Leadville, Colorado - A “No Limits” City at 10,152 feet Above Sea Level!
From rags... (Tabor’s rise - con’t)
Horace Tabor was second on their list, and as he had done countless times before
with no previous success, grubstaked Rische and Hook. The two wanted to explore
Fryer Hill themselves, specifically just a few hundred feet north of the New Discovery
Mine which was now making George Fryer, its discoverer, an instant millionaire. Tabor
had little expectation that Rische and Hook would actually make a discovery even
worth the grubstake... Picks and shovels, food a bit of whiskey estimated to be valued
at around $17.00 the first time around.
As the story appeared later in the local newspaper, one of the two wanted to sit
down and have a drink and stuck his pick in the ground accidentally finding a “bit
of color.” Quickly the two returned to Tabor and asked for a second grubstake which
Tabor again gave with no hesitation. At 27 feet, the two shoemakers hit pay-dirt...
a streak of carbonate ore that ran 200 ounces of silver to the ton! It was May 15th,
George Fryer’s “New Discovery Mine”
Fryer Hill - circa 1879
When Tabor heard the news he rushed up Fryer Hill from his mercantile store located
on Chestnut Street in Leadville, to Rische and Hook’s discovery, now named for Hook’s
hometown, The Little Pittsburg (without the “h” on the end since another mine had
already been named using the “h” on the end). According to the grubstake agreement,
Tabor was entitled to a 1/3 interest in the discovery.
Tabor, Rische and Hook now feverishly worked the mine until June 10th when they shipped
their first ore, and they realized now for certain that they had struck it rich.
By the end of the summer they were each able to declare a $10,000 dividend for themselves.
It was a lucky $17 investment for Tabor, but a drop in the bucket compared to what
he made in the next several years with other mining investments and a seemingly unending
lucky streak. He had become an instant millionaire like no other, and was now the
recognized “Silver King” of Colorado.