norte, gold was discovered in Wightman Creek on South Mountain in 1861; mining operations didn’t begin until ten years later.  By 1885, more than 250 individual claims were being actively mined.  For decades, operations were sporadic.  In 1984, Galactic Resources, Ltd. began large-scale open-pit operations.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Colorado became stewards Summitville in 1992.  Come learn more about the history of the site, and future plans for historic preservation and outdoor recreation.
The Bachelor Loop in Mineral County and the Ute Ulay in Hinsdale County also received funding.  This regional emphasis between the three counties increases opportunities for residents and visitors who have an interest in Colorado mining history and connects our geographical locations of historic mining operations.
Funders and partners in the Summitville project in addition to RWEACT and Rio Grande County include the Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), San Luis Valley Development Resources, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Interpretive Designs, and the Rio Grande County Museum.
RWEACT -- together with the Rio Grande National Forest and funded through the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Department of Local Affairs, and the Office of Emergency Management – works to promote partnerships and actions that provide for public safety and resiliency of communities and watersheds of the Rio Grande Basin of Colorado.
For more information on the event, please contact the Rio Grande County Museum.