Research Leadville

On this page are historical primary resources that provide first hand accounts of information. While these resources are invaluable, they can also have plenty of errors. The more cross referencing you can find within various historical records, the better chance you will have for a more stable conclusion. If you have any suggestions of other relevant resources we should add, please refer to our Contact Us page to submit a suggestion.

Leadville City Directories

The Leadville City Directories were produced from 1879 through 1918, except for the years 1893 and 1896. The entire directories were scanned and archived by the Lake County Public Library from 1879 to so far 1903. These are abailable as searchable PDFs on their website:

  • 1879 (First directory)
  • 1880
  • 1881
  • 1882
  • 1883
  • 1884
  • 1885
  • 1886
  • 1887
  • 1888
  • 1889
  • 1890
  • 1891
  • 1892
  • 1893 (no directory printed)
  • 1894
  • 1895
  • 1896 (no directory printed)
  • 1897
  • 1898
  • 1899
  • 1900
  • 1901
  • 1902
  • 1903
  • 1904
  • 1905
  • 1906
  • 1907
  • 1908
  • 1909 (not yet archived)
  • 1910 (not yet archived)
  • 1911 (not yet archived)
  • 1912 (not yet archived)
  • 1913 (not yet archived)
  • 1914 (not yet archived)
  • 1915 (not yet archived)
  • 1916 (not yet archived)
  • 1917 (not yet archived)
  • 1918 (not yet archived)
Leadville Telephone Books

While Leadville had telephones even in the 1880s, telephone books like what we had in the 20th century did not appear until much later. After the city directories stopped, the telephone directories were a sort of replacement. However, not every business or residence had a telephone and therefore were not part of the directory. Physical telephone books are available at the Lake County Public Library.

Newspapers in Lake County

The first newspapers in Lake County started in 1879. By 1885, Leadville had 5 newspapers. Several of them combined into one newspaper and formed into The Herald Democrat, which still exists today. Only 2 newspapers continued into the 1900s and a new one, the Twin Lakes Miner, arrived in 1902. These newspapers are invaluable resources for a wide variety of information.

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection was constructed by the Colorado State Library and has historical newspapers scanned, searchable, and available for PDF download for most counties of Colorado. This database is available on their website:
Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

  • Carbonate Chronicle (1879-1923)
  • Leadville Daily Herald (1880-1885*)
  • Leadville Daily Chronicle [and]
    Leadville Evening Chronicle
  • Leadville Democrat (1881-1885?*)
  • Leadville Weekly Herald (1879-1885?*)
  • The Herald Democrat (*1886-Present)
  • Twin Lakes Miner (1902-1911)
  • *These newspapers merged into a new newspaper, The Herald Democrat, that started in 1886 and still exists today as the only newspaper in Lake County.

Legal Records

The county courthouse and city hall both have archives of physical records useful for research. These physical records can include trial records, marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, business records, organization records, etc. In most cases, these records are not available electronically and you would need to manually go through them. Also, there might be a fee if you want copies.

Lake County Courthouse

Leadville City Hall

Grave Records

In addition to finding birth certificates and death certificates at the city or county buildings, another way is to go to the cemetery itself. Leadville had a relatively small, unsuitable cemetery in the late 1870s but then obtained land by 1879 for a new large cemetery that still exists today. The Evergreen Cemetery is divided into various areas each owned by its own entity. The Hebrew Cemetery is just one of these many sections. The tombstones in the Evergreen Cemetery range in preservation from gone to barely still there to excellent shape or replaced with newer markers.

  • Old Leadville Cemetery, established 1877?
  • Evergreen Cemetery, established 1880
  • St. Joseph's Cemetery, established 1888?

Here is a site that has more information about the cemeteries in Leadville:
Historical Lake County Cemeteries

Temple Israel Foundation
208 West 8th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461

Temple Israel Museum
201 West 4th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461

Hebrew Cemetery
SW Corner of Evergreen Cemetery
North end of James Street, Leadville
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