“The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.”
Along U.S. Forest Service Road 295, about halfway between the abandoned towns of Romley and Hancock lay the remains of the Allie Belle Mine.
As is so often the case with many ghost towns, and with even more of the thousands of mines that dot the high mountains, precious little is known about the Allie Belle. By most accounts, there were close to 150 mines along Chalk Creek. Most never amounted to much. But some, like the Allie Belle, the Flora Belle, the Pat and Mary Murphy mines, the Stonewall, and others produced a combined sixty million dollars in their day.
The Allie Belle no doubt supported the entire Chalk Creek district, but it is most closely tied to the Alpine Tunnel construction town of Hancock just about a mile south. There were two boarding houses near the mine, but no doubt many miners (particularly the married ones) chose to live just down the road in Hancock.