Why Louisville, Colorado is pronounced “Lewisville”

Louis Nawatny’s 1863 Civil War draft record from Davenport, Iowa showing his place of birth as “Germany.” He’s listed as being 30 years old.

Is Louisville, Colorado pronounced “Lewisville” or “Louie-ville?” A clue to properly pronouncing Lafayette’s neighboring town can be found in Boulder County property records.

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Local history books available for purchase at Lafayette, Louisville museums

The second edition of Carolyn Conarroe’s 1978 book “Louisville Story” can be purchased at the Louisville Historical Museum, 1001 Main Street in Louisville, open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each sale is donated to the Louisville History Foundation.

Doug Conarroe’s 2017 book “80026: An illustrated History of Lafayette, Colo. — 1829-1929” can be purchased at the Lafayette Miner’s Museum, 108 E. Simpson in Lafayette. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Twenty percent of proceeds of each sale goes to the Lafayette Historical Society.

History Lost: Louisville’s historic Hecla Casino razed by Balfour Senior Living

The Hecla Casino pictured about 1911 at the Hecla Mine, located at what is now the northeast side of Louisville, Colorado. Courtesy Lafayette Public Library.

In the last few months, Balfour Senior Living of Louisville, Colorado, demolished and hauled the historic Hecla Casino to the landfill.

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Legends that just won’t die: The myth of Louisville’s tempting tunnels

My family had often heard tales about tunnels connecting Main Street bars and businesses in Louisville, Colorado. One tunnel, it was said, went from the basement of Colacci’s restaurant (now The Empire Lounge & Restaurant) across Main Street to Pasquale’s (now Waterloo). Keep in mind that there was a pool hall at 816 Main prior to Colacci’s opening around 1955.

After posting (in 2016) the Colacci’s tunnel question to Facebook friends who are Louisville natives, responses ranged from a tunnel that connected Colacci’s, Old Louisville Inn and the Blue Parrot to rumors of a tunnel under the Louisville High School building, torn down in the last few years as a part of the middle school reconstruction.

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Legends that won’t die: Louisville’s ghostly bootleggers

Everyone loves a good ghost story.

As part of an advertised Louisville, Colorado get-together, a Denver-based ghost hunting group shared online the eerie narrative of the ghosts haunting The Melting Pot restaurant at 732 Main Street in Louisville. The ghost-hunting narrative, fit for any prime time cable channel, cites a legend that the mining tunnels under Main Street were used by Prohibition-era bootleggers to distill and sell alcohol, and to travel to and from the scattered speakeasies. According to legend, a still exploded in the mine tunnel under The Melting Pot, killing three bootleggers. The bootleggers were buried in the explosion, so the story goes, and it took workers several days to reach the bodies. Two bodies were recovered and third was never found, “it is said.”

Fast forward to the year 2000 and beyond, and ghost hunters’ tales of apparitions of the noisy, drunken “third bootlegger” abound. And not only in and around The Melting Pot, they say, but in “different locations on Main Street.”

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