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BACHELOR*  (TELLER)

Bachelor was a wild town from the beginning. The first three businesses in operation were two saloons and a bordello (referred to tongue-in-cheek as a "female seminary" by the Creede Candle in 1892). In spite of efforts to reform the town and to introduce some culture, it never got much better. Shootings, murders, and deadly accidents were common occurrences.

One such story tells of a reforming minister and his pneumonia stricken daughter. The minister had left his ill daughter in their cabin while traveling to officiate a funeral nearby. Upon his return, several days later, he found a man bending over his daughter in her bed. He drew and fired his revolver, killing the stranger. His daughter screamed and exclaimed that the man was the local doctor who was attending to her. She lay back in her bed and succumbed to her illness shortly after. In his grief and remorse, the minister turned his gun on himself. The three were found in the minister's cabin the next day. Owing to the difficulty of grave digging, they were buried haphazardly, one on top of the other in a lonely grave.

Nobody seems to know who found the Bachelor Mine, but it was discovered in 1885, and Bachelor took off. Some of the other excellent properties were the Holy Moses, the Last Chance, and the Commodore.

 

The town grew up near the Last Chance's boarding house. It boasted of dozens of saloons, parlor houses, several hotels and restaurants, and even its own opera house. Bachelor got its post office in April of 1892. Thanks to a conflict with Bachelor, California, the post office was named Teller. Regardless, Bachelor's residents refused to rename the town, so Bachelor it stayed. By June, the town was incorporated, and elections were being held. Times were lively. In mining camps, exciting times are all too often short-lived.

Like so many other Colorado mining camps, nearby Creede and all of its suburbs were adversely affected by the Silver Panic of 1893. Bachelor, however, faded slowly, unlike other towns that were emptied almost overnight. By 1896 its population had dropped to less than a thousand. By 1910, it was less than two hundred. Eventually, everyone else moved away too. Living at 10,500 feet was tough regardless of the century. Many moved to Creede; others left the area entirely.

Today, the stillness in a wide meadow that once held Bachelor belies its wild past. The remains of three crumbling cabins are all that mark the site today.

*Bachelor is part of the seventeen-mile Bachelor Loop Historic Tour.

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