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Modeling the Gilpin Tram Part II
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 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2016 04:08 am
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Monte
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Keith,
Thanks for posting the photos, I must say they are not bad. It must be your post methods. Once I figure out the photo posting I will post some of the layout.

Thanks Again Keith

Monte



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Monte Peaeron
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 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2016 05:45 am
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Larry G
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I too have tried many methods of making various types of stone walls. This picture of my outdoor G scale layout in Hopkins, MN (twin cities suburb) shows two different methods. On the far left a small section of wall using the method described a few posts back.

The wall below the track was pressed into wet mortar. I used mortar because plaster would no stand up outdoors.

My mountains were built much the same way as small scale indoor mountains are built, wire mesh with mortar spreed over the top. And many rubber rock mold castings.

Larry Gant

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Last edited on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 06:07 am by Larry G

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 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2016 05:56 am
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Larry G
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This picture shows another method of making a stone wall on the gray building. These are actual flat stones fixed to a foam substrate. A lot of fooling around looking for just the right stone to fit a certain spot. I imagine this isn't much different than what a stone mason does in the full size world.   This layout no longer exists.
Larry Gant

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Last edited on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 06:03 am by Larry G

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 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2016 05:15 pm
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Keith Pashina
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Larry,

Thanks for posting pictures of your modeling. The carved/pressed mortar looks good, and real stones bonded to foam look really good.

I think I may have visited your layout once, on one of the tours. I recall your outdoor layout may have been connected to your indoor layout? That would have probably been 20 years ago!

Keith

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 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2016 10:45 pm
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Larry G
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Keith, you may have been at my layout during the 1999 national N.M.R.A. convention.
Or, if you were a member of "Metro" you might have come with them. Or with the Minnesota Garden Railway club. Your right, the indoor and outdoor parts of that layout were connected. The only part of that layout I saved was the wood trestle. It now sits on my patio, unused.

I was at your place at least 20 years ago with the late Roger Tea. You bought one of my Jouef open passenger cars way back when. I still have the other one.

Larry

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Last edited on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 11:12 pm by Larry G

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:27 am
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Keith Pashina
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Larry,  good to hear from you again!  I enjoyed seeing your layout back then, and looking forward to hearing more from you about narrow gauge stuff!

I still have that Joeuf excursion car, and slightly modified it to loosely resemble a GT excursion car.

Keith

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:34 am
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Keith Pashina
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The above map shows the Black Hawk area, where we return to look further at the yards and a mill branch


THE GILPIN TRAM's BLACK HAWK YARD AND WYE



North of the enginehouse and shops was the Gilpin Tram’s small yard. This was limited to a runaround track with a wye on the north end. Photographs show strings of loaded ore cars on the two tracks next to and just uphill of the enginehouse. These same tracks were also used for storage of empty cars.  Of course, there were other tracks to set out cars in Black Hawk, and we will eventually look at those, too.




 The very simple "yards" north of the enginehouse and Clear Creek wye are shown in this map



FULLERTON MILL BRANCH

 
M.P. 0.00         SWITCHBACK No. 1
 
The Fullerton Mill branch began at the enginehouse, where the mainline began its climb up Chase Gulch, and the main headed downgrade to Black Hawk and several mills.

 
The Fullerton Mill Branch began immediately next to the enginehouse , and extended for over a mile  to the northwest. The branch started out on the west side of Clear Creek, crossed over to the other side to reach two mills, then crossed back to the west side to reach the Martin/Wheeler Mill. This branch was built to serve three ore-processing mills: the Golden Fleece/Brooklyn/Gunnell Gold M & M Company, the Fullerton Upper Mill, and the Martin/Wheeler Mill. The owners of the Martin/Wheeler Mill owned the trackage from “Wheeler Junction” to their mill, which was 2,693 feet of trackage, or about 0.51 miles.
 
M.P. 0.13         CLEAR CREEK WYE
 
The wye was described in a1906 Gilpin Railroad Company report as being 600 feet north of the enginehouse.
 
The branch was built early in the life of the tram – newspaper records show the branch was in place to the Upper Fullerton Mill in 1887.





This is how the former yard and wye area looks now - the highway has moved the creek closer to the far bank, and vegetation has grown back. I could not find any traces of the grade



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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:42 am
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Keith Pashina
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This map shows the Fullerton Mill Branch



GOLDEN FLEECE/BROOKLYN/GUNNELL GOLD M & M COMPANY
 
This small mill was about 0.3 miles north of the enginehouse, although official records don’t document its location.  I have never seen a photo of this mill, nor are there many records describing it. What we do know is that it started out known as the Golden Fleece Mill, maybe, although I don’t know this for sure, before the tram.  Later on, it was described as the Brooklyn Mill, then finally as the Gunnell Gold M & M Company. This latter name implies it was part of a larger conglomerate of the mines consolidated on Gunnell Hill.





 
The 1895 Sanborn Map gives this detail regarding the Golden Fleece Mill



The 1917 USGS Economic Geology of Gilpin County report stated this mill had 1 jaw crusher, 10 stamps, amalgamating tables, jigs, and Gilpin bumping tables. Why am I mentioning all of this equipment? The report describes this mill as still extant in 1917, but I don’t know when it quit operating. In a future post, I will show images and describe this equipment. Remember, I want to build a model of Black Hawk with some of the mills, so trying to learn about this is important to me.
 
The landscape in this area has been greatly changed since Gilpin Tram days. The highway construction has moved the creek to the west side of the canyon, and has been partially built over the old grade. However, the concrete foundations for the Golden Fleece/Brooklyn/Gunnell Gold M & M Company mill can still be found, now down in the creek bed.  This area is heavily overgrown with underbrush, and in the summer, when the bushes are leafed out, almost impossible to find.  My impression of the ruins was that the shape of the foundation was similar to what was depicted in the Sanborn Insurance Company map.




Today, the site is overgrown, and some concrete foundations can be found back in the brush, and partly in the creek bed


M.P. 0.36     UPPER FULLERTON SPUR
 
This mill apparently had two spurs to it. The upper track was 728 feet long, according to Dan Abbott. Dan also reported that some maps described this spur as having one switchback before it reached the mill building. Over the years, this mill was variously known as the Gunnell Mill, and the Kimball & Fullerton Upper Mill. Mine production records said the mill had a 30-ton ore capacity each 24 hours, and used 20 stamps. William Fullerton was a prominent mining man in the area, and built his first mill in 1867. He also owned the Gunnell Mine for a while, one of the largest producers in the area.




 
This is the 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map showing this mill location. This map shows one spur to it, but other map sources show a lower spur next to the building



Highway construction has obliterated the site, and there are no remains of it today. Also, I have never seen a photo of this mill.
 
There are very few records of this mill’s use. I found newspaper references to the equipment being put into it. But, there is also a 1901 newspaper account saying this was a speculative mill back in the 1860s, and full of never-used equipment!  So what is the real story?





Although most of the grade has vanished due to creek erosion and highway construction, some grade remains can be found on the west bank of Clear Creek, a few small stone rockwalls can be found. This photo is not on the branch, but typical of stone retaining walls supporting the grade found in the area. Note the steel rods set into holes drilled into the rock - this would be a nice detail on a model

 
I think that Fullerton Upper Mill, or the Golden Fleece Mill, could be good candidates for being modeled on my layout. By not having any photos available, this gives me the freedom to build whatever seems logical.
 
I like the name “Golden Fleece”, too, so maybe this mill would be worth modeling. The Sanborn map seems to show this as a one-level structure – there is no obvious upper track  or unloading area.
 
But, the Fullerton Upper Mill is also a good candidate for a model, too. I like the mill size – it cannot be too large, yet it had an upper and lower spur to it!




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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:49 am
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Keith Pashina
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M.P. 037    MARTIN JUNCTION
 
This junction was on what would probably be a switchback to the Upper Fullerton Mill spur, and was very close to this mill.  A Mr. R.L. Martin owned this trackage, and it was used to reach his Martin/Wheeler Mill. R.L. Martin was a prominent mine and mill operator in the area, and he also owned the Gettysburg Mine, and I have seen his name mentioned with several other mining ventures.
 


The Wheeler Mill (photo courtesy of Mark Baldwin Collection). The branch mainline is in the foreground, and the spur goes to two doors on the left that perhaps were used for coal unloading. A trestle can be seen at right margin, and maybe this is part of the second spur to ore unloading bins. Note the unusual shape of this mill, very different from other mills we have seen before in this area


M.P. 0.82    WHEELER MILL (ON MARTIN’S EXTENSION)
 
The Martin/Wheeler Mill was also known as the Climax Mill at one time, according to Dan Abbott. An 1879 Mines Directory also lists this as the “Bostwick and Wheeler Mill.” But, the same report describes this as the “Wheeler Mill, owned by W. Wheeler and D. Sullivan” – maybe this was a different mill, or maybe not!
 
This mill had 25 stamps and outside amalgamating tables, 5 Gilpin County bumping tables, and could handle 37 tons of ore each 24-hours. 
 
I think there were 2 spurs to this mill: one for coal unloading and supplies, and an upper track for presumably ore unloading. Both spurs faced south, so train movements would have required the train to pull the train up to the mill, then work the spurs. Since this branch is on a steep upgrade from the enginehouse, the shays must have put on a good show when switching the mill!
 
I could find no records of shipments or traffic to this mill. By 1917, this mill was reported as being partially dismantled. When the mill quit operating is unknown.





 
Here is the 1895 Sandborn map of this mill



We are fortunate to have a photo of this mill. Mark Baldwin, who also hosts the Gilpin Gold Tram website, gave permission to use this photo. This mill is looks very different from the typical mills in the area – it seems to be a wood-framed building with peaked, shingled roofs.

As a modeling subject, this mill is a candidate for modeling – it is unique (as least based on available photos), relatively small, and comprised of simple shapes.




This is the mill site about 10 years ago. The mill building is not the Wheeler Mill from Gilpin Tram days, and someone built a house next to it. You can see the steep downhill grade from right to left, which must have given shays hauling ore cars up to the mill a good workout










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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:54 am
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Keith Pashina
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This mill was on or near the original Wheeler Mill site. It is a modern structure - maybe built in the 1930s-1950s. Although it postdates the Gilpin Tram era, I find the small size of the mill, its shape, and corrugated metal construction appealing. Maybe this mill should find its way onto my Black Hawk model scene?


Here is another photo of the newer mill near the Wheeler Mill site


This was the top of the newer mill, showing where trucks dumped ore into the mill. I could see adding a trestle, and imagining ore cars discharging ore here, instead.  No equipment remained in this mill, and I have never been able to find any records of who-what-where, either. Nevertheless, this mill building has its attributes!

Keith



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