In 1879, the Smuggler was among the first strikes made by Charles Bennett when he and other Leadville miners first came to the Roaring Fork Valley, and the Smuggler Mining Company was incorporated in November 1881.
As one of the top silver and lead producers in the Aspen area, the mine was among the few that continued to operate after the Silver Crash of 1893. Active mining ceased in 1918, and the substantial wood frame buildings associated with the operation were dismantled. In addition to numerous underground tunnels, early tailings piles remain visible on the site. Mining resumed after World War II, and most of the wood frame and metal buildings now on the site were constructed after 1950. Listed under Historic Resources of Aspen and Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submissions.