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Modeling the Gilpin Tram Part II
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 Posted: Fri Oct 7th, 2016 07:25 pm
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Monte
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Keith,
Another set of great posts. The back ground info related to the Kimber&Fullerton Mill makes the posting add a touch of reality to the history. There were people working the angles.

Good job

Monte



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 Posted: Sat Oct 8th, 2016 03:08 am
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Keith Pashina
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Monte,

Yes, Gilpin County seemed to have its share of those mining wallets instead of gold!  I was recently reading a book on mills in neighboring Boulder County (Prsopecting Our Past - Gold, Silver an Tungsten Mills of Boulder County), and the author (Harrison S. Cobb), writes about several mills that were constructed and equipped, but never operated. Maybe the modern equivalent is building a solar energy plant or something along those lines!

Some Mining Books That I Like

Speaking of books, one arrived today that I had been anticipating for some time:



Secure the Shadow  by Duane Smith and Hank Wieler was published in 1980, and provides  a history of Lachlan McLean, a photographer who lived in Idaho Springs, but photographed the mines and related industries in Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, and other areas. The book has several beautiful photos showing mine surface plant, underground operations, mills, and other related scenes. Although long out of print, the book is inspirational for modeling ideas.


Secure the Shadow is filled with great mining photos

There are many other books that I've purchased, that I find invaluable for ideas on how to model the mines, towns, and mills along the Gilpin Tram. There are many books I have found useful, too many to list here, but here are some my favorites:



Drills and Mills by Will Meyerriecks walks you through the equipment and methods used in mining and milling, and is well illustrated. The explanations are written for the average modeler, helped me learned the how and why of mining in Gilpin County.



Another good book is "The Mining Camps Speak", by Beth and Bill Sagstetter. This book was written to help explain the ruins and remains found around mining camps, but while doing so, provides great illustrations and explanations of mining camp life. This is not limited to the mining operations, but town and camp life, too.





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 Posted: Sat Oct 8th, 2016 03:17 am
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Keith Pashina
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Riches to Rust by Eric Twitty is a well-written account about the rise and fall, and rebirth of many of the mining sites. This is an easily accessible text, that gives a good overview of western mining operations (at least for a casual reader like me, seeking modeling ideas).



Western Scale Models is well known for their kits featuring great metal castings, but they also published several books (although the kit line has been acquired by Wild West Scale Model Builders, I believe the books are still available from Western Scale Models).

One very nice book is "Modeling the Mining Industry: Gold and Silver Stamp Mills", by William Gustafson.  This book was written expressly for modelers, and shows you how to build a typical example of a stamp mill. Although the examples are not specific to Gilpin County, the construction and layout are carefully explained.


A related book, also by Western Scale Models, is William Gustafson's "Modeling the Mining Industry: Compressed Air, its Generation and Use in Mining." This is a great source of information on air compressors and drills in mines. Air compressors were common in the mines I model, and I'll be able to use the information in this book.

This is just a few of the books in my library, but some are less-known than others, and thought I'd share them with you.

Keith


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 Posted: Sat Oct 8th, 2016 04:52 am
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Ken C
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Keith

Have 4 of the 6 books,
If interested in tram line's

Riding the Highwire, Western US tram system's
Tramway Titan, Riblet Co tram line.s around the world.

Mining Engineers and the American West, not much for photo.s but very interesting as to the in's and out's of mining operation's.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 11th, 2016 12:45 am
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Keith Pashina
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Ken,

The book you mentioned, Riding the Highwire, about Western US aerial tramway systems is a great book, too. I used parts of it as inspiration for a fictionalized model of an aerial tram on my HOn30 layout:



There are many other good books out there that provide useful information to modelbuilders for mining operations, and I only mentioned a few of them in my previous posts. Some other books not to overlook are:
  • Blown to Bits In the Mine, a history of explosives used in mining. Read this book and you'll learn all you need to know (except how to actually manufacture it). In a larger scale, I think a neat detail would be to have Giant Powder or dynamite boxes with labels on them. In HO, the detail would be too small and not worth the effort
  • Mine Plant, published by the American Institute of Mining. I have the 1938 edition, and its 371 pages are loaded with drawings showing how all the underground and above ground plant was constructed
  • The Stamp Milling of Gold Ores, by T. A. Rickard in 1897. This is a the reference on stamp mill construction, and well illustrated. I purchased my copy as a PDF on a CD from a seller, but this book can be found at many locations. I'll be using information from this book as we go ahead with a closer look at the many ore mills in Black Hawk
  • Mining Engineer's Handbook, by Robert Peele. I have the 1941 edition, and copies of this are easy to find. Like the Mine Plant book, it is full of drawings accompanying the text, and gives good info on mining operations. A fun book to browse
Keith

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 Posted: Tue Oct 11th, 2016 06:22 pm
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Ken C
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Keith

A very credible model of the tram interior

Two books, I have enjoyed going through

Cornish Explosives Deals with the production of explosives, plant layout and equipment used.

The Metallurgy of the Common Metals. (1909) process's covered are for Gold, Silver, Iron, Lead, Zinc & Copper.

Another excellent source for information is
The American Historical Building Survey's site, no books,
but write up's, photos and plans for various industrial
sites. As an example the Silver King lower terminal that
was in Park City shows plans of the structure and interior
details for the tram line terminal.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 11th, 2016 09:27 pm
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Salada
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Hello Keith,

With no runaround tracks north of the loco shed , locos & cars presumably worked as "push-pull" consists ?.

When you get round to it I will be interested to see some ore separation equipment photos. I've never seen an amalgamation table nor a head of stamps with an amalgamation mortar box. Presumably a "Gilpin Bumper" was a local version of the standard Wilfley table ?

Regards, Michael

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 Posted: Tue Oct 25th, 2016 04:51 am
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Keith Pashina
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The past group of posts looked at the Gilpin Tram’s enginehouse and yards, the warming house, and up the Fullterton Mill Branch to look at the Golden Fleece, Fullerton Upper, and Wheeler Mills.




 The above image is looking north, and shows the Hidden Treasure Mill. In the background, the warming house can be seen


THE HIDDEN TREASURE MILL
 
The next map, photos, and text, are partially reposted from the 70th Post, November 23, 2012, in the thread, “Modeling the Gilpin Tram”(Part 1).




 This map is an enlargement of a 1920s C&S Black Hawk trackage map, from the Colorado Historical Society


If you have been following this thread over the past 4 years, we previously checked out the upper spur to the Hidden Treasure Mill. On the mainline up Chase Gulch, about 150’ from the enginehouse, this spur branched off from the main to a short switchback. This spur also passed next to the Midas Mill, but this mill appears to have been closed down before the Gilpin Tram was built.  Sanborn Fire maps from 1900 note the structure was closed and dismantled by then.  The Midas Mill had 20 stamps at one time.




 The Midas Mill at right, and the tram switchback can be seen on the left side of this now-abandoned mill. In the foreground, the lower leg of the switchback to the Hidden Treasure can be seen - note how the track curves from left to right



Then, there is a very short spur, which appears to be at most 1 or 2 ore cars in length, next to a structure that may or may not be an ore bin. There seems to be a small mine operating in this area – between the Midas Mill and what may an ore storage shed.  In old photos, you can barely make out a harp switchstand to this short spur.




From the same enlarged photo, the ore bin-like structure can be seen at left, with a very short Gilpin Tram spur leading to it. Note the harp switchstand. This spur does not show up in any map I have ever seen



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 Posted: Tue Oct 25th, 2016 04:58 am
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Keith Pashina
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This is where the switchback turned left to reach the Hidden Treasure Mill. The mainline up Chase Gulch climbs upgrade to the right


Past this mystery ore bin, the switchback continued down to a short tail track, and then down to the Hidden Treasure Mill.  This spur then crossed Clear Creak, the wagon road, and the Gilpin Tram line from the enginehouse down into Black Hawk town. Ore cars were switched down the switchback and unloaded from this spur, which  was inside the mill.
 
So, going back to the enginehouse, we’ll head down the eastern track, which extends southward through Black Hawk, to the very end of track at the Iron City Mill. This track crossed Clear Creek to the east bank, and passed by the warming house (discussed in the 8th Post of this thread).
 


Once again, one of those pesky Gilpin Tram shays is partly blocking our view of the Hidden Treasure Mill. This train would be taking empty ore cars back towards the yard area, just north of the enginehouse. Note the 3' gauge C&S car on the short spur behind the train


M.P. 0.22     HIDDEN TREASURE MILL SPUR No. 1
 
Continuing on, the track reached the Hidden Treasure Mill.  This mill was also known as the New California Mill – I think this was either owned by or associated with the mining interests that operated the California and Hidden Treasure Mines on Quartz Hill.
 
The Hidden Treasure/New California Mill was, at one time, an important shipper on the Gilpin Tram. This mill at its peak had 75 stamps, amalgamating tables, and Gilpin County Bumping Tables.  This mill was also the furthest upstream that the 3' Colorado & Southern reached. 
 
As years went by, the mill seemed to have been downgraded, and its capacity reduced. The Economic Geology USGS report noted that the mill had formerly had 40 stamps, and now was reduced to 10 stamps.





Here is additional trackage detail at the Hidden Treasure Mill




Here is an enlargement of a previous photo. There is dual gauge 2' and 3' track at the bottom center - the spur to the right is 3' gauge only. The dual gauge continues on the left side, next to the creek, and the dual gauge ends at the north end of the mill. The bridge used by the Gilpin Tram to unload cars can be seen. Also, note there are two wagon bridges crossing the creek to the mill in this area







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 Posted: Tue Oct 25th, 2016 05:03 am
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Keith Pashina
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The C&S actually had two spurs here. One spur branched off to the east (right), and may have been used for loading ore concentrates, supplies, and possibly unloading coal. The wood-framed shed on the east side of this spur is identified as a “Tailings House” on the 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map.
 
The other track was dual gauge, 2' and 3' gauge and passed by the west (creek)side of the mill. The C&S track ended here. See those big doors in about the middle of the left wall of the Hidden Treasure Mill?  Those were used to unload coal from C&S coal cars into the mill.  
 
That large box-like structure at the upper right houses a water wheel to power the mill.  Many mills along Clear Creek used water wheels to power the mills during periods of high water.  When water flow was low, they reverted to steam power.




There is no train in this photo, but a C&S gondola is parked on the short spur by the Tailings House

 
Traffic records for this mill seem to be non-existent, and I have no information regarding how traffic ebbed and flowed over the years.  A report, “Summary of Mineral Industry Activities in Colorado”, published 1922, notes that no mills were operating in Gilpin County by that time.




 The 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map gives a lot of detail for this mill. At this time, the mill was at its largest capacity - 75 stamps, to feed the then-prospering California and Hidden Treasure Mines on Quartz Hill. There is a lot of activity in a relatively small area!


Today, the site is a wooded slope, and I have not found any artifacts indicating a mill was ever located here!




Time marches on, and nature rebounds. This is looking at the same area as some of the previous photos, and trees cover the former mill site. The road is roughly on the former railroad grade



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