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Thread: The Only Bullfight on U.S. Soil

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  1. #1
    On a Ride sfarson's Avatar
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    The Only Bullfight on U.S. Soil

    In the late 1800's the town of Gillett sprung to life a few miles north of the mining communities of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. But rather than minerals, Gillett is mostly famed for moments, an event of August 1895... the only bullfight ever to take place on U.S. soil. The event was highly publicicized. Celebrities from afar traveled for the first-ever event. Bullfighters and bulls were imported for the event from Mexico. A bullfighting ring was constructed. And it ended... with a near riot. Some believe the bulls were tired from the travel. I guess they didn't put up much of fight, and that's what the spectators wanted. The meat was donated locally which appeased some of the locals. Nevertheless, never has there been a bullfight in the U.S. before, and since.

    Here's the bullfight ring constructed for the event...


    An empty meadow today...


    The action in the ring...




    Now this actually was quite a sizeable town 120 years ago...


    Hardy residents called Gillett at 10,000ft. elevation home. Seemingly every time I pass through on a bike I am chilled. The barbed wire fence here, and behind me prevented a slightly better "now" perspective...


    So what has happened to this ghost town? Things were in decay the early 1900's, but the coup de grace came in June 1965 when most of the ghost town structures were swept away after a heavy rain overwhelmed a small earthen dam reservoir that supplied water to the residents long ago. Here's the Catholic Church out in the suburbs of Gillett back in the 1940's...


    Following the flood 47 years ago. Didn't want to disregard the "no tresspassing" sign, nor risk sensitive body parts to the barbs!, so from a distance. Some rocks of the church remain...

  2. #2
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Neat old pictures! Thanks, Steve. We'll spend a couple of days camping at the KOA in Cripple Creek in June. Now we have some ideas of what to visit besides the casinos! lol
    Dan

  3. #3
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Who'd 'a thunk it; bullfighting in the U.S.A.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Actually, they have other bull fights here, this one two years ago.
    And bullfighting has been legal in California since 1957.
    dc
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/lo...n-Artesia.html

  5. #5
    On a Ride sfarson's Avatar
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    Well thanks for the clarification David! It appears the research into the bullfight at Gillett in 1895 could be updated. I do see in some documents the Gillett event was the only "sanctioned" bullfight in the U.S. Whatever that means.

    Dan... Lots to see and do and ride in the Cripple Creek area. Check out neighboring Victor as well. While Cripple Creek has been prettied up, Victor remains as it was. Both communities pumped out more gold than all of California and Alaska gold rushes combined. Be sure to check out some of the museums, and if you can, take a tour of the Molly Kathleen mine... http://www.goldminetours.com/goldmin....com/Home.html Oh, and go to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument about ten miles away. And Rita's Place diner in Guffey about 27 miles away will give you a fine welcome. I'm leading 6-8 riders there in a week.

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    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Sfarson
    I think the big difference in the bull fights is blood. The CA ones by law are "bloodless".
    No damage to the bull in any way. I think also there is a ring here in maybe Santa Fe Springs where they regularly have them, but again, no blood, just the cape dance.
    That's a very interesting gold mine tour. I like gold mine tours and like to find them and go. That is going to have to be on my next CO trip agenda.
    There is, or used to be an Oatman gold mine tour (Oatman, AZ).
    They have a sign in the mine there "Route 66 - 1000 ft above", as it is under Route 66.
    dc

  7. #7
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfarson View Post
    ...Dan... Lots to see and do and ride in the Cripple Creek area. Check out neighboring Victor as well. While Cripple Creek has been prettied up, Victor remains as it was. Both communities pumped out more gold than all of California and Alaska gold rushes combined. Be sure to check out some of the museums, and if you can, take a tour of the Molly Kathleen mine... http://www.goldminetours.com/goldmin....com/Home.html Oh, and go to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument about ten miles away. And Rita's Place diner in Guffey about 27 miles away will give you a fine welcome. I'm leading 6-8 riders there in a week.
    Thanks! Looking forward to the trip.
    Dan

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