Cripple Creek frequently gets the glory. But the gold that built Cripple Creek came out of the ground in Victor. Founded in 1891, Victor was home to the Portland, the Independence, the Gold Coin and the Strong mines. The Portland alone had 75 miles of underground tunnels, and produced nearly $62 million in ore. Incorporated in 1894, Victor officially became a “city” in 1898 and its 4207 residents recognized the need for a real City Hall. When fire swept the community in 1899, 200 buildings were lost and 3000 people were homeless. Their optimism unscorched, they began rebuilding even bigger and better than before. The crowning achievement of their efforts was the Victor City Hall, built in 1899 and dedicated in 1900. Almost one hundred years later, the building was sadly deteriorated. And in the early 1990’s a partnership was formed between the City and the Colorado Historical Society through the State Historical Fund. Electrical and plumbing systems were replaced, the foundation was stabilized and floors were reinforced. The roof was replaced and floors and ceilings and walls were refinished. The building was thoroughly restored. Now, the original courtroom serves again as the municipal court, city council chambers and public meeting area. City offices function on the first floor with rest rooms and a visitor center/ museum in the old fire equipment space. The restored historic jail is on view as a part of that experience.
Nearly $650,000 from the State Historical Fund matched other money raised by the city to accomplish this important project. And last July the ribbon was cut, marking the official reopening. The work was not without its problems and crises. Special credit goes to Mayor Kathy Justice and City Budget Officer Sandy Honeycutt. Without their dedication the citizens of Victor would not have this splendid building to remind them of their past and inspire their hope for the future.
For additional information about this project please contact the State Historical Fund at 303-866-2825.