View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2012 07:57 pm
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Woodie, Herb, Duane, and Bernd - thanks for the nice comments.  It's fun sharing and discussing this stuff with all of you.


Bernd - you asked about the Polar Star Mill, and noted it doesn't look like most stamp mills we are all familiar with.  The mines around Central City- Black Hawk were first developed early on - this was the general area of the "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush in the mid-1850s.  There were three or more waves of development in the industry, and many of the mills, such as the Polar Star, were built maybe a decade or more before the Gilpin Tram was built. 

These mills still used stamps to crush the ore, amalgamating tables, and other equipment we have used elsewhere.  The Gilpin County stamps were referred to as "slow drop" stamps, running with heavier heads, but a lower rate to crush the ore.  One of the pieces of equipment used was the "Gilpin County Bumping Table", which was bumped back and forth to separate the metal from the waste.  We modelers are more familiar with the Wilfley table, which was developed at a later date, but has been made as kits in several scales.


So, Bernd, that's a long-winded answer to say these are still stamp mills, just a little different.

This is a photo of typical stamp, displayed at the Central City historical society museum.  The  image below shows a Gilpin County Bumping table - kind of a cruder version of the Wilfley table.

So, several mills were built on the low, barn-like appearance such as the Polar Star Mill.  Several other mills looked like the more typical stamp mill construction we are used to seeing.  Besides the Iron City Mill, there were several others.

The Avon Mill was served by the Gilpin Tram - that's the mainline to Quartz Hill in the foreground.

The Oliver Mill was located in Chase Gulch, about 1/2 mile above Black Hawk.  The Gilpin Tram ran on the hillside above the mill, but it may have had a spur serving it at one time.

This small mill still stands, and can be seen next to the highway between Central City and Black Hawk.  This was never served by railroad, but is very modelable size.  This structure was brought as a kit by Wild West Scale Model Builders in multiple scales (sorry Wooide, not in 1:35).



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