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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.II
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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2017 10:22 am
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Keith Pashina
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This image shows the New York Mill after the 1899-1900 expansion. This image came from the promotional booklet, Glimpses of Golden Gilpin. Note the long Gilpin Tram ore trestle climbing from left to right, where it stopped and ore cars were unloaded into the ore shed. The main mill building has been expanded, and the original stone portion is still there, but there is a large new wood-framed peaked roof addition now. Horse drawn wagons still deliver ore to the mill, and several can be seen in this photo. The water flume to the water wheel is still in place and can be seen against the hillside








The 1900 Sunburn Fire Insurance map shows the reconfigured mill. I drew in the new Gilpin Tram spur as a solid blue line - the alignment of the original spur into the original mill is the dashed blue line




This image was taken in 1908, and is from the Colorado Historical Society. The 3-rail mainline can be seen at left, and also the Gilpin Tram ore spur on the trestle leading to the New York Mill ore unloading house. One or more Gilpin Tram ore cars can be seen on the trestle. 




Here is the post-1899 New York Mill looking northward along Clear Creek. In the foreground, we can see the Gilpin Tram and water flume leading to the Randolph Mill, which we will visit next. This image is from the Denver Public Library Western History Collection, image X-61783.




This is an enlargement of the previous photo, and shows details of the south side of the mill. The Gilpin Tram ore unloading spur is out of sight, and would be behind the left rear corner of the mill



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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2017 10:31 am
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Keith Pashina
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This image shows the south and east sides of the New York Mill and is from the  Denver Public Library Western History Collection. Note the extensive water flume at right, which served the water wheel used to power the machinery when Clear Creek was flowing




Here is a closeup from  Denver Public Library Western History Collection, image K-222, showing more of the water flume that fed the water wheel. The water wheel is out out sight housed protectively inside the mill. It looks like the flume could use some maintenance - there is a large stream of water pouring out of the flume



Also from  Denver Public Library Western History Collection, image K-222, here are some neat details of the New York Mill after 1899. First, note the neat little sheds on the building addition at left. At the right front corner of the mill, the walls are the original stone walls of the original building. There is what may be a water condenser next to this corner, where the ladder is located. The roof has plenty of skylights to help visibility inside the mill


Wel, that's about all I can tell you about the New York Mill. For such a large operation, there is a quite a dearth of photos of it. Perhaps because the mill was located some distance away from the commercial heart of Black Hawk, it just wasn't as interesting to local photographers. Plus, everyone "just knew" that the old industrial building would always be there anyway, so why photograph it?

Next, we'll head down to the Randolph Mill and Chamberlain Sampling Works. 

Until then,


Keith






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 Posted: Mon Dec 11th, 2017 05:05 am
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Salada
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Excellent history & photos Keith (as always). Your enlarged photos are always very clear.

New York Mill : 

You refer to a possible lack of maintenance re the leaking flume.  This torrent of water is directly above the creek bed shown in a previous insurance plan and is a very "concentrated" torrent, not a series of leaky dribbles. The only way to stop a water wheel (for emergency repairs or to replace a primary drive belt) is to switch the water supply off. If the headrace (water wheel intake point) is in an enclosed pipe then the supply can be shut off via a gatevalve and handwheel but in the case of an open flume then the wheel can only be stopped by opening a dump flap/valve beside the mill or by hiking maybe several miles up a steep mountain side to shut the flume intake at source.

Flat drive belt clutches are common but I've never seen a clutch in the primary gearing straight off the water wheel. I guess the wheel has been deliberately stopped in your photo by opening a flume dump flap.

The  'main line' track bed in your last photo looks dangerously close to being undermined by the next high creek level !

Regards,     Michael

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 Posted: Mon Dec 11th, 2017 11:09 pm
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CBryars2
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Excellent work. The State Concetrator pictures are great - big thank you! Have spot planned for it and the ginger bread house as you suggested.

No room for Gunnell but have plans for New York and a spot ready to go for it.

I can't tell you how much your research and effort has meant to me.:2t:

Cameron



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 Posted: Wed Dec 20th, 2017 11:05 pm
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Keith Pashina
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New Power for the Gilpin, James Peak and Middle Park Railway





In my world, there is the Gilpin Tram, which I model somewhat based on prototype equipment, buildings, and scenes, and then there is the Gilpin, James Peak and Middle Park Railway for "everything else." The GJP&MPRy was chartered, but never built. So, I adopted that name for all those models that are not Gilpin Tram prototype.

Minitrains is a small producer of HOn30 models, and their newest releases included two WWI-vintage locos that I couldn't resist. My layout will probably undergo a time warp somewhere along the line, and these models will be "Colorado-ized" at some point and find a place on the railroad. They will be joined by passenger cars, boxcars, tankcars, and other stuff, too, in my mythical world.

Merry Christmas!

Keith


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 Posted: Thu Dec 21st, 2017 06:54 am
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Monte
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Keith, Thanks for another year of Great Gilpin Memories, plus all the know data you have presented. You and yours have a Wonderful Merry Christmas.

Monte



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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 07:19 am
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Keith Pashina
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Happy New Year everyone. Christmas and New Year's celebrations and gatherings have kept me busy, so I haven't posted for a while. But now, it's winter in Minnesota, its frigid outside, and time to resume my Gilpin Tram modeling and research.  So, let us now take a look at the:



A view looking up Clear Creek towards Black Hawk, which is in the far distance. The white lines are tracing the C&S switchback to Central City, while a C&S passenger train is passing by the Randolph Mill (building with stacks) and the Chamberlain Sampling Works (group of buildings towards the right). Photo courtesy of Dan Abbott collection, originally published in the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society newsletter

RANDOLPH MILL AND CHAMBERLAIN SAMPLING WORKS


The Randolph Mill and Chamberlain Sampling Works were located side-by-side on the east bank of Clear Creek, and further downstream (south) from the New York Mill, which we looked at in the previous series of posts.
 
The building sites themselves were interesting – the mill and sampling works were built on the former site of the Hill Smelter, and it looks to me that the sampling works reused some of the old smelter buildings.
 
The smelter, operated by Professor Nathaniel Hill, was very innovative in its day. The Professor developed ore smelting techniques that allowed good metal recovery, needed as the second wave of mining operations in the District tended to go deeper into the non-oxidized deeper ores. Mining production had been dropping precipitously, because the then-standard milling practices were unable to recover a lot of the metal in the ores. The new smelter reinvigorated the mining  in the area. The smelter seemed to grow quickly, and was a victim of its own success, because the smelter ran out of expansion space in the narrow Clear Creek Valley. Newspaper accounts from the era also mention the haze of smelter gases that filled up the valley. So, eventually, the smelter works were moved to near Denver, and evolved into the Argo Smelter – a very large operation, and one that served many mining districts around the state, not just Gilpin County.




The original Hill Smelter appears to be a sprawling complex of buildings that expanded with the growth of the business. This photo shows wooden buildings, but other photos show what appears to be a combination of brick and metal clad buildings. Eventually, the canyon was too confining, and the operation moved to near Denver, and was later known as the Argo Smelter








Referring back to the C&S Black Hawk trackage map from the Colorado Historical Society, we see the Randolph Mill and Chamberlain Sampling Works. The original map was ink on linen, and you can see where the draftsmen erased the Gilpin Tram trackage after abandonment. I roughly sketched in where these track marks on the original map were shown. You can see there is a single spur each to the Randolph Mill and the Chamberlain Sampling Works




We saw this photo at the beginning of this post, and here is an enlargement of it. The Randolph Mill is a squat, sloping roof building at left, and the flume (at far left) and Gilpin Tram spur (right side of the mill) can be seen entering the far (north side). The Chamberlain Sampling Works is a grouping of very-industrial looking buildings at the right. Some of these buildings may be recycled from the former Hill Smelter, but that is only my guess. The building near front center is where the ore was crushed and sampled before shipment. The raised cupola portion may have housed an elevator




Here is a great photo courtesy of the Colorado Historical Society. There is lots to see in this photo. From left to right, we see the ramp leading up into the Chamberlain Sampling works (stone-walled ramp). The large door next to it is for horse-drawn wagons. These buildings are for ore storage, but note the cupolas on top - similar ones appear in some older photos of the Hill Smelter, so perhaps portions of these buildings were reused.


The Randolph mill is next. First, we see the wooden trestle for the Gilpin Tram entering the left side of the mill. To the right of that is the wooden water flume used for powering the water wheel that powered the mill machinery. The Randolph Mill itself is an interesting structure, certainly worthwhile modeling! Next, we see the 3' gauge C&S spur




































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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 07:34 am
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Keith Pashina
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THE RANDOLPH MILL

I am uncertain as to when this mill was constructed, but seems to have shown up by the Gilpin Railroad era – its design suggests it could have been there before the railroad, then modified to allow Gilpin Tram ore cars inside.
 
This mill would make a very attractive model – it is long and narrow, and has a very interesting elevated ore unloading track and water flume entering the north side. The mill building uses a variety of construction materials. The main building seems to be brick construction with exposed wood framing, and there are sections clad with either sheet metal or tarpaper. There are several large unpainted wood framing members for the flume, a nice rusty smokestack, and an overall heavily used appearance in the older photos.
 
The mill was originally built with 50 stamps, 10 amalgamating plates, 10 bumping tables, and was powered occasionally with a large water wheel.
 
The mill was purchased and refurbished in 1914, and modified to include a “crusher”, Challenge feeders, 10-750 pound stamps at 53 drops per minute, amalgamating plates, 2 Gilpin County bumping tables, and now powered by electricity. This gave the mill a capacity of 100 tons per day.  The revamped mill stamps were fed with the Challenge ore feeders, and not hand-fed, as was common at most of the Gilpin County mills. Also, the miners and millers were innovators, and readily adapted electrical power.
 
I know very little about which mines this mill served, and when. I have seen no traffic records of ore shipments to the Randolph Mill, but all that means is that it didn’t receive shipments in 1899, 1906, 1907, 1913 or 1914, which are the years with surviving traffic records.



The 1896 Mining and Industry Review stated the 40-stamp Randolph Mill was “crushing ore for the Justice, Calhoun, Hubert, Centennial, and other mines. The mill is running day and night.”




This photo is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, and an enlargement of a photo I originally posted showing the New York Mill to the north. At center left, we see two switch stands off of the 2' and 3' dual gauge C&S and Gilpin Tram trackage. The right hand switch stand is where the Randolph spur diverges - the photo angle greatly exaggerates the curvature here. The leaky water flume has many icicles in the cold weather. This spur has two bridges - one over Clear Creek, and one over the water flume




This photo was originally published in the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society Newsletter, and is from the Dan Abbott collection. Two C&S gondolas are parked next to the Randolph Mill - perhaps for  coal deliveries.  Note the short wood-cribbed retaining wall along Clear Creek - I wonder if this mill flooded when Clear Creek was running high during spring snowmelt? I am not entirely certain, but it appears the Randolph Mill is a variety of materials - brick at the left, then maybe metal cladding over wood. The raised portion where "Randolph Mill Co. is painted housed the water wheel. Just above the gondola at far right are buddies. The mill has a beat-up, heavily-used appearance, with sagging timbers and lots of weathering - I have never seen a model of this mill, but it would fun to see someone build one






To help understand the photo above, this is the 1900 Sanborn Fire Insurance map showing the Randolph Mill (blue) and Chamberlain Sampling Works (red)






Norm Blake, who owned the Polar Star Mill, once told me that the dismantled stamp mill he had stored on the property had come from the Randolph Mill. Here is a photo of the cams and bull wheel 28 years ago




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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 08:01 am
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Keith Pashina
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RANDOLPH MILL REBUILT, and ITS AERIAL TRAMWAY


In 1901, the Mining Reporter magazine talked about the new operators of the mill, the Carr Mine & Colorado Company acquired the Carr Mine, Eagle and Humboldt and other claims, and the Randolph Mill. These claims were on Bobtail Hill, located high above and south of Central City. These mines were not served by any railway, but instead, the new owners decided to construct a 6,000 aerial rope tramway between the mines and the mill. This was unusual – this is only one of three aerial tramways in the Gilpin Tram vicinity that I am aware of (the other two being the Climax-to-Avon Mill tramway on Quartz Hill, and the Chain of Mines tramway from the Glory Hole mining operation).
 
A later user of the Randolph came along in 1910. The 1910 Mining Journal magazine noted that the Mitchell Mining & Leasing Co. was leasing the Mitchell Mine on Quartz Hill, and leased the Randolph Mill, which would process their ore using “20 stamps dropping day and night.” The Mitchell Mine was explained in the 1917 USGS report as being “on the southeast side of Quartz Hill, about a mile southwest of Central City. Some parts of the vein also had some pitchblende (uranium ore). I could not locate this mine on the maps that I have, and I don’t think the Gilpin Tram had a spur leading to this mine.
 
In 1914, in the Engineering and Mining Journal magazine, it was announced the Randolph Mill had been leased to another individual, who operated the Colorado-Carr Mine on Bobtail Hill.
 
I don’t know when this mill quit operating, but there are several photos along the C&S trackage taken in the 1920s and 1930s that show only building ruins on the site.






This is the Colorado-Carr Mine, which was located on Bobtail Hill high above Mountain City and Central City. It's location put if high above the C&S and Gilpin Tram, and so the owners eventually constructed an aerial tramway to their newly purchased mill, the Randolph Mill. 


This image is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, image X-61790. It is an extreme enlargement of a very good glass plate original, and shows one of the wooden aerial tram towers, and an ore bucket to the left of it




Here is an enlargement of a photo from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, image L-48. The photo was taken to show the C&S switchback climbing up to Central City, but enlarging a portion of this very-clear photograph shows the line of wooden aerial tram towers extending from the Colorado-Carr Mine down to the Randolph Mill. We're looking westward, and Black Hawk would be far below, off to the right (not shown)




This image is from the Mark Baldwin collection, and was published in the Gilpin Railroad Era by Sundance Books. This is a view looking north up Clear Creek. The jumble of buildings is the Chamberlain Sampling Works at left, and the Randolph Mill to the right of it. One aerial tram tower can be seen at the Randolph Mill - I circled it in red. That is C&S 3' gauge track at left front




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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 08:24 am
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Keith Pashina
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I reposted this photo, shown in my previous posts, showing the Chamberlain Sampling Works at left and Randolph Mill at right. On this wintry day, everything looks quiet, but there was a lot of activity over the years at this sampler. Gilpin Tram ore cars were pushed up the stone ramp at the left edge of the sampler and inside for unloading. Horse-drawn wagons entered at ground level near the center of the end wall




CHAMBERLAIN SAMPLING WORKS
 
The Chamberlain Sampling Works was a very important ore handling operation in Black Hawk. Unlike the mills, which crushed, treated, and concentrated ores, the sampler was something different.
 
A sampler was vital to the mining district – without it, a lot startup operations and small mines probably would never have been successful. Stamp mills and concentrators were relatively large operations, and needed a comparatively large and steady supply of ore to work successfully. Samplers, were geared towards smaller mining operations, and would take shipments of ore and arrange to have them grouped with other, similar ore shipments, and arrange to have them processed at the smelter. But even more importantly, the sampler operator, after sampling and testing the mine owner’s ore, would pay the mining operator right away. If the mine operator had taken the ore to a stamp mill, they would have to wait until the ore was first concentrated, then shipped off to and processed at a smelter.
 


Because the sampling works was set up for small shipments, the larger producing mines regularly used it for sending a car or two at a time to verify the ore recovery, and perhaps send some off for specialized treatment.
 


There are also several traffic records of mines, probably in the development stage, that sent 1 car to the sampler to verify the ores. Many of these mines never seemed to have gotten out of the development stage, and failed soon afterward. Without the sampling works to sample and process their trial shipment, they may have never even gotten that far.




This image is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection. At front, we see wagon wheel ruts that lead to the Sampling Works. About where the wagon is stopped, is the Gilpin Tram spur heading to the Sampling Works. The water flume at the right side leads to the Randolph Mill - we saw an image of this area from an opposite view. The brick building with the brick smokestack shows up in some older photos of the Hill Smelter - this building survived the removal of the old smelter, but I don't know what it was used for








 I will show this C&S trackage map again, showing an earlier layout of the Chamberlain Sampling Works in red. I call this the earlier version, but other photos such as the first photo in this post show the "later" version, when parts of the sampler were remodeled




I enlarged the first photo of this post to show the north end of the Chamberlain Sampling Works. The Gilpin Tram spur can be seen on the stone-walled ramp heading into the left side of the mill. The doors are open where the horse-drawn wagons entered, and maybe we can see hints of wooden ore bins, too. There is a partially-blocked arched door at the bottom of the Gilpin Tram spur ramp - this building has been remodeled, and possibly it dates from being used by the Hill Smelter that previously occupied this site








From the same enlarged photo, we get a view of the ore storage building. The "steps" in the building are because it extends along the downward-sloping Clear Creek Canyon floor. Note the clerestory vents running along the roof ridge - these lead me to speculate that these buildings were part of the Hill Smelter complex at one time

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