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Modeling the Gilpin Tram Part II
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 Posted: Mon Nov 13th, 2017 06:19 pm
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Helmut
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And keep in mind that thanks to the 'oldfashioned' analog photography these extreme blowups are still rendering information whereas today's digital photos will just show coarse pixels were they subject to the same treatment.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 13th, 2017 09:38 pm
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W C Greene
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I am still in awe at this thread. Keith is a great historian and modeler, we should be damn glad that he chose Freerails to post all this information. I find more by Keith than I can find looking through my collected works about the Gilpin. Thank you sir.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Nov 14th, 2017 02:04 am
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Thanks so much - so really good shots that will help out detailing the back!

Sir Historian of Gregory Gulch - you are!

Cameron



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 Posted: Tue Nov 14th, 2017 10:49 pm
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Agree on old fashion photography 20 meg vs how many 10 of millions of capture media on a slide or print. Used to do a lot of darkroom work and slide film. Images still perfect 30+ years later.

Cameron



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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 03:37 am
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Keith Pashina
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Well, speaking of good old photographs, here is a bit more of Black Hawk that we'll look at.


The State Ore Sampler




This is an extreme enlargement of Black Hawk, near the depot. The depot can be seen in the front center of this image. The large dark building above and behind it is the State Ore Sampler - note how close to the depot this sampler was




This is an excerpt from the 1899 C&S Black Hawk trackage map. The State Ore Sampler is at the right margin of the map (in red) and the C&S depot is shown in blue just to the left of it. The C&S laid in a spur to the State Ore Sampler



 This is another photo enlargement of a Black Hawk panoramic view from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection. The sprawling Sate Ore Sampler is the large building at lower left. About 5 C&S gondolas are gathered in front of the C&S depot





This is an enlargement of Denver Public Library, Western History Collection image, and shows the east side of the State Ore Sampler. The C&S spur can be seen in front of the sampler, and there appears to be 3 ore loading doors in this building




The 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance map does not show the sampler, but the 1900 map does, as shown here. Notes on the map show the building to be "iron clad", which I would assume would be flat tin siding on the walls, and a metal roof, possibly corrugated metal. The building frame was probably all  wood, and not stone

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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2017 03:58 am
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Keith Pashina
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This is an enlargement of another image from Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, and it shows the south end of the State Ore Sampler. This would be a fairly simple building to model


I have not been able to find any good information about the State Ore Sampler. It appears it was built between 1895 and 1900, based on the Sunburn Fire Insurance map. Robert Baker's Black Hawk book writes that the sampler closed in 1911.

For a large building of this size and close to the Black Hawk retail area, there are not many photographs that are available. Also, most photographs were taken when the sampler was closed. I do not know who shipped ore to the sampler, but the Gilpin Tram did not have a spur to it. The only spur was the 3' C&S, and likely boxcars were loaded with the ore. This appears to be the practice along the Clear Creek samplers, anyway.




This image has been published several times in various books and magazines, because of the very interesting C&S gondola and reefer. Note the three foot track in foreground - this is the mainline, and the trackage used by the Gilpin Tram to reach the Rocky Mountain Concentrator and other mills. The cars are actually parked on the spur to the State Ore Sampler, just south of the depot. The actual sampler building cannot be seen in this photo. It appears to me that after the sampler closed, the spur was a handy place to park freight cars - I doubt the sampler shipped out in reefers!

The house above the right hand edge of the reefer is the Lace House, a well-known residence due to the ornate wooden trim. The Lace House has been featured in various scale drawings, and kits have been offered in past years. Harry Brunk also wrote about this building in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette




Here is the Lace House in 1941, from image X-2135 from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection. The house appears derelict at this time - there appear to be several broken glass panes in the windows. This building was eventually restored, and during the Black Hawk casino boom, was moved to a "safer" place along with other historic buildings in the Mountain City area, a historic location about halfway between Black Hawk and Central City. If I were to model the State Ore Sampler, this house would look great placed behind it, maybe as a shallow front against the backdrop



In this image, also from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, this nice lady is posing at the south end of the C&S "yards" just south of the C&S depot





The view today of the same approximate area shows this. First, Highway 119 was built over the C&S grade in the 1940s, after abandonment. This road was gradually updated, then the casino boom starting in about 1991 really took off here. Today, traces of the depot area are long gone


So, we have worked our way downstream along Clear Creek, starting up towards the Gilpin Tram engine house, and through the built-up Black Hawk commercial area. Below the main part of Black Hawk, there were several mills in the canyon. In fact, the biggest ore processing mills were all located south of town - the mills we have seen so far were small in comparison.

Until next time,

Keith

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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 08:19 pm
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Keith Pashina
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Happy (American) Thanksgiving Everyone!

This has been a nice weekend for me, with 4 days off of work to celebrate Thanksgiving. Among the many wonderful things in my life, I also have the FreeRails site to be thankful for. The owners/moderators of this site provide an excellent platform to share modeling information, and the photos don't ever disappear, either (unlike certain other sites).

A REMINDER OF WHAT THE GOOD OLD DAYS WERE LIKE
 
As a reminder of how busy everything was 112 or so years ago, The Mining Reporter  magazine, in December 1905,  reported the following shipments out of the Black Hawk area for most that year, these are all cars of ore on the 3’ gauge Colorado and Southern:
 
·       January – 185 cars
·       February – 194 cars
·       March – 234 cars
·       April – 213 cars
·       May – 222 cars
·       June – 254 cars
·       July – 210 cars
·       August – 253 cars
·       September – 277 cars
·       October – 276 cars
·       November – 269 cars
 
The above totaled up to 55,800 tons of ore. In addition, wagon teams to Idaho Springs shipped out 20,000 tons. That is a lot of ore moving by railroad and wagons in one year.




The Rocky Mountain Concentrator was located downstream (south) of the State Ore Sampler, where we left off with the last post. In this photo, a C&S freight blasts by the concentrator on the way to the Black Hawk yards


ROCKY MOUNTAIN CONCENTRATOR
 
Downstream of the State Ore Sampler and Black Hawk retail district, the Gilpin Tram used three-rail trackage to reach the Rocky Mountain Concentrator, also known as the A.M. P. Co. mill (Associated Metal Producers). This mill generally did what the name said, concentrate ores, but not always to the same extent as some of the stamp mills.  


The 1896 Mining and Industry Review Magazine noted that, “at the Rocky Mountain Concentrator no night work is done, but the concentrator is steadily running every day on custom ore and is treating about 40 tons per day with satisfactory results.”
 

Other documents state the mill’s capacity was up to 75 tons per day, but the equipment seemed to be changed frequently to handle the custom ores. In 1900, the mill was shown as having 25 stamps, plus other equipment including Huntingdon mills and rolls (refer to previous posts in this thread for descriptions and photos of this type of equipment). In 1905, the Mining Investor magazine noted the mill had a “Moulton crusher and tables” added, and the “the mill had all the ore that it can handle, and they were running at full capacity – 100 tons per day. Another report in 1910 says 20 stamps were in the mill. The mill eventually closed, and a new venture tried to remodel and upgrade the mill as the Arapahoe Mill. I don’t know if it ever went into operation – if it did, it may have been for only a very short time.




The Rocky Mountain Concentrator was set at the mouth of a small gulch that ended at Clear Creek. The mill was serviced by a short switchback spur of the Gilpin Tram. This photo was courtesy of Dave Grandt, who originally posted this image in the C&Sn3 Blog a few years ago. At left foreground, one of the trestles on the C&S branch to Central City can be seen. 








The 1908 Mining Review magazine showed this view of the concentrator. A C&S boxcar can be seen spotted on the loading spur, for mill concentrates. It appears ore for this mill arrived by both the Gilpin Tram and wagons, and concentrates were shipped out on the C&S and the C&S also shipped in coal loads






A map enlargement of the C&S trackage map for the Rocky Mountain Concentrator is shown here. The heavy dashed line is the route of the Gilpin Tram switchback spur into the mill. The original linen map drawing had erasure marks from where the tramway trackage had been previously removed. The 2' gauge spur left the three-rail trackage at lower left


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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 08:30 pm
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Keith Pashina
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This enlarged view of the Rocky Mountain Concentrator shows several Gilpin Tram cars sitting on the switchback spur to the back of the mill. That little building to the left of the main mill building was the mill office, and there is a coal shed in front of the mill - the C&S spur ran between the two buildings


An excerpt from Robert Baker’s Black Hawk book quotes one of the owners of the Rocky Mountain Concentrator near the turn of the last century as boasting:
 
At mill No. 1, of the American Metals Producing Company, at Black Hawk, the roaster is in place, the furnace to supply heat for roasting the ore, is now being built in connection therewith…the company was in the market for low grade sulphide ores and tailings…and that the treatment charge would range from $1.00 to $4.00 per ton, with no freight charges to be considered, and that settlement would be made for the precious metals on the same basis as is paid by the smelters. This new market for our low grade ore will be the savings of many thousands of dollars annually to the miners and operators in the county, and will aid materially in putting in operations many mines that are unable to stand the high treatment charge demanded by the smelting trust.
This mill seemed to have been busy, at least until about 1916, by which time the mill was closed. Some examples of traffic to this mill:
 
·       8 ore cars from the Old Town Mine in September 1905
·       26 ore cars from the Aduddell Mine in August 1907
·       5 ore cars from the Barnes Mine in September 1907
·       16 cars from the Adduddel Mine in September 1907
·       3 cars from the Dallas Mine in October 1907
 






The Rocky Mountain Concentrator building was not your typical mills building - it was a low, sprawling building and the Gilpin Tram trackage entered at the middle of the back wall, not off to one side like so many other mills. This building is impressive with the many white-painted windows and prominent name painted on the walls








The 1914 Mining Investor magazine ran this photo of the Rocky Mountain Concentrator. At that time, the mill was or had been upgraded with a different ore handling process. Note the Gilpin ore car parked on the spur, and the commuter vehicle (horse)tied up to the hitching post






From the same 1914 magazine, we get a good view of the south side of the mill - the photographer must have been standing down in the creek bed. On the right side of the south wall, you can barely make out a series of small doors for unloading wagon loads of ore. The Gilpin Tram entered at a higher elevation at the backside of the mill




Nothing remains to see of the mill today – new highways and casino developments have obliterated any structures. The only exception is a stone-lined trench that descends down the hillside behind this mill. I speculate that it may have been a flume to divert water into the mill, but that is only my guess. This flume survived until recently, but highway improvements on Highway 119 about 10 years ago enlarged a rock cut right up to the edge of the flume, so most of even those remains are gone today.






The 1900 Sanborn Fire Insurance map provides these details of the Rocky Mountain Concentrator. The dashed line shows the location of the Gilpin Tram spur

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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 08:35 pm
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Keith Pashina
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I don't know what eventually happened to the mill - in 1914 it was being heavily promoted, but it was reported as closed in 1916. This image is from the 1914 Mining Investor magazine





This is the Rocky Mountain Concentrator site in about 1995. The wooden building was a short-lived casino operation that was replaced by a much larger building today. "New" highway construction (beginning in the 1940s) has wiped out any remains of the building, except for...





Going back to this previously posted photo, notice the area circled in red. It appeared to be a stone-lined water flume coming into the mill. It is easily seen in this image after all the trees were cut down




This image taken about 2005 shows the former Rocky Mountain Concentrator mill site, and the hillside where the stone flume remains are located. The recent highway improvement enlarged the rock cut further, but if one knows where to look, the faint outlines of the stone flume can be seen




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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 08:39 pm
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Keith Pashina
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I built an HO scale model for my HOn30 layout about 1998. I didn't have enough space to build the model to scale, and compressed it from the original size to about 60%. The ore unloading trestle may have looked like how it is depicted here. The walls were clad with cut and colored paper to depict flat iron sheet metal siding





This is the front of the mill model, built for my HOn30 layout about 1998.


Next stop - the old Gunnell Mill and New York Mill.

Until then,

Keith



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