Canon City


          Main Street Canon City - approx. 1900 -  (

                                                          The Correctional Capitol of Colorado!

Cañon City, county seat of Fremont County, is located at the mouth of the Royal Gorge in the foothills of the Rockies, 100 miles from Denver, 45
miles southwest of Colorado Springs, and 35 miles west of Pueblo. The Arkansas River extends the entire 60-mile length of Fremont County and
flows through the City of Cañon City.      

Sheltered in a beautiful valley, Cañon City, elev. 5,343 feet, features a mild and hospitable climate year round. Cañon City is said to be in the
"Banana Belt of Colorado," seeing very few days of extreme weather each year.  

Canon City was first organized by the Canon City Claim Club on March 13, 1860.  The Canon City Claim Club was composed of 6 members who
organized to develop coal, iron, gypsum, marble and granite in the area.  

Mr. and Mrs. Anson Rudd arrived in August 1860 and gave birth to Anson Spencer Rudd, the first white child to be born and survive in the area.  
A census of that year shows 727 residents in the area, 128 of which were females.

In 1861 residents voted to name the settlement "Town of Canyon City" but a reporter for the meeting used the Spanish Canon and so became
Canon City.

With no discovery of gold in the area and recruitment for troops for the Civil War, a population decline took place and in 1865; according to
Thomas Macon, another founding father of the area, only 25 residents remained.  

Canon City was a typical wild western town complete with shootings,hanging and court convened in a room over a saloon.

The first territorial (federal) prison, still the largest employer today, was built and opened on June 1, 1871.  The facility later became Colorado
State Prison, and was given to the state of Colorado in 1876 when it officially became a state in the United States.  

Canon City became incorporated in 1872.

Cañon City's downtown area is listed on the National Historical Register, as it is abundant in early 1900's architecture. The quaint atmosphere of
the downtown area warrants a shopping trip to visit the local boutiques and merchants. Downtown Cañon City has been well preserved over the
years, and as such, is the largest historical commercial district in Colorado.

                                             Annual Ghost Walks of Canon City!

Memorial Day through Labor Day (call for exact dates and times)

Contact Prison Museum at 719-269-3015

Join a historic walking tour/ GHOST WALK of Cañon City's  Downtown Area

Tours start at 6:30 pm from the Museum.  Advance tickets available or arrive at least 15 minutes prior to start.  Space may be limited.  Tours last
1 to 1.2 hours.  Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
Adults:  $8.00        Youth(6-12):  $5.00

A historic and ghoulish walk through Cañon City, conducted by the Museum of Colorado Prisons, will be staged at 7 p.m. every Friday, Saturday
and Sunday through Labor Day.

Additional tours will be available for overflow crowds and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Cañon City Ghost Walk is a journey through the macabre and ghostly past as it winds through streets and alleys of downtown.

Guides, dressed in period costumes, recall grisly lynchings, haunted hotels and the lives of some of the city’s founding fathers. With first-hand
accounts of ghost sightings, the stories are historical and interesting.

The walk is approximately one mile and requires about one and a half hours. Participants need to wear walking shoes and dress appropriately for
the weather.

Tickets are available at the Museum of Colorado Prisons, 201 N. First St.; Dinosaur Depot Museum, 330 Royal Gorge Blvd. or the Book Corral,
621 Main St.   Private party or group discount information is available from the Museum of Colorado Prisons at (719) 269-3015 or at the museum
which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m daily.   Reservations are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. A map featuring the walk is available.

Tours start from the Prison Museum at 201 North First Street in Canon City, CO.
Advance tickets available at the Museum or arrive 15 minutes before tour begins and see if space is available.  The tour is approximately 1 1.2

Prison Museum
201 N. 1st Street
Canon City, CO

Hours: May 15th through Labor Day Open 8:30am - 6:00pm Daily
Labor Day - Mid October Open 10:00am - 5:00pm Daily
Mid October - May 14th Open 10:00am - 5:00pm Wednesday-Sunday Only

Adults: $7
Seniors (65+): $6
Children Under 5: FREE
Children 6-12yrs: $5
CO Dept. of Corrections: $5
Federal Bureau of Prisons: $5
Military: $5

                                                                 Woodpecker Hill Cemetery Crawls!

                                 Do "the Woodpecker Waltz" through Greenwood Cemetery!

Join a intense tour of the prison sections of historic Greenwood Cemetery!

An evening of wicked fun at Woodpecker Hill. Tours start at 6:00 pm from the Museum. Advance tickets available or arrive at least 15 minutes
prior to start. Space may be limited. Tours last 1 to 1.5 hours. Please dress for rugged ground and possible weeds and stickers.

Call the Prison Museum for future dates & times at: (719) 269-3015

Adults: $8.00
Youth(6-12): $5.00

                                                        Ghostly Tales

                                  Prison museum offers history lesson with tour

Publish Date: 7/9/2007

Charlotte Burrous
The Daily Record

The twins love history.
When they had the chance to learn about Cañon City’s traditions with a twist, they jumped at the opportunity.

The 18-year-old twins from Lakewood, Stephanie and Kathy Crabtree, toured the downtown area Saturday with the Museum of Colorado Prisons
Ghostwalk, led by tour guide Jackie Ronco, who portrayed the character of Harriet Rudd.

“I think she had a lot of funny stories,” Stephanie said after the tour.

“There was a lot of history,” Kathy said. “It was really neat.”

The sisters camped in the area with their parents, Roy and Susan Crabtree. While here, the family visited the Royal Gorge and accidentally saw
the sign for the Museum of Colorado Prisons and the Ghostwalk, which spurred them to give it a try.

On the tour, the family learned that Cañon City was founded in 1860.

They said they were intrigued with the ghost stories which Ronco told them.

“At first, it seemed like she didn’t have many ghost stories, because that’s was what it was called,” Stephanie said.

“But she worked it in well with all the history,” Kathy said.

Both of them said they liked hearing the stories of the old buildings in Cañon City, which was originally a part of the Louisiana purchase with the
Spanish territory on the south side of the Arkansas River. The area had been explored by Spanish numerous times before it was settled in the
late 1850s.

“The last settlement was due to people who wanted to grow crops here to feed the miners,” Ronco said. “The miners would come to Cañon City
to get their supplies.”

Prior to becoming a settlement, the Indians spent their winters in this area.

When the mining declined, all of the settlers left the area with the exception of the Rudds, who continued to lure settlers into the town. If it hadn’t
have been for the Resurrectionists, Cañon City may have become a ghost town.

As Ronco told the stories of the different buildings, she weaved in stories of ghosts. For instance, in the former Colorado Hospital, people have
said they hear moaning and groaning from the basement, where the morgue was once located. In the St. Cloud Hotel, several ghosts have
reportedly live there. One story Ronco told is of a little girl who visited one of the rooms where another little girl was staying. At the end of the
day, the mother called the clerk to find out the room number of the other little girl, she was told there were no little girls staying in the hotel.

Another clerk said he heard loud voices late one night coming from the front lobby, where a western art was on display, but he could not make
out the words even though the words were loud. He couldn’t see anyone in the lobby either.

Harriet Rudd was noted for her ability to play the piano, which the Indians loved to hear. One time when she saw them outside the door, she was
too busy to stop her duties. On the living room floor, there was a mama cat with her kittens. Harriet put the cats inside the grand piano, where
they made lots of noise. When the Indians came to the door, Harriet said she didn’t think she should play the piano for them today because it was
“possessed.” When the Indians heard the racket, they left and never came back.

These were just a few of the stories Ronco told the tour as she walked down to Seventh Street on Macon Avenue then made the return trip on
Main Street.

The twins’ mother, Susan, said she was surprised by how many people visited the museum.

“I thought it was strange that all these people were coming to this museum,” Susan said. “I thought we’d be the only ones coming to the prison
museum. It wasn’t going to be something I was going to tell anyone at my office.”

But the twins were enthralled by the experience.

“It’s cool,” Stephanie said.

“Especially for history buffs,” Kathy said. “Even people who don’t like history would like it.”

The ghostwalk tours are offered during the weekend throughout the summer. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. Meet at 6:15 p.m. in front of the
Museum of Colorado Prisons, 201 N. First St. New this year is the Cemetery Crawl, where tours are taken to the Greenwood Cemetery.

For more information, call 269-3015.

Charlotte Burrous can be reached at

                                       A walk on the wild side

Canon City Daily Record article

Charlotte Burrous
Daily Record Community Editor

Ghosts stories, historical facts and myths will highlight the Cañon City Ghost Walk at the Museum of Colorado Prisons, 201 N. First St.,
throughout the summer weekends.
On Sunday, the museum will offer half-price tickets to Fremont County residents for $4 for adults and $2.50 for youth ages 6-12 with a Fremont
County identification. The discount will be offered again on the last Sunday of July and August.

Participants are asked to arrive by 6:15 p.m. with the tours beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday through Monday during the summer.

The tour begins with an old west character guiding the individuals on a stroll up Macon Avenue to Seventh Street, listening to stories as they
pass the old hospital, the Presbyterian Church and the St. Cloud Hotel, then back to the museum on Main Street.

Along the way, guides will point out the original location of the courthouse and other places where it was moved, the old St. Thomas More
Hospital, the Colorado Hospital, several locations for the post office and the Elks Lodge, which was originally on Main Street before the building
was constructed at its present site on Macon Avenue.

Cañon City, which was claimed by Spain, Mexico and Texas at one time or another, sometimes all at the same time, had its beginnings in the

“We tell about hangings,” organizer and guide Sandi Jackson said. “We tell about the terror of 1863 with the Espinoza murders.”

The tour guides discovered a book titled, “Hollywood, Colorado.”

“(The book) talks about the moviemaking in Colorado, which is centered around Cañon City, from 1909-1911. We could have been Hollywood,”
she joked.

The museum also offers special tours for groups of 10 or more. To make reservations, call 269-3015.

In October, the museum plans to offer the Big House Scream haunted house during the last two weekends. Historic and creepy “felons” gather at
the Old Cellhouse 4, where outside the prison walls, visitors get a “taste of Halloween horror with spirits of former inmates with creepy stories to

Regular ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for children the rest of the tours.

Contact: Prison Museum 719/269-3015

                                                                                 The St. Cloud Hotel


                                                                                            (As of Jan. 6th, 2012)

                                                                           631 Main Street, Historic Downtown Canon City

The St. Cloud is a historic, red brick, Victorian building, built in 1883 during the gold rush days, and is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places. Its guests enjoy a gracious experience, with comfortable accommodations and a view to the past. It's a fun hotel to explore with its many
antiques, hotel rooms that are all a little different, original paintings by local artists displayed throughout and friendly staff tp answer any
questions you may have. For your convenience, we have a gourmet coffee shop, tiger oak bar from the 1890's, elegant, old fashion dining room
and small conference room. The lobby is equipped with comfortable chairs to rexax in while waiting for friends.

The St. Cloud is located in the historical district of Canon City, just a block off of Royal Gorge Boulevard, the main thoroughfare through town. It
has easy access to the many area attractions and activities. Most are within 15 minutes or less of the hotel. Come visit with us and experience a
piece of the past with the conveniences of today.


If you visit southern Colorado to walk the wooden planks of the Royal Gorge Bridge or ride the scenic Royal Gorge Route Train, the St. Cloud
Hotel is the recommended hotel for you.

Located in Cañon City, the St. Cloud Hotel served as the headquarters for several moviemakers during the 1940's and 1950's. Scott Brady, the
star of the film Cañon City, lived at the hotel while filming the movie about the prison break of 1947. The hotel has also hosted other famous
guests including Burt Lancaster, Slim Pickins, and Charles Bronson.    

The St. Cloud Hotel has experienced a complicated past. The hotel was originally built in Silver Cliff in Custer County and later moved brick by
brick to its present location. In the 1930s the hotel housed The Rambler Print Shop, which printed a small Ku Klux Klan newspaper.

Employees and guests will tell you that some of the rooms are haunted. The television in room 209 has a reputation of turning itself on and off,
and the spirit of a little girl is believed to wander the halls of the hotel in search of her mother, who stayed there after the little girl’s death. Other
strange phenomena have occurred at the hotel, such as when the former owners were renovating and painters found a large bubble filled with
water connected on the wall between two rooms.

The first thing front desk clerk Lawrence Blesi noticed when he began working at the hotel was the face of a young boy painted on the wall
outside the entry way to the St. Cloud Bar.

"I was sitting at my desk my first night here, and I glanced over and saw him staring back at me. I don’t know if the lady who painted the hallway
intentionally blended him in with her work, but he is definitely there."

The lobby to the St. Cloud is a cozy gathering place for guests. A fireplace keeps guests sitting on the antique chairs and couches warm in the
chilly winter months. There is also a grand piano situated in the lobby for guests to play and enjoy.       

The hotel serves as a combination hotel and apartment house. The rooms on the fourth floor have been converted into apartments, while the
bottom three floors remain hotel rooms.

There are 35 units, which provide a variety of single room and suite accommodations. Individual and unique artwork decorates the hotel room
walls. Each room comes with a private bath and wooden vanity. The honeymoon suite is connected to the hotel’s veranda, which overlooks
Cañon City’s main street. The oldest operating elevator in Colorado takes guests from floor to floor.

The hotel features a dining room, coffee house, and lounge all available for guests to use. The dining room can be transformed into a banquet
hall for weddings and community gatherings. The owners plan to re-open The St. Cloud Bar and Grill in the summer of 2003. The St. Cloud also
welcomes guests traveling with pets.  

Source: Southern Colorado Magazine/  Author: Anna Herman, 2003.

                                       St. Cloud Hotel for sale info!

Jan. 6th, 2012

Basic Information for 631 Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212, MLS #39651:

Price:         $250, 000                 

M L S #:         39651
Property Type: Commercial and Industrial                 
Status:         Active
Sq. Ft.:         24, 000                
Year Built:    1888


Features for 631 Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212, MLS #39651:

Cooling System:         Evaporative                 Heating System:         Steam
New Construction:         Brick/Block                 Num Parking Spaces:         0
Water:         City Water, Sewer Connection         

Other Features for 631 Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212, MLS #39651:

Access:     Paved Road                 
Alley:         True
Curb/gutter:  True                 
Features:     Restrooms, Living Space Available
Location:     Corner                 
Lot Dimesnion:  66X120
Sale Includes:  Building & Land, Inventory                 
Type Of Business:  Retail, Office, Business Service, Professional Service, Food Service, Hotel/Motel, Commercial.

Presenting Broker: Carolyn Reeves

Agent Name:         Carolyn Reeves
Office Name:         Reeves Real Estate
Office Address:         200 South 5th Street, Canon City, CO 81212
Direct Phone:         719-275-2181                 
Mobile:         N/A                 Fax Number:         719-275-0824
Office Phone:         719-275-2181         
Metrobrokers real estate services Metro Brokers, Inc.

                                      Haunted Prison Museum!

                                                                                            (Past Event)

Held annually usually around the weekend before Halloween

Please call the museum for dates and times: (719) 269- 3015

Come celebrate Halloween at the Haunted Prison Museum!

Adult scares will be held upstairs.   Children 12 and under will enjoy games, ghost stories and crafts downstairs.  
Adults: $8.00       Children 12 and under: $5.00

The museum is hosting a haunted house, where the state's most infamous former inhabitants will be brought back to life in the upper level of the
museum (festivities geared for the adults) and activities for the 10-and-younger crowd will get under way on the lower level.

Cañon City is located approximately 30 miles from Pueblo, 38 miles from Colorado Springs and 120 miles from Denver.  

The Museum of Colorado Prisons is located on the west end of Cañon City, just one block off of Highway 50 on 1st Street and next to the
Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility or "Old Max" as it is known (which is in Florence).

Prison Museum
201 North 1st Street
Canon City
Canon City Daily Record article:

Publish Date: 10/27/2006

                                                 Haunted house in town this weekend

Charlotte Burrous
The Daily Record

Just in time for Halloween, the ghosts of infamous criminals and inmates will haunt the former women’s prison.
The Big House Scream Haunted House will begin at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Museum of Colorado Prisons, 201 N. First St. in Cañon

“It’s a scary building anyway,” said Donna Murphy, museum board member. “Then when we decorate it with black lights, strobe lights and
cobwebs, it’s frightening.”

The true stories are what makes the haunted house more unique than other haunted houses, she continued.

Participants will be taken on a guided tour of the prison to listen to stories from the guides as the spooks make their appearances.

Volunteers tell the stories of true characters, including Alferd Packard, who is Colorado’s own cannibal.
Along the way, he jumps out of one of the cells or creeps up behind.

Another infamous character, Spiderman killed the owner of the house in his own kitchen and then escaped into an attic through a hole not much
bigger than a cigar box, where he stayed for several months before he was caught in Denver, Murphy said.

Another character portrayed is John Gilbert Graham, who set a bomb in Flight 269 out of Denver in 1955.

“He killed 46 people because he didn’t like his mother,” Murphy said. “He also bought insurance.”

Other infamous ghosts will hang around and haunt the museum as the tour goes through the museum.

Murphy encourages parents to not bring children under 6 or others who are sensitive and may be frightened.

“We try to tone it down when we have to,” Murphy said.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth 6 to 12 and may be purchased at the door.
For more information, call 269-3015.

                        Murder Mysteries Trains on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad!

$110.00/Person (Minimum age 8)

Enjoy an evening of delicious food, breathtaking scenery, outstanding service and a classic "who dunnit" murder mystery!

The Dinner Train has taken a new twist. World-class taste, world-class service, and world-class entertainment, all add up to one unforgettable
trip! Available on select evenings throughout the year, you’ll be treated to a classic "who dunnit" murder mystery. Together with the talents of
Red Herring Productions, experience the likes of "Murder in Buffalo Chip" or "Murder Speaks Easy" and try to figure out who committed the crime.
Did the gunfighter do it? Did the widow? Maybe the sheriff. Only one thing is certain, you will enjoy a wonderful dinner, great entertainment and
experience railroading’s most breathtaking train ride!

                                    ~ 2012 Murder Mystery Schedule! ~

May 26th
June 9th, 23rd
July 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
August 3rd, 10th, 18th, 25th
September 1st, 22nd
October 6th, 27th

**Please note that our tables seat parties of 4. In the tradition of railroad fine dining, parties of 2 will most likely be seated with another couple.
99.99% of our guests enjoy their time meeting fellow rail-fans. When seated with another couple, you and your guest will be seated on the same
side of the table. Larger groups will be seated at adjacent tables.

Seating is limited and Murder Mystery trains sell out quickly, so make your reservations early online or by calling us at: 1.888.RAILS.4U.

Every effort will be made to accommodate any special dietary or physical needs. Are you celebrating a special occasion? Let us know at the time
your reservations are made. For questions about accessibility of the train and its different classes please call the reservations department at 888-
724-5748 prior to booking a reservation on our web site.

Call our Group Sales Line, 888-724-5748, ext. 150 to book the entire car for your special group.


Royal Gorge Route RR


Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Santa Fe Depot
401 Water Street
Cañon City, CO 81212
1-888-RAILS-4-U (1-888-724-5748)
FAX: 303-569-2894

                  Buckskin Joe's Town of Terror ~ PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Above postcard photo from:

                          Buckskin Joe closing after 53 years

September 03, 2010

Buckskin Joe Frontier Town and Railway, a staple of Cañon City tourism for 53 years, will close Sept. 12, 2010.

Owner Greg Tabuteau, who has owned the attraction for 25 years, sold the 805-acre property to a man he says wishes to remain anonymous.
Tabuteau said the new owner is an Old West buff who was more interested in the buildings than the land and plans to move the structures to a
new location.

It’s unknown what will happen to the land.

Tabuteau, 63, said he’s ready to relax a little.

“I’ve been in tourism all my life and never had a summer vacation,” Tabuteau said. “My wife and I want to have a little fun before I don’t have the
health to do it anymore.”

Buckskin Joe’s employs 45 people, all but five of those seasonal employees.

Mike Bandera, general manager of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, said Buckskin Joe has been a good partner and that losing one of the
gorge’s attractions makes it harder to bring visitors to the area.

“Very sorry to see them go,” Bandera said. “Obviously, the more you have, the greater you’re likely to be the destination for a family.”

Buckskin Joe was built in 1957 as a set for Western movies and 30 authentic buildings were moved in from ghost towns around the region,
including one building from the real Buckskin Joe, a mining camp outside of Alma that enjoyed a brief heyday in the 1860’s.

The Royal Gorge Buckskin Joe was the setting for 1965’s “Cat Ballou” and John Wayne’s “The Cowboys” (1972), along with many other films.

Bandera said the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park would be interested the Buckskin Joe land if it is put up for sale. The property is adjacent to the
Bridge and Park.

Tabuteau said he’s holding on to the props for his popular “Town of Terror” haunted house and hopes to revive the event next year if he can find
a new location, but said he doesn’t have the time to pull it off this year.

Jim Jackson, founder of the Manitou Art Theatre, has written and performed a one-man show, "Royal Buckskin," about his childhood in Cañon
City and his memories of Buckskin Joe.

"Everybody called it a tourist trap, and I suppose it was, but it was a REAL tourist trap," he said. "It wasn’t plastic. It was a place where you could
let your imagination run wild."

And as an 8- or 9-year-old, washing dishes at Buckskin Joe and "mostly getting in the way and causing trouble," Jackson's imagination ran as
wild as the West.

He remembers staging play gunfights with friends, and falling from a stagecoach into a pile of hay, and watching with wonder at the actors staged
their gunfights.

"When you watch them now, they're pretty corny, but when you're a kid, and one of those guns goes off next to you ... wow! That was pretty eye

Jackson said he hopes to take his 7-year-old daughter to share that experience.

"I'd love her to see it before it's gone."

Buckskin Joe will remain open its regular hours until Sept. 12. Tabuteau said the staff have already had a goodbye party and he isn't planning a
public farewell.

Colorado Springs Gazette

The Gazette's Warren Epstein contributed to this report.

Read more:

William Koch buys another piece of Western history: Buckskin Joe

By Patricia Calhoun Tue., Aug. 16 2011 at 6:32 AM

​Turns out that William Koch, the Florida billionaire who bought the tintype of Billy the Kid for more than two million bucks at a Denver auction in
June, isn't just interested in photos of the Old West. He's interested in Old West towns, too. And he just bought himself a big chunk of Colorado

Last summer, when Greg Tabuteau announced that he was closing the Buckskin Joe "edu-taining" attraction/tourist trap outside of Cañon City
that he'd owned for 25 years, he said that he'd sold the 805-acre property to a Western fan who wanted to remain anonymous and was more
interested in the historic structures on the land than the land itself. That fan was Koch, who recently moved some of the buildings to his private
ranch outside of Gunnison.

This wasn't the first time those buildings had been relocated. Back in 1957, boosters -- including Karol Smith, who later founded the Colorado
Film Commission, the first state film commission in the country -- bought the remains of the original Buckskin Joe, an early gold camp two miles
outside of Alma, and reassembled them, along with two dozen other buildings from old ghost towns, at the edge of the Royal Gorge as a set for
Western movies. The movies filmed there ranged from the first True Grit, starring John Wayne, to the truly dreadful The Duchess and the
Dirtwater Fox, starring Goldie Hawn and George Segal.

Almost a century before, the original Buckskin Joe had seen its own share of stars. Horace and Augusta Tabor had run a store and the post
office there before moving on to Leadville, where Horace amassed a huge fortune and dumped Augusta. Silver Heels, the prostitute with the
heart of gold, had reportedly nursed minors through an outbreak of smallpox there in 1862, then disappeared into legend. And although some of
the town's more civilized residents had tried to name the place Laurette, it could never shake the Buckskin Joe moniker inspired by Joseph
Higgenbottom, the buckskin-wearing prospector who found gold in the area in 1859.

Tabuteau got an undisclosed amount of gold when he sold the second Buckskin Joe to Koch. In February, Fremont County officials approved
permits to dismantle and move a half-dozen buildings from the site, including the original H.A.W. Tabor Store.

"Some of the building's he's reassembled," acknowledges Koch's spokesman, Brad Goldstein.

But unlike the last Buckskin Joe, this third incarnation will not be open to the public.

Mystery buyer for Buckskin Joe revealed to be billionaire Koch brother

August 29, 2011

Nearly a year after the Buckskin Joe Frontier Town was sold to an anonymous buyer, the mystery man was revealed to be Florida billionaire
William Koch. As first reported by Denver’s Westword, Koch is moving the historic ghost town to his ranch near Gunnison.

A spokesman for Koch confirmed the purchase and said that several of the buildings have been dismantled, but said he could provide no more

Former Buckskin Joe owner Greg Tabuteau sold the town last year for $3.1 million. At the time, he would only say that it was sold to a private
buyer who planned to relocate the buildings. The party of record was a company set up specifically for the purchase, Fremont County
Acquisitions LLC.

“The buyer is adamant about wanting to remain anonymous,” Tabuteau told the Pueblo Cheiftain last year. “He will concentrate on moving
Buckskin Joe right away and then later, the scenic railway.”

Buckskin Joe was originally a mining boom town located near Alma in the 1860’s, but the name and the one surviving building were relocated in
1957 to Cañon City to serve as a tourist attraction and movie set, and about 30 authentic Old West buildings were added to create the town. The
Royal Gorge Buckskin Joe was the setting for 1965’s “Cat Ballou” and John Wayne’s “The Cowboys” (1972), along with many other Hollywood

Koch is apparently a collector of Western lore, having paid $2.3 million for an 1879 tintype of Billy the Kid in June.

Koch’s purchase price for Buckskin Joe also included 805 acres near the Royal Gorge and the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway. Although he had
planned to retire after selling the attraction he owned for 25 years, this spring Tabuteau leased the railway back and has operated it through the
summer (it’s open through September).

Read more:

Buckskin Joe headed to private ranch owned by Koch brother

August 29th, 2011, 10:15 am · posted by Andrew Wineke

Colorado Springs Gazette

According to this article in Westword, the Buckskin Joe Frontier Town is headed for the Gunnison ranch owned by Florida billionaire William
Koch.  No word on what Koch will do with his own semi-authentic Western mining town, but the story does note that Koch is a collector of Western
lore, having paid $2 million for an 1879  tintype of Billy the Kid in July.

Former Buckskin Joe owner Greg Tabuteau sold the town (which was originally near Alma) last year for $3.1 million. At the time, he would only
say that it was sold to a private buyer who planned to relocate the buildings and the buyer was a company set up specifically for the purchase,
Fremont County Acquisitions LLC.

“The buyer is adamant about wanting to remain anonymous,” Tabuteau told the Pueblo Cheiftain. “He will concentrate on moving Buckskin Joe
right away and then later, the scenic railway.”

The purchase price also included 805 acres near the Royal Gorge and the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway.

This spring, Tabuteau leased the railway back and has run it through the summer.

A Piece Of Local History Gone

Canon City Daily Record article

Carie Canterbury


Its not easy to say goodbye to something that has brought much joy and was the origin of dozens of fond memories, but sometimes we just dont
have a choice.

As a child, my family frequented Buckskin Joe every time we had out-of-town visitors, and sometimes just for the heck of it. I loved that place!

No matter how many times we visited the 1860s frontier town, it always was an exciting experience, and I usually saw something that I had not
noticed before.

If you grew up in Fremont County, you also probably have a few good memories tucked in the back of your mind and if youre new to the area,
join me on this little walk down memory lane.

Remember that sweet candy shop that offered those old-fashioned stick candies in a variety of flavors? I always felt like Laura Ingalls going in to
Olsons Mercantile when I went in there. My favorite flavor was the root beer and those candy cigarettes? I prefer that my children not pretend to
smoke, but my brother, sister and I sure thought we were cool imitating my dad with those chalky white sugar sticks with the pink tip.

The gunfights were smokin literally! When I was a little girl, in the early 1980s, the boardwalks were packed with visitors and tourists crammed
together to see the shootouts. There once was a time when we could sit in the saloon and drink Sasparilla while watching the bad guy get shot
and I learned that usually the guy in the white hat was the good guy, and the bad guys frequently dressed in black.

I remember watching hangings through the slits between my fingers as I shielded my eyes, and watching the gunslingers get shot off the roofs of

Be honest, who has never had their picture taken behind the bars of the Buckskin Joe Jail or threatened to leave their kids there if they dont stop
whining at some point in the visit?

And what about that dark, creepy haunted gold mine? I still get the shivers when I think about walking through the cold cave. And by the way, did
anyone ever solve the mystery of the the slanted house?

I always enjoyed looking at the black and white photos in the Old Time Photo Shop taken by the 100 year old camera. I will admit, hidden in my
house, I have two pictures of myself dressed as a saloon girl reclining on the bar with a feather boa and an empty whiskey bottle the first one I
was a teenager and the second one my husband is standing behind me with a rifle.

I also have pioneer family photos from when I was a kid, and one from about six years ago where I sat in the prominent pioneer mother position. I
know you can get those photos made at other places, but it just wont be the same.

We often would grab a bite to eat at the Gold Nugget Restaurant in between panning for gold and browsing the gift shop. I never was
adventurous enough to try a buffalo burger, but I thoroughly enjoyed their tasty hamburgers and again, a refreshing Sasparilla.

Lets not forget about one of the most elite positions at Buckskin Joe: the mayor. The ol donkey has been a favorite of mine for years. He
wandered around keeping the peace, and once in a while, posed in a photo with the kids.

When my children and I had the pleasure of watching Cactus Creek filmed on location Aug. 17 at Buckskin Joe, they scurried off to the magic
shop and begged for money to purchase one of the magic trick kits. I told them I would purchase it next time. I did not know that there would not
be a next time.

Yes, Buckskin Joe will take with it many sentimental memories when it is disassembled and relocated to its future home. I hope others will enjoy
the history, the photos, the antiques and the stories that Buckskin Joe has offered us for several generations.

OK, I have said my goodbye, made peace in my heart that a piece of Caon City history will be gone forever from us, but I still have one concern
whats going to happen to the Buckskin Joe mayor?

Publish Date: 9/17/2010

Seniors learn about the history behind Buckskin Joe

Canon City Daily Record

Carie Canterbury,


Buckskin Joe was built as a tourist attraction and movie set in the 1950s an era when cowboys were all the rage. Fascination with The Old West
has taken a backseat to technological gadgets and gizmos, but Buckskin Joe will be a treasured piece of Fremont Countys history as long as its
citizens are willing to keep the memories alive.

Local author and historian Sherry Johns presented The Colorful Tale of Buckskin Joe on Monday during the Senior Mini College at the Pueblo
Community College Fremont Campus.

Perhaps one surprising revelation is the only connection to Joe Higgenbottom, known as Buckskin Joe, and the western frontier town is a nifty

Higgenbottom was a miner who discovered gold in Park County and sold out fairly quickly and moved on, Johns said.

Buckskin Gulch became known as Buckskin Joe, she said. So when these three businessmen (Karol Smith, Don Tyner and Malcolm Brown) from
Caon City wanted to build this western town, they used that name because it was a cool name.

Johns said only a couple of the buildings actually came from the original Buckskin Gulch.

They moved buildings from all over Colorado to Buckskin Joe, a couple of them actually did come from Buckskin Gulch, she said.

In a presentation, Johns displayed photos of the buildings in their original locations, as well as how they looked at Buckskin Joe.

The sheriffs office building was a homestead from the northern part of Fremont County, Johns said. The bank came from Saguache, the candy
store was from Cripple Creek, the livery stables were from Guffey, and Dr. Billy Jones office hailed from the Draper Ranch in Wetmore.

Johns said the dentist office originally came from Garden Park and the motion picture museum containing movie posters and pictures once was
at Ninth Street and College Avenue.

Johns spent a lot of time at Buckskin Joe, documenting its history during the summer months, and was there from open to close on Sept. 12, the
last day it was open to the public. She said former owner Greg Tabiteau said the gate count on that final day was what it used to be in its heyday.

On that final day, Johns wandered the streets watching Buckskin Joe wake up one last time, she said. Grandparents were there with their
grandchildren and parents were there with their children. One lady said she was married in the church.

I had just pages of peoples stories, Johns said.

The Victorian Society of Colorado Springs and the Gold Camp Victorian Society turned out in costume to bid farewell to the old town.

They wanted to experience Buckskin Joe one last time in their costumes, she said.

Johns watched the last gunfight to ever take place at Buckskin Joe before heading home to begin compiling photos and memories for her future
book. A friend gave her photos of the buildings being jacked up, wrapped and placed on a flatbed truck to be transported to their new home.

Mondays class is a teaser to whet the communitys appetite for other events Johns is planning.

This fall, Im going to have a program on Buckskin Joe, she said. It is going to be very similar to Female Felons a program, then Ill have four or
five men that will tell their stories.

Joe Higgenbottom, Karol Smith, John Wayne and a gunfighter will share their stories, and someone will be on hand to share the ghost stories of
Buckskin Joe.

Johns asked a former caretaker what will happen to the ghosts now that the buildings are gone.

He said they came with the buildings, theyll go with the buildings, she said. The new owner inherited ghosts.


From the Past:

(From the Buckskin Joe website)

YOU thought the nightmare was over forever, YOU thought you'd never be scared again, YOU... WERE WRONG!

See what evil is lurking around the next corner this year as the staff of Buckskin Joe transform this peaceful old west town into a sinister haunted
attraction that rivals the best of the best anywhere. Leave it to our twisted staff to take something already scary at night and turn it into something
so down right demented that adults literally wet themselves, on a nightly basis. No wonder it is fast becoming known as one of the most
frightening haunted attractions in Colorado.

Buckskin Joe exploits its own renowned haunted history, which was highlighted on the History Channel’s - Haunted Rockies Series, to turn Town
of Terror into something hauntingly special. Inexplicable things that go on here day after day and year after year only enhance the visitor’s
experience. Some have seen little children, apparently part of the haunt, only to be told there are no children involved with the haunt. Still others
feel the touch of another only to turn and see no one. This is the experience that awaits the most hardened haunt seekers.

Imagine a haunt, isolated from city noise and lights, set in the Colorado foothills where no one will hear you scream. Imagine a quiet so loud it
drives ones imagination wild, or does it? Imagine stepping into a town surrounded by the specters of buildings from a time long ago. They
themselves, ghosts of a past forgotten and silhouetting the night sky like evil guardians of the sinister town. Imagine rounding a corner and being
face to face with the Lincoln Theatre (the Grand Central Station for nether world activity in Buckskin Joe), its eyes keeping watch over the town.
Remembrances of a past fraught with death and destruction. A past as an old barn used for public executions in the late 1800’s and additionally
to store bodies in during the winter until the spring thaw came and softened the ground for burial. Now imagine that you are in the town alone,
separated from the people you trust and the only way out will take you through the depths of your own soul.

Warning this event is not recommended for persons who are faint at heart, claustrophobic, are prone to seizures or recommended for young
children. Uneven footing, tight, enclosed spaces, low lighting, strobe lights and fog effects are in use.

A few lucky souls each year get an additional experience of seeing our real ghosts each year, will you be one?

TICKET PRICES:  Adults ~~ $ TBD-- Children (ages 4-11) ~~ $ TBD

Not recommended for children under age 12-- Please believe us when we say that this is not recommended for children under 12.  
Little kids rarely make it all the way through and we will not issue a refund.

We accept the following methods of payment: Cash, MasterCard, Visa & Discover
Please note we do not accept any personal checks even local. Click here for discount coupons-- Call (719) 275-5485 or 5149 if you need futher
information.  Located 8 miles west of Cañon City, on the road to the Royal Gorge.

Voted the best haunted attraction in Colorado 2 years in a row!

(719) 275-5485--- or--- (719) 275-5149

Old, inactive links:

                                        Hauntings at Buckskin Joe!

As you look around the town of Buckskin Joe, remember that most of these buildings were built in the 1860’s. Many of the park’s staff and visitors
have reported unsettling incidents that they cannot explain.

So many, in fact, that the town was featured in 2001 on the History Channel’s series “Haunted History.”

Lights sometimes go on and off by themselves. Some folks have reported seeing a grizzled old miner in the mirror of the Saloon but when they
turn around there is no one there. Chairs reportedly slide around in the theater by themselves.

Over the years, these unsettling incidents seem to have involved the same three characters; “the blue lady,” “the miner,” and “the faceless
gunfighter.” Both the miner and the gunfighter are almost always seen in the Saloon and Theater, while “the blue lady” is usually sighted on
the boardwalk by the Sackett House.

The Saloon and Theatre complex was originally built from three different barns that were moved to Buckskin Joe and fitted together. One of the
barns was used for public executions during the 1800’s. It was also used to store bodies of the deceased during the winter months when the
ground was too hard and frozen to dig graves. Many people believe that this is why this area is haunted.

The “blue lady” usually appears near the Sackett House. While she seems a friendly and benign spirit, we are not certain of her history. We do
know that the Sackett House was originally built in the town of Sargents, Colorado in the 1880’s. It was used as a boarding house for the men
who built the narrow gauge railroad over Marshall Pass.

If you encounter one of Buckskin Joe’s “permanent residents,” tell one of our staff members. Not only do we enjoy a good story, but we like to
keep track of the town’s population!

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