I feel like Poker Alice may be haunting Creede, unless her spirit is hanging out in Deadwood and Sturgis where she lived the last of her life. Maybe, traveling gal that she was, Alice flits between the two areas.
This spooky idea hit me when I was on the Creede ghost tour a few weeks ago. Led by Kandra, who grew up in Creede, we learned history entangled with creepy tales of ghostly experiences she’s collected. As we walked the town, we saw buildings dating to 1892. So did this black cat who joined us at the “bordello,” and who didn’t take his eyes off the building as Kandra spoke.
We learned about a honeymooning couple that fled their “haunted” room, a sometimes vacant house that was deliberately called haunted to keep curious kids away, and the ghost of Lizzie Zang who doesn’t want to leave the Creede Hotel.
The next thing I discovered is that Poker Alice worked right next door to the home my folks own on Main Street—and where I’ve stayed many times. She dealt poker and faro in Bob Ford’s tent saloon before he was gunned down and she left Creede for Deadwood. So we were neighbors (ish)! Staying next door to her old stomping grounds in 2011 is what inspired me to research Alice’s life and ultimately, write a book about her.
Mom and I visited the Bachelor town site, a mile above Creede, in early July. The only living things residing there now are lovely wildflowers. Drive up Bachelor Loop and you’ll find a pull-out with stunning views and interesting information. But the buildings themselves have all gone. You can see a remaining cabin in the town of Creede next to the historical museum. Maybe it has a ghost of its own!
I promise to write about other places Alice visited, but I love Creede and love to see the same views Alice saw when she raised her eyes to the massive cliffs or looked across the valley at the “snowshoe” on the mountainside which remains today.