Not much remains today of the little mining town of Crescent Creek, even its exact location is shrouded in legends, rumors and tall tales. As with most such stories, those who know won't tell, and those who tell don't know. But if half the tales are to be believed, and they shouldn't be, it was once a raucous and bawdy boomtown to rival the likes of Dodge City or Tombstone. Colorful characters like Mark Twain, Butch Cassidy, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, and even the notorious Burro Bob where said to have frequented the saloons and gambling halls that once lined Front Street in this fabled "Gomorrah of the West," as at least one newspaper described it. Sadly, you won't find it marked on any map or atlas today, but if you choose to go looking for Crescent Creek, and the mountain of riches still said to be hidden there from the Lost Eldorado Mine, rest assured that it lies somewhere near trails-end, across the Rainbow Desert, due west of Thunder Mesa, but a little north of Grizzly Flats.
Still, at least two intrepid adventurers have found their way to Crescent Creek in modern times. While on an extended expedition through the wild frontier lands of the American West, Jake Johnson and Dave Meek claim to have rediscovered all that is left of the long forgotten boomtown. Following clues found in old newspaper clippings and a hastily scrawled map drawn from the recollections of a half-crazed desert rat, they at last found their way to the narrow mountain pass and abandoned railroad right of way that legend reports as the only way in or out of Crescent Creek. After months of searching and many dead end trails, they were near the end of their provisions. They new that if this canyon was yet another dead end, they would be forced to give up the search.
As they traversed the narrow pass, a storm began to blow in from the southwest. Suddenly, a big thunder clap echoed above the canyon walls, spooking the pack mules and scattering their supplies. Lightning flashed and the rain lashed down. Hunkering below the meager shelter provided by an overhanging boulder, Jake and Dave had no choice but to wait out the storm. When it finally passed, booming and echoing away down the canyon, they spied a beautiful rainbow above the ridge, and below, revealed by a beam of sunlight, was the abandoned town of Crescent Creek.
They never did find the rumored riches of the Lost Eldorado Mine (though Dave really wants to keep looking), but they did fill their sketchbooks and journals with treasure of another sort: the vivid history of a Wild West boomtown told through the time-weathered structures of an earlier era. Returning to civilization, Jake and Dave resolved to share their discovery with the world, and, most particularly, the model railroading community. Both being the model building sort, and knowing they sat upon a veritable trove of architectural marvels and curiosities, they set about forming Crescent Creek Models in order to immortalize their find forever in miniature.
And that, if you can believe it, is the story of Crescent Creek.