“The desire for gold is the most universal and deeply rooted commercial instinct of the human race.”
Alice has resolutely refused to give up the ghost. The town subsists today in the form of summer homes under the watchful gaze of Saint Mary's Glacier. Spread out amongst this newer construction, the town's mining history is easily seen.
Founded in the early 1880s, Alice quickly took on an air of permanence, moving inevitably from a tent city, to rough log cabins, and eventually to finished lumber construction.
Alice was the most significant and likely the most productive of the many camps located along the Fall River Road in the mountains above Idaho Springs. The Alice mine was the greatest producer, supplying $50,000 (give or take) in gold in just its first few months. It was eventually sold in 1897 for $250,000 (a very healthy sum in those days). A payment arrangement was agreed upon, but before the final payment was made, the Alice mine mostly stopped producing. It shut down in 1899, taking the town with it. Some suggest that the mines were worked on-and-off until the 1930s.
Like any mining town, when the cost to obtain and process the target mineral becomes greater than the return on the investment in men and material, the mines shut down. Desertion of the town inevitably follows when miners and their families move on to other active camps where jobs are plentiful. That's how a single industry town becomes a ghost.
Alice was no exception to that rule, but it was one of the few mining towns in Colorado that had a resurgence of sorts. Owing to its proximity to large nearby towns and cities like Idaho Springs, Golden, and Denver, and thanks to its beautiful location, Alice came back to life in the mid-1900s as a destination for residents who come here to escape the heat of summer.
Alice lives on with its assortment of mid- to late-1900s summer homes and victorian era miners cabins existing side-by-side.