Bowling Alley, Popcorn Alley
The San Juan Mountains play prominently in all aspects of life here in Telluride. For starters, these peaks create the perfect storms that blanket Telluride Ski Resort with the legendary powder their ads showcase. These same snow covered mountains also feed the waterways in the region creating a playground for boaters and fishers each spring and summer. Not to mention, the 14,000 foot peaks inspire artists, climbers, and musicians alike which is why close to 3,000 of us call this place home.
Looking back, these same mountains drew nomadic Indian tribes thousands of years ago. The lush valley created the perfect place to make summer camp, a welcome refuge to the hot and dry conditions of the surrounding deserts.
In the mid-1800s, the next major influx of man came through the San Juans, this time with a purpose - striking it rich. The mining communities that made the Telluride area home left a lasting impression and many physical reminders of our past. Telluride's population during the mining boom easily surpassed our current year-round base. High in the hills, the success of Tomboy Mine was apparent, as they had access to a school, tennis courts and even a bowling alley. (Sidenote: The nearest bowling alley today is an hour and a half away.)
Down in Telluride, an affluent and educated class grew and settled into the neighbor to the north of Main Street, also known as the "sunny side". Large Victorian homes were built along side churches and other places for community gathering. On the "shady side" of town, foreign immigrants settled to the west side of town. The rough side of town fell towards the east side, where brothels bustled and ladies of the evening performed. Now converted into local housing, the infamous Popcorn Alley still exsits today. You'll have to take a walking tour to find out how this section of town got its name.
Over the weekend of June 12-14, Telluride launches its newest event - Telluride Heritage Festival. Whether you're a history buff or not, this will be a compelling reason to visit Telluride. This will be your chance to catch Butch Cassidy on Main Street and participate in the community Tug o' War. On Saturday evening, The R. Carlos Nakai Trio will be performing a special show at the historic Sheridan Opera House. See you back in time.