Once known as Coal Gulch in the mid-19th century, when coal mining started in the area, Madrid became a booming mining town, famous for its blazing Christmas light displays and minor league baseball games, played in the first lighted stadium in the American West.

After coal use declined and the mines closed in the 1950s, Madrid faded to a ghost town. But a group of artists revived it in the 1970s, opening galleries, studios, restaurants and theaters and hosting music concerts and more.They even brought back the popular Christmas displays, now viewed by visitors who come from around the world.

Madrid also provided the backdrop for many a movie, from The Man Who Fell to Earth, with David Bowie to Wild Hogs, Paul and Beer for My Horses.