Prior to its inclusion as one of the United States of America in 1876, the area that we now know and love as Colorado was a hotbed for mining. However, before the Pikes Peak Gold Rush took place, Colorado's rich history of mining was ushered in by an arguably unlikely discovery that was given the nickname of the "Richest Square Mile on Earth."

Colorado History: John Gregory Faces Adversity

Back in 1859, a man named John Gregory was struggling to make ends meet as a miner and in an attempt to make some money, left his family in Georgia and headed for British Columbia, Canada. However, harsh weather and other setbacks interrupted Gregory's initial plan and he landed in the mountains of Colorado.

Read More: Unfortunate Colorado History: The Colorado Coal Wars |

It was here that Gregory discovered gold in the hills outside of present-day Central City and although he attempted to find the mineral's source, harsh weather once again interrupted his plans.

It was then that Gregory found himself at a bar in Arapahoe, Colorado, which we presently know as Golden, where he assembled a team of strangers to accompany him back to the mountains in search of riches.

Colorado History: The Richest Square Mile on Earth is Discovered

Gregory's new friends, dubbed "the greenhorns," headed back to where the miner had seen the flakes of gold and discovered the source which was dubbed, "The Gregory Lode."

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Shortly thereafter, the Bates Vein, the Gregory Second Vein, the Hunter Vein, and a handful of others were all established in the same area, earning it the nickname of The Richest Square Mile on Earth.

Within the next couple of months, word of these discoveries would bring upwards of 30,000 people to what would later become known as the state of Colorado in search of riches.

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