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1892-1900: The Boom and the Bust

Rico reached it apex in 1892. The population of 5,000 supported 23 saloons, 3 blocks of red-light district, 2 churches, 2 newspapers, a theater, boarding houses and the Rico State Bank. Rico became the county seat, a title upheld until 1946, and attracted miners from the surrounding area. Many of the buildings from this era still stand today, including the Dey Building which houses the Enterprise Bar & Grill. Trouble hit Rico in 1893 when the first silver panic swept through the town and most businesses closed. By 1900, only 811 people still called Rico home. Prize fighters in 1880 - the fight was later discovered to have been fixed
The Rico Cornet Band circa 1900
©Engel Collection
©Engel Collection
Historical information provided by Dara Kinsey of the Rico Sun-Times.