Purchased in 1879 by Silver King H.A.W. Tabor, the Matchless Mine was one of the richest silver mines of the era, with production rates surpassing the Comstock Lode of Nevada.  With the extraordinary wealth they accumulated, Tabor and his mistress-turned-wife Elizabeth lived in high style.  


They were married in Washington DC in 1883 during Tabor's term as United States senator.  Their wedding invitations, fashioned from solid silver, and Elizabeth's elaborate wedding dress, flaunted their fabulous wealth.  The couple enjoyed a few brief years of extravagance, staying in suites in the finest hotels in the nation and returning occasionally to their mansion in Denver.  


Tragically, the Tabor's high-flying life style was not to last.  With the crash of the silver market in the early 1890's, the Tabor fortune vanished.  Tabor died in 1899 leaving his family nearly penniless.


Elizabeth returned to the Matchless and, for thirty five years, struggled to reopen the since-deserted mine. During her long vigil, she was occasionally seen on the streets of Leadville, her feet wrapped in burlap sacks to keep out the cold.  Sadly, her body was discovered frozen in the cabin in March, 1935, Elizabeth was 81 years old.  


Experience this tragic story and see the historic mine - a true legacy of the American West.


Read more about the Tabor family and Leadville's early days here.



Tour the museum and learn about our entertaining and informative exhibits.

Museum Floorplan 


Hall of Fame



Learn about the National Mining Hall of Fame and meet its many illustrious inductees.

Browse Inductee Database  

2014 Induction Banquet