St. Elmo, Colorado & the Alpine TunnelSt. Elmo
was originally settled in 1878 and was made official in 1880 when gold and silver began to bring many people to the area. The town was laid out in six feet of snow and provided for the miners working in the nearby mines. Beginning with a high moral character, the settlement went the way of other booming mining towns, reaching a population of more than 2000 and taking on all the trappings of a single male population with saloons, dance halls, and bawdy houses. When the Alpine Tunnel
was under construction, St. Elmo became the scene of raunchy Saturday night sprees.
The Alpine Tunnel
, located nearby, was once the highest railroad tunnel in the world, at an altitude of 11,523 feet, it was the first tunnel to be built through the Continental Divide.