This page lists the primary resources providing first-hand accounts of information. While these resources are invaluable, they might also have errors. The more cross referencing you can find within various historical records, the better chance for reaching a more stable conclusion. If you have any suggestions of other relevant resources we should add, please refer to our Contact Us page to submit a suggestion.
The Leadville City Directories were produced from 1879 through 1918, except for the years 1893 and 1896. The entire set of directories have been scanned and archived by the Lake County Public Library. These are available as searchable PDFs on their website: www.lakecountypubliclibrary.org
- 1879 (First directory)
- 1893 (no directory printed)
- 1896 (no directory printed)
While Leadville had telephones as early as the 1880s, telephone books like those of the 20th century did not appear until much later. Once the city directories stopped, the telephone directories basically replaced them. However, not every business or residence had a telephone and therefore were not part of the phone books. Physical telephone books are available at the Lake County Public Library.
The first newspapers in Lake County appeared in 1878. By 1885, Leadville had five newspapers. Several combined into one newspaper, The Herald Democrat, which still publishes weekly. Only two newspapers continued into the 1900s and a new one, the Twin Lakes Miner, arrived in 1902. These newspapers are invaluable resources for a wide variety of information.
The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection was constructed by the Colorado State Library and has historical newspapers scanned, searchable, and available for PDF download for most counties of Colorado. This database is available on their website:
Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection
- Carbonate Chronicle (1879-1923)
- Leadville Daily Herald (1880-1885*)
- Leadville Daily Chronicle [and]
Leadville Evening Chronicle (1879-1898)
- Leadville Democrat (1881-1885?*)
- Leadville Weekly Herald (1879-1885?*)
- The Herald Democrat (*1886-Present)
- Twin Lakes Miner (1902-1911)
*These newspapers merged into a new newspaper, The Herald Democrat, that started in 1886 and still exists today as the only newspaper in Lake County.
The county courthouse and city hall both have archives of physical records useful for research. These physical records can include trial records, marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, business records, organization records, etc. In most cases, these records are not available electronically and are only available manually. A fee may be charged for copies.
In addition to finding birth certificates and death certificates at the city or county buildings, another way is to visit the cemetery itself. Leadville had a relatively small, unsuitable cemetery in the late 1870s but obtained land by 1879 for a larger, new cemetery that still exists today. The Evergreen Cemetery is divided into various sections each owned by separate entities. The Hebrew Cemetery is just one of several sections. The tombstones in the Evergreen Cemetery range in preservation from vanished to dilapidated to well preserved and includes newer markers.
- Old Leadville Cemetery, 1877 through 1879
- Evergreen Cemetery, established for interments by 1880
- St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, established June of 1888
- Mount Holy Cross Cemetery, accepted interments starting 1919
The Lake County Public Library has more information about the cemeteries in Leadville: Lake County Cemeteries