Ward, Colorado

High in a Colorado Gold Town

Town of Ward, Colorado with Church in center

 Profile, history, and links to Ward artists and businesses

Home - Ward Profile

Ward Reputation, Community

Historic Properties

Jim Stone's Truck

Ward Gov't, Library, Businesses

Ward and Church Timeline

Switzerland Trail, Ward fire

Ward Weather

Ward Recreation, Events, Traditions

Mountain Hiking, Ward

Ward's favorite holiday 4th of July

Elk, Rocky Mt. Nat'l Park

Tourism near Ward


Art - Ward, Co

Artists of Ward and the Indian Peaks

Georgia O'Keeffe in Ward

Ward History

Early History of Ward

Hazel Schmoll, Ward, CO,1890 - 1990

Oral Interviews related to Ward


Ward Town Resolutions

Support of Civil Liberties

Resolution to Impeach

References, Ward, Colorado

About Me

Pyrite and Flowers

Ward Local Links

Ann Gillis Indian Peaks Gallery

Carol Jenkins Oils - on-line gallery

Cheryl Goodnow's Jewelry Designs


Raven Winds Studios

Solutions for Occupational Safety

Way High Radio


Mines and Superfund Sites

Ward District Mines, Ward, CO

The Boom - Early Mining Techniques in Ward , CO and Georgetown

Captain Jack Mine

Personal Links

In Memory

Comments from friends


Favorite Links

Ward, Colorado webcam 

 Save the Historic Ward Colorado Post Office

Art News

Link  to my short story set in a place that many of you will recognize 

Pyrite and Flowers by Pat Cypher

Carol Jenkins has been named "Artist to Watch" by Southwest Art Magazine. Click on the following link to read the article --Carol Jenkins - Artist to Watch

Kathy Spratford, founding member of Palette Art Gallery, Nederland, has her artwork featured on the cover of the Winter edition of the Mountain Pages, Winter edition.

Ann Gillis has her artwork featured on the cover of the Winter 2009 edition of the Mountain Pages.

Georgia Okeeffe's, painting ChurchBell, Ward, Colorado 1917 is now available as a post card at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Gift Shop. 

Listen to Ward History

New on-line interviews with Mike Parker, Sandy Karng,  Kay An Solem-Pickens, and Carol Jenkins are now available at the Maria Roger's Oral History Program of the Carnagie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Public Library.

Location, Culture, Counter-Culture

9,253' above sea level in the Indian Peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder County


“It’s in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a national forest and just below a wilderness area . . .”

                                                                                                 Jim Stone's Truck, Ward, Colorado

Located 50 miles northwest of Denver and 17 miles up Left Hand Canyon from the busy town of Boulder, Ward is a small mountain community at the base of the Continental Divide in the Indian Peaks of the Rocky Mountains. 

The little town of Ward is home to 190 people and many dogs. The Ward community (the Historic Ward Mining District, est. 1861) covers approximately 210 square miles and includes many people who live outside of the town limits.  The district is served by the Historic Ward Post Office and the Indian Peaks Fire Department.

Winter. Left Hand Canyon

Georgia O'Keeffe

                           Georgia O'Keeffe came to Ward in 1917 and painted watercolor landscapes and an oil painting, Ward, Church Bell.


Alfred Stieglitz,Georgia O'Keeffe, A Portrait, 1918, JP Getty Museum

O'Keeffe was 29 years old and on vacation from Canyon, Texas where she was teaching at West Texas Normal College.  She and her sister rode the excursion train, The Switzerland Trail from Boulder to Ward.  O'Keeffe said she like Ward so much, she decided to stay. 

                                                                                             Georgia O'Keeffe, Church bell, Ward, Colorado, 1917, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

For more information on Georgia O'Keeffe's life, art, and her iconic stature in American culture, see my blog Chronicling Georgia O'Keeffe.  Please click on my blog, like it on Facebook, and join the discussion by leaving a comment.

  Historic Ward Church Preservation Plan  


View      The Historic Ward Church and The Colorado Historical Society 

View       Slide Presentation

View     Press Release

Ward Post Office

The Ward Post Office was established in 1863; it is the oldest continuously operating Post Office in the mountains of what is now Boulder County.  The Post Office, Town Hall, and Library are located in the old Ward School House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ward Post Office, Town Hall and Library

National Register of Historic Places, built 1898

Both the Ward Post Office and Ward Mining District (1861) existed before Colorado was a state. When prospectors first roamed these hills, the area became part of Jackson County (now Boulder County) in the Jefferson Territory with its capital in Golden.  Later Ward became part of the Colorado Territory carved from the Kansas/Nebraska Territory.  

Some say the town is made of radical poets, bohemian Ph.Ds and troubled woodsmen. It is said that they are kind people, but most decamped to 9,253 feet to be left alone and it's not a place to linger (Orr, Francine. LA Times, Oct 1 2006).

Funky Old Truck in Ward, Colorado, art print by Ben Klaus Design And Photography    Order Funky Old Truck in Ward Art Print

The Town of Ward has remained small, in part, because of its intense winter weather, its reputation for a standoffish alternative culture, and because it is littered with old junkyard cars, designed to keep outsiders away.


Summer view of Ward, Colorado

Ward, Colorado - January

Ward is located at an altitude of 9253' at the top of Left Hand Canyon and while surrounded by some of the most majestic scenery in the world, it is considered inhospitable by many in the winter.

Continental Divide by Ann Gillis

From the Ward area, panoramic views of the peaks of the Continental Divide can be seen.

Niwot Aspens, by Carol Jenkins

On a clear day, one can also look down to the Colorado plains and see Denver and Boulder in the distance. Frequently Ward lies above the clouds and enjoys sunny days while Denver and Boulder are "socked in" below.

View of plains from Ward Town Meadow (Columbia City)


Profile - Ward, Colorado Today

Ward was revitalized by counter-culture hippies in 1960's and 70's

Former Ward Town Marshall

Ward was a booming gold mining town from the 1870's to 1920. It became a center for alpine tourism from 1898 - 1920 when visitors traveled by train from Boulder to Ward on the famous Switzerland Trail Railroad.

Throughout the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the population dwindled and Ward shrank to almost a ghost town. Ward changed again in the late 1960's and early 1970's when rediscovered and resettled by well-educated hippies.

In the 70's, the new residents elected a new mayor and town council. The Town Charter was rewritten as a Colorado Home-Rule Municipality and as a direct democracy (and signed according to astrological significance). Street lights were removed (so you could see the stars at night). Abandoned cabins were inhabited, the library and firehouse were built, children were born, and families raised.

Old Crimmins Cabin, built 1866 - 1872

The Ward community today is home to artists, poets, writers, musicians, builders, electricians, blacksmiths, miners, woodsmen, housekeepers, cooks, school teachers, snow plow drivers, health care workers, computer geeks, entrepreneurs, day traders, retirees,  and many families and hardy folk who love the beauty of the mountains and are willing to endure the commute and/or the winds and solitude of winter at an altitude of 9,253'.

Old art truck, Ward, Colorado, McCambridge photography

Ward is home to folks who are liberal, independent, who want to be left alone by real estate developers and intrusive government regulations, and who are committed to maintaining the community mountain lifestyle.

Historic Ward Church -- see News Briefs above

         Ice Ball at Frozen Dead Guy Days

Oh Yeah!


Click here to see comments on Ward website from old friends and new friends:

Stacia, Santa Fe                 Barbi O

John McGuire, Chicago        Kathy Spratford

Patty Billings, Nevada         Kay-ann Solem-Pickens

Greg Jones, Connecticut       Karelle

Deb Evangelista     Fit (Jeff Freund), Sweden

Ward's Reputation - Next

Hi, I'm glad you had the chance to view this Ward website. Please let me know what you think by contacting me at the e-mail address listed below. Your input is important and your suggestions will be used to help improve it. I'd especially like to include what Ward has meant to you/experiences you have had in Ward/reminiscences of the area/contributions to Ward history, etc.  Thanks!

This website is a non-profit educational site.  No paid advertising is accepted.

Unless otherwise indicated all black and white photographs courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, (Ward, Colorado; Mines; Switzerland Trail) or Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Historical Society Collection. (PublicDomain-old-50 and/or PD pre-1923/PD-USGov; others claimed under fair use domain)

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copyright 2007 

contact pat cypher: patcyp (at) gmail.com