Gold Hill Mesa mines for street names
What do you name a subdivision's streets on a property where Cripple Creek gold was once milled?
How about naming them after Cripple Creek gold mines?
That's what the Gold Hill Mesa Partners LLC (the residential investment arm of the Gold Hill Mesa development) decided to do. LLC manager Robert Willard says he researched the matter in Penrose Library's historic Carnegie Library and came up with about 450 mine names. With the help of a Cripple Creek historian, Willard reduced the number to about 100 that had been functional mines, and of these he culled out the 20 to 25 that will be used in the project.
One of the most prominent streets will be Raven Mine Drive, which will go past the 214-acre development's community center (which is under construction). The center itself will be known as the Exchange Building, in honor of the mining exchange from the heyday of Cripple Creek.
Willard said the LLC had no special reason for choosing Raven Mine from the many they had to pick from, other than liking the way it sounds. “It just rolls off the tongue,” he said.
Last week saw the first of the names - taken from a Cripple Creek mine called Merrimac - to appear on a street sign. This was in conjunction with the widening of Lower Gold Camp Road, which Gold Hill Mesa funded as part of its Phase 1 residential development north of the road and east of 21st Street. Crews cut away part of a small hill to make room for the roughly 500 feet of new pavement.
Other Phase 1 street names will be Creson Mine, Portland Gold, Lady Campbell, Eclipse and Solitaire. There is also a Gold Hill Mesa Drive, which derives from, as Willard explained it, “not specifically a mine, but the site of a mine.”
Willard likes his mine motif so well that he was disappointed at having to keep the name of one street (Millstream Terrace) that continues into his property from a previous subdivision on the south side of Lower Gold Camp Road. “The city made me extend it,” Willard said. “If I'd known what I know now, I wouldn't have lined up the streets.”
A similar situation involves Broadway Street. Conceptual plans show it coming into Gold Hill Mesa across 21st Street from the Midland area and continuing into the property's commercial northwest portion. Willard playfully suggested that he might deliberately not line up the streets. Then he could give his street a mine name instead.
“I can understand the city's intent to make it logical, but my point is that Gold Hill Mesa is an area within itself, a metro district,” he said.
Westside Pioneer article