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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.II
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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 07:44 am
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Keith Pashina
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I posted this image previously, and let's look at this again. You can see the "early" Chamberlain Sampling Works building at left. The ore storage buildings would be at the left end of the complex. The building with the raised cupola is where the ore was crushed, sampled, then shipped out on the C&S 

CHAMBERLAIN SAMPLING WORKS (CONTINUED) 
One good reference I read on sampling works was Professional Paper #94, Ore Treatment, Labor and Royalties, Freight Rates (Chapter XII), by E.S. Bastin, C.W. Henderson, and J.M. Hill.   

Here are some interesting quotes from this document:   

The Chamberlain sampling works at Blackhawk was built on the site of the Hill smelter soon after its removal to Argo in 1878 and has been operated continuously since that time…   And,   The sampling works pays the miner for his ore according to certain schedules or contracts based on the assay of the ore for the precious metals…  An attempt is made to crush, sample, assay and pay for the ore in one to two days, and in this promptness of payment lies the great advantage of the sampling works to the small producer….If the ore is shipped direct to the smelter a much longer time elapses before payment for it can be received, and as a rule only the larger producers can brook this delay; moreover, the smelters do not handle less than carload lots.   

And,     


At present the Chamberlain sampling works act almost exclusively as agents for the American Smelting and Refining Co….The sampling works have many contracts with the mining companies whereby the latter can ship their ore either to the sampling works or direct to the American Smelting & Refining Co.; any contracts made by the American Smelting & Refining Co. will be fulfilled by the sampling works if the ore is shipped to the latter.  The bulk of the ore from this district goes through the sampling works before going to the smelter.    


The Chamberlain Sampling Works was built in 1878 and reported to haver operated until “about World War I.” Mr. Chamberlain was a regional businessman, and had a similar sampling works in Idaho Springs, which operated until about 1939.   



Here is a companion view to the previous photo, giving a different angle of the Chamberlain Sampling Works. The C&S ore loading spur can be seen next to the ore crushing-sampling-shipping building. Note the end wall - it appears to be stone, but has a rough appearance - perhaps this a crudely-remodeled building formerly used by the Hill Smelter?

Next, here is an example of traffic to the Sampling Works in 1907.  This information I photocopied, then tabulated, from the Colorado Railroad Museum archives, entitled The Gilpin R.R. Co., Ore Report August, 1907. The traffic shipped included:
From the Old Town Mine - 6 cars
From the Barnes Mine - 1 car
From the Druid Mine - 2 cars
From the Addeudell Mine - 2 cars
From the Saratoga Mine - 2 cars
From the Pleasant Valley Mine - 1 car
The ore was shipped at rates of about $0.50 per ton                          



So, in one month we see 6 different mines shipping to the sampling works in generally in small amounts.  I noted that an earlier month ledger showed 17 cars one month from the Old Town Mine, but that seems to be the exception.  Also, the document quoted above was published in 1917, when the sampling works was still an active business.
This image is an enlargement of the previous photo we have been looking at in these series of posts, showing the "later" version of the Sampling Works. The Randolph Mill is in the foreground of this photo. What is of interest is the pyramidal-shaped structure behind it. The earlier version of the Chamberlain Sampling Works was remodeled at some point. It appears portions of the ore crushing-sampling-shipping area were rebuilt for a new structure housing conveyors to hoist the ore to the top of this structure, then fed through crushers and eventually shipped out. The C&S used boxcars for this, as the ore was richer, and therefore more valuable, than the "ordinary" ore that ended up shipped to the stamp mills and concentrators

 

Some references mention rolls used to crush the ore - the rolls may have looked something like this, but this photo is not from the Chamberlain Sampling Works



This sketch shows how rolls worked to sample the ore. Ore was crushed as it passed through two revolving metal cylinders. One or more roll crushers may have been used, and ore was taken from the crushed stream of ore for sampling and testing of the metal values

Last edited on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 07:49 am by Keith Pashina

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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 08:18 am
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Keith Pashina
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The Chamberlain Sampling Works also would have had an assay office, where samples of the ore would have been tested and analyzed for its metal content. This image is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, and shows the assay office at the Fifty Gold Mines mill. The Sampling Works operation may have been similar. A scene such as this would be a great model, particularly in the larger scales where all the detail could be appreciated


You probably noticed that my description on how the Chamberlain Sampling Works handled ore is vague. There is a good reason for that - I have found really no information on how the ore was handled as it moved through the sampler, and certainly very few photos of it, and all of them of the exterior only. I would expect most of the ore would have been handled by hand - for unloading, moving to the crushing/sampling area, and loading boxcars. What this looked like is unknown to me.




This is a view looking north up Colorado highway 119, at Black Hawk. The Sampling Works and Randolph Mill would have been about where I had stopped to take this photo. As we have seen in previous posts, almost all traces of the mills and samplers in Black Hawk have vanished with redevelopment for the casinos

Well, that wraps up our look at the Randolph Mill and Chamberlain Sampling Works. Next, we will look on the other bank of Clear Creek, at the Iron City and Penn Mills.


Until next time,

Keith


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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 12:18 am
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elminero67
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Not much left to see of that part of the GT!



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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 03:13 am
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W C Greene
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Such a shame...When I lived in Denver (1968-1971), Central & Blackhawk were my favorite places to go...a cold beer in the Teller House bar was great. Now? I don't think that a trip to Colorado would be much fun for me, all the places I loved are gone. Progress is...well, not great! Casinos are regarded as the "opiate of the masses". Nuff' said by me.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 03:22 am
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Keith Pashina
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Yes, the "progress" in the last 20-30 years is rapidly building over the old sites. Black Hawk has been heavily redeveloped, and there is not much of the buildings left, except for several residences.

Weather and decay have their effect, too. Since I started visiting the area in the mid-1980s, I have seen a lot of collapsing from structures from heavy snow on the roof and wood decay. Deterioration of the Quartz Hill, Whiting, Grand Army, and Frontenac have been the most noticeable. The Jordan Mine in Willis Gulch was "accidentally" knocked down during an EPA cleanup a few years ago.

What also seems to be happening is the construction of more and more residences and vacation homes in the area. Quartz Hill had streets put in the last time I was there - they were rough dirt roads, put it to allow the sale of home lots on the south side of the hill. There have been several other homes popping up all over, and this will mean more of the right of way and mine sites are likely to be obliterated.

So, if you are interested in the area, I recommend you visit sooner rather than later!

Keith

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 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2018 07:16 am
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Ken C
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Kieth

I have the information on the operation of a Sampling Mill. Down side I do not have a scanner.

If you email your snail mail address, I will copy and send a information pack onto you.

Ken Clark ferroequinologist1@shaw.ca



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 Posted: Fri Feb 9th, 2018 10:29 pm
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Si.
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Hi Gilpin Tram fans :wave:



A couple of links to recent Gilpin related material Posted on Freerails. :)



First off ...

... Robert Chant has Posted a very interesting Gilpin Tram inspired track plan HERE :-

- 'The Gilpin Tramway' ... In On2 Scale - Railroad Design -

Check it out !



All the familiar Gilpin County place names are to be found along the rails in Roberts design.

Here's a low-res version to give an idea of things.

A hi-res version is Posted in Roberts Thread ^^ just follow the Link above.



I'm sure Robert would love to hear from Gilpin Tram & track planning fans about his ideas ! L:







- - - - - - -



Secondly ...

... Kevin Fall has Posted some very unique vintage photos of Gilpin related areas HERE :-

Black Hawk / Central City area

Check these out as well ! :cool:



Kevin said this about them ...



" I had acquired these photos some years ago
and having watched Keith's posts believe that these are different views of the areas around Black Hawk
and some of the mines up in the hills served by the Gilpin.

I have no idea the year that these photos were taken,
but I imagine they were all photographed around the same time.

Also some of the photos are damaged on the edges.
The originals are extremely clear but I don't have a working scanner at the moment.
If I have identified any of these incorrectly please let me know.

It is only because of this forum that I was able to identify anything at all in these photos."



I'm sure Kevin would love to hear from any observant Gilpin fans ... :shocked:

... it might be that someone may have some interesting things to say about these great photos !

Here's one from Kevins selection.

Follow the Link ^^ above to see all of Kevins vintage pix. !





Thanks very much for Posting, to both Robert & Kevin ! :bg:

ENJOY !



:)



Si.



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 Posted: Sat Feb 24th, 2018 08:08 am
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Keith Pashina
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Si,
Thank you for posting the links to Robert Chant's Gilpin Tram track plan - he certainly captured the flavor of the real tram in that design. It would be fun to see someone build it!
Also, thank you for posting the links to the Kevin Fall photos - very interesting stuff!
Keith

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 Posted: Sat Feb 24th, 2018 08:47 am
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Keith Pashina
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Above, an undated view of the Iron City and Penn Mills, at the south end of the Black Hawk milling district. Both mills were served by spurs from the Colorado Central/Colorado & Southern. At this time, a Gilpin Tram spur for ore unloading at the Iron City Mill had not been built yet 


IRON CITY AND PENN MILLS
 
The Iron City Mill was also known as, at various times, as the Frontenac or the Rose Quartz Mill. This mill was adjacent to the Penn Mill, and in its final configuration, the two mills were remodeled and operated as one plant.
 
I don’t know when the Iron City Mill or Penn Mills were first built, but there is a great surviving photo of the two mills showing Colorado Central tracks laid to it. The Iron City mill is relatively small at this time, and not served by the Gilpin Tram. The Iron City Mill apparently ran in this configuration for many years. The Penn Mill was never served by the Gilpin Tram until remodeled into a large plant and combined with the Iron City Mill. The Penn did have a spur from the C&S serving it.
 
In 1895, the Iron City Mill had 25 stamps of the rapid drop type, which fed an unspecified number of bumping tables. The 1896 Mining and Industry Review noted that the 25 rapid drop stamps had the same ore handling capacity as that of 60 slow drop stamps. Also, the Iron City was at that time handling the ores of the Americus and Phoenix-Burroughs mines. The Americus was not served directly by the tram, but the Phoenix-Burroughs was – I wonder how the ore was delivered, and when the spur track was built?






This well-known view is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, and shows the Iron City Mill. This is an earlier view, perhaps 1895 or earlier, before the Gilpin Tram laid a spur to the mill. An ore wagon is ready to deliver ore, next to the Colorado Central/Colorado & Southern spur. I like the rough nature of the spur - it looks newly laid, and is not ballasted. The Iron City Mill is what we expect to see for a stamp mill structure - a structure cascading down the slope of a steep hill






Back in the 1980s, Trains of Texas made several kits of Black Hawk area buildings, one of them being the Iron City Mill in O scale. This company has been out of business for a long time, but they certainly made some wonderful structures. Duncan Harvey told me they also made a few kits of this mill in HO scale, too. This version of the mill would look great on anyone's layout. This was their ad in one of the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazettes




I drew this map in 1993, and this shows the general track arrangement at the south end of Black Hawk. The Iron City and Penn Mills were almost directly across from the Randolph Mill, which we looked at in my previous posts. These mills were also not all the further south of the New York Mill, which was a big mill, too




About 1895, this view was published in one of the mining magazines. This view is looking south, along Clear Creek, at the Iron City and Penn Mills. The track at left is the C&S branch main up from Forks Creek, and the track at right is the spur to the mills. The Randolph Mill would have been out of sight to the left, and slightly behind the photographer




Keith












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 Posted: Sat Feb 24th, 2018 10:49 pm
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Iron City and Penn Mills - Continued


The adjacent Penn Mill had 45 drops, with “bumpers and hammers” (as listed on the Sanborn Fire Insurance map). The same 1896 Mining and Industry Review magazine noted the Penn was handling ores from the Concrete Mine. The Concrete Mine was up on Gunnell Hill, and a large shipper on the Gilpin Tram. To my knowledge, the Penn did not have a tramway spur laid into it, so I wonder how ore was delivered at this mill?
 
Apparently, near the end of the 19th Century, business was not so great for the mill. The Mining Science magazine, in 1908, stated the “old Iron City Mill has been started up… and had been idle a number of years.”






After several years, the Iron City and Penn Mills changed ownership, were unused for a period, and then resumed operations. This photo is from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, and is taken a decade or two later than the previous photo. The Iron City Mill had been expanded and remodeled by this time, and can be at the right rear of the photo. This photo angle is similar to the previous photo - the photographer, whose shadow might be the one in the photo, could have been standing on the grade for the Gilpin Tram spur to the Iron City Mill








This photo is undated, but shows the two C&S spurs - one to the Iron City Mill (at right), and one to the Penn Mill (rear center). The Iron City  Mill appears to have had some remodeling done since the earlier photo I posted in the last post. There is a sliding door to the unloading area at the top of the Iron City Mill bins, so perhaps the Gilpin Tram had laid a spur here at this time






Another image from about the same time as the previous photo, from the Gilpin County Historical Society. The C&S branch mainline from Forks Creek can be seen at the left side of the image. Clear Creek's flow is controlled by log cribbing on both sides of the creek. The spurs are snow covered, and the mills look quiet at this time. Someone altered the photo, and hand-drew smoke coming out of the Iron City Mill's smokestack








[size="2" style="font-style: italic;"]This image may have come from an article on Frontenac Mill operations, from 1911 Metallurgical and Chemical Engineer magazine. This shows the Iron City Mill after its expansion and extensive remodeling.  A C&S boxcar sits on the spur to the mill, likely for loading of ore concentrates. The powerhouse building, at front right, has four skylights to help illuminate the interior. The two hatches at the front right edge of the powerhouse roof are hatches for loading coal into the bins - there is coal protruding from the bins above the level of the roof. The coal was shoveled out of a C&S coal car that would have been parked next to the building




This image comes from the Colorado Historical Society, and shows the combined Iron CIty and Penn Mill operation. The mills are very busy this day - 5 C&S boxcars are sitting on the spurs for ore concentrate loading. High above, a Gilpin Tram shay is shoving at least 17 loaded ore cars in the ore unloading area. The Iron City Mill was remodeled extensively from before, as we shall see in my next post






Keith












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