Following rumors of a shiny metal in the waters of Colorado, three brothers from Georgia came to Cherry Creek in the South Platte River basin near what is now Denver. They soon began prospecting, eventually finding gold in Little Dry Creek. When news of this discovery spread, the Colorado gold rush was on. Prospectors in search of quick fortunes flocked to the Colorado Territory. The rush to new-found wealth revolutionized mountain transportation systems, the mining industry, and the living conditions of miners and their families in Colorado.
In what is now Summit County, a small mining settlement named Breckenridge started in 1859 with yet another discovery of gold. Mining methods progressed through the time, as miners used every means of locating and extracting the precious metal. This area of Colorado saw the discovery of placer gold mining. Along the blue river, the new method of hydraulic mining was used for the first time. Dredging for gold along the Blue and Swan Rivers was another method that was popular for the process. Today while stream fishing along the Blue River in spots the tailings from dredging can be seen along banks of the river.
“Gold Rush at the Great Divide” is our 2021 theme, reflecting both the long history of gold mining the region and its location at the headwaters of the largest river systems in the United States. Training workshops and concurrent session tracks will follow this central theme. The conference is multi-disciplinary, providing hydrologic warning training experience for field personnel, engineers, hydrologists, forecasters, water resource managers, emergency management officials, and others. The program will include a wide range of keynote presentations, workshops, and detailed technical sessions that cover the needs of communities from those just getting started to those that already have advanced systems. There is also an extensive exposition showcasing the latest products and services.