Colorado has a rich mining history that dates back to 1858. The industry was booming in the state during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and at that time, mining contributed massively to Colorado's successful economy.

A majority of Colorado's mining towns are situated in the mountainous central and southwest parts of the state. There are still quite a few active mines throughout the Centennial State and plenty of abandoned ones as well. Deserted mines serve as important reminders of the industry's long history here.

Drone footage taken in August of 2021 shows an amazing view of Colorado's Commodore Mine. This complex has been around since 1891 and was originally a part of the Creed Mining District. It's located about a mile from the actual town of Creede. The rickety wood building towers above the ground, sitting at 9,249 feet elevation in what's now the Rio Grande National Forest.

During its years of operation, the Commodore Mine was known for primarily producing silver, zinc, and lead. A broken-down analysis of what was mined at this location can be found here. Along with the nearby Bachelor Mine, the Commodore was one of the biggest producers of ore within the Creede Mining District. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad served all of the Creede Mines.

RELATED: The History Behind This Abandonded Chaffee County Mine

According to, the Commodore Mine permanently closed in 1976. The holes leading to the mine have since been sealed but many of the associated structures remain standing. Some of the buildings are in a pretty dilapidated state at this point but still provide important examples of mining engineering and architecture in the Centennial State.

Today, the mountainside mine remains a popular spot for photographers. Since 2006, a group called Creede Minding Heritage, Inc. has helped to control the erosion, runoff, and possible contaminants within the area to keep the mine in decent shape. Its well-preserved condition makes the destination a great example of Colorado's mining history. The organization eventually hopes to purchase the site and complete a full restoration on it.

What I See via YouTube
What I See via YouTube

The mine is currently eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places but its status is still in progress.

Explore the Paint Mines of Colorado

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is such a unique place to see.

More From 94.3 The X