If you have paid any attention while driving on I-70 through Idaho Springs, then you have surely noticed an old wooden waterwheel with a lovely little waterfall behind it. That is the historic Charlie Tayler waterwheel and Bridal Veil Falls. In good Halloween fashion, the waterwheel is currently wearing a bright orange pumpkin face.

Heading home from Glenwood Springs last weekend this roadside decoration made me smile. I love that people took the time to do this, to bring joy to others. The waterwheel is 30 feet in diameter. This must have taken some pretty detailed planning to pull off.


The Charlie Tayler waterwheel is a landmark in the area. It has a story that dates back to 1893. The inscription on the plaque at the waterwheel site reads:

Charlie Tayler used this waterwheel to power a stamp mill at his gold mining operations on Ute Creek. Tayler, who attributed his good health to the fact that he never kissed woman or took baths, built the waterwheel in 1893. It was moved to its present site in 1946, a gift to the people of Idaho Springs by his estate. It was restored during the spring and summer of 1988 by volunteers and private contributions. It was dedicated during Gold Rush Days, July 16-17, 1988.
Restoration Committee:
Bruce Bell, Larry Cox, David George, Joe Feistner, Kristian Loevlie, David McIntyre Wendall Upright, project engineer

Well, that's a new one. Good health because you don't kiss and don't bathe. Maybe that's the secret we've all been missing. Right behind the waterwheel is a beautiful waterfall called Bridal Veil Falls.

There's also a cave and the flowing water of Cave Creek below the waterwheel, which you cannot see from an I-70 driveby. There is a trail to get you closer that starts next to Harold A Anderson Park in Idaho Springs. It's a quick little hike to a cool piece of history.

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