Black Hawk History

Black Hawk is a bustling gaming town in Gilpin County and the most prosperous and luminous in all Colorado. With 21 exciting casinos, gamblers will find their ideal place to play. Black Hawk offers the largest, wildest casinos in the West. You'll find superb dining, lavish entertainment, spectacular promotions and fabulous four-star hotels.

Black Hawk Today With easy access by car or bus, getting there is a snap and groups are always welcome. Visit striking Black Hawk and see what Colorado gaming is all about. Black Hawk, named after a gold ore milling machine, sets at the site of the Gregory Diggings, where John Gregory discovered gold in May of 1859. The first arrastra, used to crush gold ore, was built at the town in July of the same year, followed by the first steam quartz mill (smelter) in September. The process was further enhanced by Professor Nathaniel Hill's method of separating rock and gold with heat.

Thus, Black Hawk became known as the "City of Stamp Mills" or simply "City of Mills."

The town was built of tent and wood structures that proved to be vulnerable to natural disasters, like the common floods, a hazard of living downstream from neighboring Central City. Black Hawk was a colorful, robust city during its heyday (and still is), when locals dressed in elaborate, outrageous costumes for the town's masquerades at the skating rink.

At its peak, Black Hawk boasted over 2,000 residents (most worked in mining and milling), several churches and schools and booming little shops. Many of the historic buildings have been preserved along Gregory and Main Streets and an area of former residential housing will be redeveloped for today's businesses. The famous "Lace House" remains on Black Hawk's Main Street. Today, guests will marvel at big, beautiful casinos (and some smaller ones too) that now define Black Hawk's skyline.

Gilpin County Chamber of Commerce
281 Church St., Box 343
Black Hawk, CO 80422
Toll Free: 1-800-331-lucky
Phone: (303) 582-5077
Fax: (303) 582-5077