Ward, Colorado                         

High in a Colorado Gold Town


Ward's reputation

In recent times Ward has been called historic, anachronistic, dilapidated, podunk, unique, weird, funky, awesome, rustic, interesting, fascinating, a junk yard, as well as other less desirable terms. Its inhabitants have been referred to as individualistic, radical, educated, liberal, criminal, misfits, hippies, weird, troubled, eccentric, alternative, counter-culture to name a few.

Ward has been described as a closed community wary of outsiders with anti-establishment counter culture.

Design by Ed Monroe

Best-selling author Stephen White described Ward in his excerpt from The Best Revenge:

"Politically, Colorado is a bastion of western conservatism. As a result, the vast majority of Coloradans view the decidedly less-than-conservative city of Boulder either as an amusing curiosity or, less benignly, as an irritating oddity. For many of the state's residents, Boulder is too idiosyncratic, too idealistic, too liberal, too pretty, too different, and too weird.

And, ironically enough, that is almost exactly how the majority of Boulder residents view the little town of Ward."


Ward is a tribal community

According to Wikipedia, in common modern understanding, the word tribe is a social division within a traditional society consisting of a group of interlinked families or communities sharing a common culture 

Ward is not just a town, it's a tribal community.

 In and around Ward are a group of people living within physical distance of one another who above-all value freedom and individuality, who love the mountains, identify with each other, interact frequently on a personal basis, who sometimes argue, fight, gossip, and just plain don't like each other, but who will, when push comes to shove, stand up for one another, help each other, including those who are different or even mentally ill, and who will pull together to combat outside influences. They call themselves "Wardites" or "Wardos".

Ward community and population today

The 2000 population of Ward was 169, however, the Ward community is much larger. It extends to those who choose to call Ward home and includes many people who live on the Overland Road, Peak to Peak Highway, Bigbee, Quigleyville, the Gold Lake Road, as well as down Left Hand Canyon, in Chipmunk Gulch, Spring Gulch, and California Gulch.

 Cabin in Quigleyville

Ward's population also includes many dogs ...

Ward, Colorado - A Resurrected Gold Mining Town

1872 Ward Mining District, photograph, H.S. Poley


Some came to Ward in the 1800's for gold and to make their fortune. They left and Ward almost became a ghost town. Others came to live and to raise their families.


Ruins in California Gulch

Today Ward is a small village with a stream running through it. Its center contains a small children's playground built by donations from Miriam Sperl  and a government grant. Ward has its own ball field and town meadow.

It is a collection of summer cabins and old miner's houses, old stores and mill buildings, and a few newer owner-built houses.

Ward's old Catholic church serves as Boulder County equipment storage, the Historic Ward (Union Congregational) Community Church still operates, and the old Ward schoolhouse is now the Post Office, Town Hall, and Ward Library. The Columbia Hotel and Ward Train Depot are now private residences.


Dave's Yard, oil painting by Carol Jenkins

Ward is home to the Indian Peaks Fire Department (volunteer) built of logs by the townspeople in the '70's, myriad old cars and trucks, and dogs that lie in the road.

Indian Peaks Fire Department (Ward Fire House) with dog

Ward has a tiny general store serviced by an outhouse, a 3-star Italian restaurant, Marrocco's, and an honor-system library handcrafted from Aspen wood.

Ward is home to piles and stacks of wood for commonly-used wood burning stoves, Subaru's, trucks, and in the winter, wind and snow. Ward's streets are lined with old cars and trucks.

Jim Stone's Truck

Ward has become increasingly famous as a center of art of the junkyard. Many images of Ward's old cars and trucks have been posted on the web and treasured photos of Ward's most famous truck are featured at Ward, Colorado at Art Gallery of the Junkyard.

In summer bicycles fill Ward's main street because Left Hand Canyon is a favorite "ride" for cyclists from Boulder.

Sometimes at night the coyotes howl and the dogs bark, and yes, bears do get in the garbage.


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Ward Government, Library, Businesses