Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Cache Creek or Cash Creek?
Today prospectors go to Cache Creek to pan for gold. But in the 1860's, the prospectors headed to the mining camp of Cash Creek. The creek was named Cache Creek after a couple of prospectors cached their supplies in the area, but the mining camp was established as "Cash Creek" when the post office opened in 1859.* This makes Cash Creek one of the earliest mining camps in Colorado. When mining companies formed in the early 1860's, they listed their headquarters as Cash Creek.
Cash Creek boomed in 1860. Horace Tabor stopped for three weeks to wash gold at Cash Creek before moving up to California Gulch. It quickly became evident that the creek didn't carry enough water for large scale mining. In 1861, efforts began to build the Cash Creek Ditch to supply water for mining. By 1864, most of the individual mining claims had been bought up by several mining companies. The Gaff and Bailey Mining Company, managed by Joseph Hutchinson, was the largest company and soon bought all of the claims.
* Note: The 1859 date is under review upon discovering 1859 list of U.S. Post Offices is actually a 1870 list. See Verify Research Sources post.