NewsCovering Colorado


Historic Tomboy Mine near Telluride vandalized; $500 reward for information

Tomyboy Mine vandalism.jpg
Posted at 1:47 PM, Jul 02, 2024

TELLURIDE, Colo. — A historic mine in southwestern Colorado has been vandalized and the local sheriff's office said it is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the "punk-ass clown" responsible for it.

The San Miguel County Sheriff's Office posted the news on its social media on Monday. The vandalism occurred at the old mine and mill in Tomboy Basin. Only one spot was hit and officials believe it happened within the past week or so.

"You’re looking at vandalism at the historic site of Tomboy mine in Telluride," the post reads. "Sheriff Masters is offering a $500 reward to anyone who has information leading to an arrest of the 'punk-ass clown' who did this."

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Colorado’s abandoned mines pose many dangers. This program works to protect them

Stephanie Butzer
12:53 PM, Oct 31, 2023

A former sergeant, who had been hiking in the area, reported it, the sheriff's office said. The owners of the property, Idarado Mine, said this kind of vandalism has happened before at Tomboy.

Anybody with information is asked to call dispatch at 970-728-1911. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

This isn't the first time the sheriff's office had a stern warning for people behaving irresponsibly within the county. In August 2023, the sheriff had snide remarks for drivers who became stuck on the dangerous Black Bear Pass in the San Juan Mountains, labeling them "ass clowns."

Tomboy is a former mining town that was once home to about 1,000 people, according to the Town of Telluride. It was one of the state's largest alpine company mining camps, Western Mining History reported. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that it was established at about 11,500 feet.

Tomboy Mine

When they could no longer find ore to mine, the residents trickled out and the mine officially closed in 1927, the Town of Telluride said. A ghost town was left behind, with multiple buildings and mining relics.

The remains are located along the rocky and narrow Imogene Pass, which is a popular 4WD route for experienced drivers. Tomboy is about two miles east of the pass.


Colorado ghost towns: Tomboy Mining Camp

Deb Stanley
11:33 AM, Oct 24, 2016

The Tomboy area is a common place to visit not only for its history, but for the wildflowers that bloom on the northern hillside in July and August.

Colorado is home to thousands of abandoned mines. The latest estimates have counted about 23,000 abandoned mines in Colorado, though experts say this is a low approximation and there are likely hundreds of thousands of mining features leftover from the mid-19th century into the 20th century. They often draw human curiosity, which can lead to safety hazards and vandalism.



Colorado ghost towns: Their past, present and future in the Rocky Mountains

Stephanie Butzer
10:36 AM, Oct 31, 2023

A state program created in 1980 called the Inactive Mine Reclamation Program, under the Colorado Department of Mining, Reclamation and Safety, helped curb the number of rescues and recoveries by blocking public access to the abandoned mine openings. The program has successfully safeguarded an average of 300 mines per year in Colorado, but is regularly challenged by vandals, a limited budget and the rough high country.

Denver7 took an in-depth look at how the state is protecting and preserving its abandoned mines in the story here and below.

Colorado’s abandoned mines pose many dangers. This program works to protect them