The Pike’s Peak Gold Rush (later known as the Colorado Gold Rush) was the boom in gold prospecting and mining in the Pike’s Peak Country of western Kansas Territory and southwestern Nebraska Territory of the United States that began in July 1858 and lasted until roughly the creation of the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. An estimated 100,000 gold seekers took part in one of the greatest gold rushes in North American history.
The participants in the gold rush were known as “Fifty-Niners” after 1859, the peak year of the rush and often used the motto “Pike’s Peak or Bust.”
Kelly’s Pride is a small gold rush town in the shadows of Pike’s Peak (which is south of Denver) founded in 1852 by Donovan McCallister, a Scottish hotelier from Chicago. Initially, the small town (which wasn’t more than a hotel, general store and saloon) was simply called “Pride”.
In 1854, the “town” was renamed after a showgirl named Kelly Corday, who came through Pride in the spring of 1854 and captured the heart of Mr. McCallister. Some say that the two fell in love, married and Mr. McClallister renamed the town in Kelly’s honor. Others say that Ms. Corday swindled, lied, tricked, and seduced the old man into giving her the town lock-stock-and-barrel and that she renamed the town after herself. In any event, Pride, became “Kelly’s Pride” and the Fifty-niners flocked to the town as the gold rush grew and Kelly’s Pride thrived.
Today, May 2, 1856, finds you in Kelly’s Pride to seek your fortunes as a Fifty-Niner, a gambler, a ranch hand or rustler of some type. As they say in the saloon, “there’s gold in them there hills!”
Welcome to Kelly’s Pride!