Cherry Hollow, Colorado

The Heart of Crave County

Cherry Hollow is the county seat of Crave County in the U.S. state of Colorado. Founded in 1886 as a gold mining settlement, the town is nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by forests. Sugar Creek bisects the town, serving as a vital water source for the community. A significant portion of Cherry Hollow is located within the Cherry Hollow Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This district preserves the town’s rich heritage, including its Victorian buildings, landmarks, and artifacts from its mining days. As of the 2020 United States Census, the town’s population was 1,974.

History

Early Years and Mining Boom

Cherry Hollow was founded in 1886 at the tail end of the Leadville mining boom. Initially known as ‘Goldrock’, the town was established by a group of hopeful prospectors who believed there was still untapped potential in the surrounding mountains. The discovery of a substantial gold vein nearby led to a rapid influx of settlers and the establishment of various businesses catering to the miners. The town thrived during this period, boasting a number of saloons, general stores, and lodging houses. Notable among these establishments is Fireside Lodge, which opened its doors in 1890 and remains in operation today.

Transition to Agriculture

In 1892, the first cherry trees were planted. This event also marked the renaming of the town to Cherry Hollow. Fertile soil and a favorable microclimate proved ideal for cherry cultivation, and by the 1920s, Cherry Hollow was home to the largest cherry orchard in the state. As the mining industry began to decline, the town’s transition to agriculture was seamless, and its economy continued to flourish.

Alongside the orchards, a thriving lumber trade has existed in the town since the 1920s, drawing lumberjacks to the surrounding forests. Cherry Hollow is home to a variety of tree species, including bristlecone pine, Douglas fir, and Colorado blue spruce.

Modern Era

Today, Cherry Hollow is known for its natural beauty, historic charm, and rich heritage. The town is renowned for its cherry pie, which draws visitors from far and wide. The annual Cherry Festival, featuring pie-baking contests, cherry picking, and live music, is also a popular attraction. The town is home to a bakery, library, antique store, post office, flower shop, and several restaurants, including a pizzeria and a steakhouse. Other establishments include Cherry Hollow Grocery, Stirling’s Lumber & Hardware, and Bonnie’s Tavern, the local pub, which opened in 1982.

Images

Here are some photos that inspired the creation of Cherry Hollow.

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Ready to lose yourself in Cherry Hollow?
This cozy small town is the setting for my Lumberjacks Love Curves series.