Photograph of a small mining operation in Caribou, Boulder County, Colorado showing a hoist frame which had been erected over the opening of a mine shaft. The hoist probably had a bucket on the end of the chain, and it was lowered into the mine shaft to bring up ore. Silver ore was first discovered in Caribou at the Caribou Mine in 1869. Silver production at the Caribou and other mines peaked in the mid-1870s and began to decline during the 1880s. Many of the mines and mills closed during this time. The crash of the silver market in 1893 and a series of fires that destroyed much of the town led to a mass exodus from Caribou. During the early 1900s, only about forty people remained in the town, and most of those who did stay worked for small silver mining operations such as the one shown in this photograph. There has been only intermittent mining activity in the area since then.
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