Creede, CO: The Silver Lining in a Silver Mining Town That Went Bust

Jun 1, 2010 by

We’ve all heard the old saying, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  In a town that until 1985 was a bustling silver mining operation, Creede, Colorado, has done just that and found it’s silver lining, when the silver came to an end.  Their new claim to fame?  Art galleries.

Friday afternoon, I sat in the gallery of Stephen Quiller, a recognized watercolor artist, and he was talking about the plight of Creede.  When the silver mines closed in the mid 1980s, it hit the town hard. Much of it closed and many left.  But as time has passed, just like a wooded area after a fire, new life has sprung and the departure of the old has led the way to a new growth.

Quiller opened his gallery in 1970.  You walk in the door and you’re most likely greeted by his wife, Marta.  She’s one of the kindest people I’ve met in a long time.  Along the walls of the gallery are featured pieces painted by Steve.  There are three to the immediate left of Yosemite and if I had the money, I’d have bought one in a snap.  In the heart of the gallery are two brown leather sofas.  It’s there that Steve and I sat and talked for about an hour Friday.  We talked about my late grandfather, we talked about Steve’s travels, his work, and then we talked about the formation of the Taste of Creede.

He said the early years of the event were pretty lean.  But as time has passed, the annual Memorial Day Weekend event has grown in size and stature.  This past weekend, the streets on Saturday were reasonably crowded with fokes of all ages enjoying different activities, foods, shops and of course, art work.

If you’ve never been to Creede, (and unless you’re going there, you probably haven’t) I highly recommend this weekend event for 2011 and the years to come.

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