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BOOK: Chasing the Dream: Swandyke, Colorado From Boom, To Bust, To Dust

Chasing the Dream, Swandyke, Colorado, Boom to Bust to Dust, the fourth in the Chasing the Dream series, tells the story of the birth and death of Swandyke, located almost at the headwaters of the MIddle Fork of the Swan River in Summit County. Known as Middle Swan until 1897, the first part of the name refers to its location on the Middle Swan River. A dyke, the English spelling for the word "dike", is a mineralized vein that cuts across preexisting rock. Swandyke actually existed in three separate locations: the original site on the Middle Swan Road; the second location along Bull Creek just across the Swan River; and the third site, referred to as Upper Swandyke, another mile farther up the mountain at tree line. 

Swandyke, with a lifespan of about ten years, typifies the many, short-lived boom-to-bust Colorado mining towns. The record of the men and women who lived and worked there and the photographs taken by a miner in 1899 of the town's main street and surrounding area set it apart from other such towns. Of special interest in information about Carl Fulton, one of the earliest to live and work in the town. A miner and entrepreneur, Fulton played an integral part in the development of the town but left during the town's declining days to pursue business interests in Breckenridge.

The addition of archaeological information prepared by Eric Twitty gives the reader important details about what existed at the sites and the remains that can still be seen by a visitor. Photographs from a variety of sources, some never printed before, and the usual "then and now" photographs taken by the author enhance the reader's understanding of the birth and death of the town of Sandyke, which typified many small mining camps in Summit County.

Written by Bill Fountain and Sandra Mather, PhD., with Eric Twitty
(c) 2016 by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance