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Placerville, Colorado
Front Street in Placerville.
Front Street in Placerville.
Placerville, Colorado is located in Colorado
Placerville, Colorado
Placerville, Colorado
Location in Colorado
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County San Miguel County
Government
 • Type unincorporated community
Area
 • Total 0.757 sq mi (1.961 km2)
 • Land 0.757 sq mi (1.961 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.000 km2)
Elevation
7,408 ft (2,258 m)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP Code
81430
Area code(s) 970
GNIS feature Placerville CDP

Placerville is an unincorporated town, a post office, and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by San Miguel County, Colorado, United States. The Placerville post office has the ZIP Code 81430 (post office boxes). At the United States Census 2010, the population of the 81430 ZIP Code Tabulation Area was 727 including adjacent areas.

History

Placerville was originally established as a small mining camp, named after the placer gold mines located on the San Miguel River and Leopard Creek. The location became known as Old Placerville after the Rio Grande Southern Railroad constructed a depot and several passing sidings west of the original settlement, calling it Placerville.

A. B. Frenzel discovered vanadium-bearing sandstone near Placerville in the late 1890s. The ore was in strataform bodies in the Entrada Sandstone (Jurassic) east of the town. The principal mineral was roscoelite, with minor montroseite and carnotite. By the fall of 1899, development was described as "of the most superficial character," although Frenzel had driven one tunnel 18 feet into the rock. By 1901-1902, Frenzel was excavating several thousand tons intended for shipment to Europe. Most of the Placerville ore was less than 3% vanadium, too low grade to pay for shipment to Europe, so in 1905 the Vanadium Alloys Co. built an ore-processing mill southeast of Placerville to recover the metal as ferro-vanadium, which it sold. At least five mines were active at one time, and by 1919 the two ore mills at Placerville were producing 30% of the world's vanadium. Through 1940, the mines produced about 3.7 million pounds of vanadium.

Although carnotite was recognized as a minor constituent of the ore since its discovery, the amount was small, and no assays were made of the uranium content of the ore until World War II. Beginning about 1950, the small uranium content of the ore was also recovered from the ore.

Geography

Placerville is located at 38°01′00″N 108°03′14″W / 38.01667°N 108.05389°W / 38.01667; -108.05389 (38.016722,-108.053799).

Demographics

The United States Census Bureau defined the Placerville CDP for the United States Census 2020.

Placerville CDP, Colorado
Year Pop. ±%
2020 —    
Source: United States Census Bureau

Transportation

Placerville is part of Colorado's Bustang network. It is on the Durango-Grand Junction Outrider line.

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