Please note that in 20-years of living in Colorado, I have never exited the freeway at Silver Plume. I have been to the train station, via the Georgetown Loop Railroad, but I have never ventured into town.
When I saw that business actually existed in the town, thanks to Facebook, I began to wonder why we hadn’t visited. I still didn’t have firsthand proof, however, that Silver Plume was a real town and not a ghost town. As I walked down the town’s unpaved streets this past weekend, coffee in hand, I knew it was a charming, albeit quiet, real town, and worth a stop.
We parked in front of a small, derelict piano sitting on the sidewalk in downtown Silver Plume. Why is it there? I do not know, but there it sits, tilted slightly forward, weeds growing where pedals should be. I guess that’s what is called “town flavor.”
We were also parked next to Clear Creek which rushes through this town before heading downhill into Georgetown, about three miles away. I noticed right away that every house seemed to have wildflowers blooming in the yard.
The first business we’d spied as we drove into town is the Historic Windsor Hotel, and sadly, I didn’t get a photograph of it. Built in 1884, it looks to be from a bygone age. According to Google, rooms start at around $100, with shared bathrooms.
In town, we ducked into a green and brown Victorian building that houses Plume Coffee Bar, open in 2017. The decor is a mixture of modern and ski culture. An orchid sits on the counter and a wall box of artfully arranged coffee cups adorns the wall. It’s a trendy little place and quite unexpected in this sleepy town.
We ordered a couple of coffees complete with coconut milk (they were out of whole milk) and took a walk around town. It doesn’t take long. Unfortunately, it was still morning, and the Bread Bar wasn’t open yet.
Opened in the summer of 2016, and located in an old bakery, it sits like a sentinel on the East side of downtown. It has been closed during the pandemic but reopened on weekends this month. We will be back to indulge in Bread & Butter Cocktails and a charcuterie board on the back porch.
The Bread & Butter Cocktail is a shot of Old Forrester Whiskey and a Coors Banquet. It seems appropriate to start with that as an ode to the rough and tumble towns Silver Plume and Georgetown used to be. After that, I’d move on to something fancier like the Baby Doe Tabor with Colorado vodka, blackberry sage jam, citrus and soda.
Back in the car, we scoped out the West side of town complete with a park overrun with wildflowers and the George Rowe Museum. This imposing brick building served as the town school from 1894 to 1959. It’s supposedly an intriguing museum that tells the story of 19th Century life. Alas, it opened later that day. Currently, it’s open daily from 12 to 5 p.m.
Obviously, we must go back to Silver Plume, but I wanted to let readers know that it is not a ghost town and in fact, there are reasons to stop. So, the next time you’re speeding by on I70, exit at Silver Plume for a delightful diversion.
Silver Plume is part of the National Historic Landmark District that comprises Georgetown and the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
Thank you to Visit Clear Creek County for hosting our stay.