View single post by Kevin Fall
 Posted: Thu Mar 1st, 2018 06:27 pm
PMQuoteReplyFull Topic
Kevin Fall


Joined: Thu Nov 9th, 2017
Posts: 37

Is there any way I can move this thread I had already started when I first joined?
I wanted it in the "Narrow Gauge" forum and because I didn't know what I was doing it ended up in the "Joining Freerails" forum.
Otherwise, I will have to start a new thread so it will be in the correct place.


- - - - - - -

The Iron City/Penn/Frontenac mill.
Here is a colored postcard of the mill that I found several years ago.
After I saw this I knew I had to model it some day.
Several years went by and then The Gilpin Era book came out by Sundance which filled in most of the other views of the complex.

On this postcard it is called the Low Mill which is what I thought it was called before I saw the Sundance book.
Perhaps because it was in lower Black Hawk and the locals called it that? Not sure.
The cladding seems to stand out a bit more on the upper story.
I don't know if that helps identify it more as metal or tarpaper.
Any further guesses?

The trestle was always interesting to me.
The center posts form a V which seemed to be pretty unique to me.
Narrow gauge trestles use 1 foot diameter posts for their trestles.
Any guesses as to what the Gilpin might have used?
Do you think 10" or 8" posts might have been used as they would have had to support less weight although the cars were loaded with ore?
I figure the ties are 5" x 5" as on the rest of the railroad.

I am curious as to what the tall little building at the top of the mill was used for.
There are three windows and no apparent door for personnel to enter.
Maybe it is on the other side closer to the mill where in winter they can make a quick dash back to the mill!
Also there is some sort of horizontal bar on the end with what looks like support posts.
Anybody have any guesses as to what that is?
Can't model it unless I know what it is!

The mill has two tanks.
One tank up on the hill with a pipe leading down to the top of the Gilpin grade.
The other from a tank on the backside of the mill with a pipe leading across the tracks and into the back of the power house.
What were these two tanks used for?
Water for the boiler?
And what size do you think the pipes might have been?
Still lots of questions.
Anyway I am modeling the building as it appeared in 1918,
after the Gilpin had been abandoned but the mill was pulling the ore cars using horses.

The plans for the Penn Mill were from Mike Blazek.
I decided to make a mockup because it looked complex to me and to get a better idea of how to draw the rest of the mill.
His plans are excellent and was a great starting point.
The trestle is to come.

The addition between the two mills was made using a C&S 30 foot boxcar as reference from photos and relying on views in The Gilpin Era.
It was definitely trial and error and constantly comparing views.

The bridge of course was not there in real life but I liked the Clear Creek bridge and a compromise was made.
At least it was a bridge that existed on the C&S.
There's lots of windows and I lost count (or really don't want to count).
You can see a shed now exists on the roof of the addition to the Iron City mill where coal can be loaded that was added sometime in 1912.
Any idea if their would have been freight doors inside of the overhang on the Iron City mill close to the C&S tracks?
Would they have loaded ore from here as it was part of the remodeled Iron City mill?
I'm guessing the coal hatches are 4' x 5'.
They look about the correct size from the photos.

This is the other side of the complex showing the stone walls and the low single story building added later on top of the stone wall.

A view from the top.
Two stub switches have been made from code 40.
You can see one of the vats from behind the building.
I added a C&S style stone wall to the other side of the bank of Clear Creek.
Just couldn't keep going on with the log retaining wall.
Just starting trackwork.
Been avoiding making turnouts for years but found out it wasn't so bad after all.
And there's that H type bracket or whatever it is on the top of the little two story building by the Gilpin tracks.

Well that's it.

I will probably start actually building it this coming winter,
but I've never made a mockup before but found it was extremely useful because of the complexity of the buildings.


Close Window