View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Sat Nov 24th, 2012 04:14 am
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Keith Pashina

 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
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Let's start a short tour of the Gilpin Tram, starting with a couple of gold ore processing mills, and then heading up the mining areas.


We'll start at the Gilpin Tram's enginehouse (or roundhouse, as they referred to it).  This was a converted barn, and this photo shows the first remodeling of the building - there is only one loco stall, but this was later expanded to three.  The trestel in front of the enginehouse curves upgrade around a large rock outcropping - it's the main line up Chase Gulch.  This trestle was eventually filled in.  The wood cribbing seen at lower left is where Clear Creek was located.


This map shows the area we're starting from - the enginehouse and yards are snuggled into the North Branch of Clear Creek, and the mainline takes off  to the lower right, in a general westward direction to reach the mines. The railroad and Clear Creek, along with a wagon road, are closely intertwined at this point.


Today, these bridge abutments remain on the old grade just a short distance from the trestle at the enginehouse seen in the previous photo. 


From about the same site, I pivoted 180 degrees, facing east, and snapped this photo of the Gilpin Tram grade looking towards Clear Creek and the former Hidden Treasure Mill site.


Now, turning around and facing west again, we are standing on the grade, perhaps 150' from the enginehouse.  The mainline veers off to the right, whereas you can see the start of the switchback that dropped down to serve the Hidden Treasure Mill.  That's Darel Leedy, a Denver-area Gilpin Tram fan.


Stepping about 50' west, we can see a better view of the switchback grade to the Hidden Treasure at left.  The grade on the Gilpin Tram was neatly supported by dry-stacked stone walls in many areas.  In the days of hand labor, it was easier to build grade this way then to blast and excavate a shelf out of the rocky hillsides.  This photo also gives a good idea of the steepness of the grades used.

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