The Ghost Town of Animas Forks Has An Amusing ‘Behind The Name’ Story

The town of Three Forks of the Animas has been present in history since 1873. The origin of its name is quite interesting too. Because three rivers meet nearby the place, it was called Three Forks of the Animas. However, the U.S. Postal Service later simplified it to Animas Forks.

With an elevation of around 11’200 feet, the town suffered from the severe freezing winters. For these reasons, most of the residents, mainly miners, would retreat in the fall and go back there the following spring when the weather was warmer. Those brave residents who stayed there throughout the year were subjects to avalanches and isolation for the greatest part of the winter season.

As the mining declined over the years, the town emptied as well. Its abandonment began in 1891. However, in 1904, the construction of the Gold Prince Mill finished. A 2.4-mile tramway connected it to the mine. Because of that mill, the Silverton Northern Railway was extended to Animas Forks. This action raised the expectations for the town. There was actually hope that the town would return once again to its glory days.

Unfortunately, that never happened. The mill closed in 1910 resulting in Animas Forks losing its post office in 1915. Now, there are only ruins remaining in this town with an interesting name.

Ghost Town of Animas

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Written by Ketrin Ulbrich

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