View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Sat Nov 24th, 2012 04:32 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Now, let's explore the switchback grade down to the Hidden Treasure Mill.  Around 1900, the Hidden Treasure Mill looked like this:

This was, at one time, an important shipper on the Gilpin Tram. This mill had 75 stamps, amalgamating tables, and Gilpin County Bummping Tables.  This mill was also the furthest upstream the 3' Colorado & Southern reached.  They had  a spur off to the left, and also went alongside the mill, next to the creek.  This was all dual gauge track - 2' and 3' gauge snaking downstream to serve the mills. 

See those big doors in about the middle of the left wall of the Hidden Treasure?  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.

At upper left, that is the Giplin Tram's bridge over it's mainline where ore cars entered to dump into the ore bins.

Here's that map again, zooming in on the Hidden Treasure mill area.  I'd like to model this scene on my layout someday.

The Midas Mill was next to the grade, but I believe it was closed down before the Gilpin Tram was built.  Sanborn Fire maps from 1900 note the the structure was closed and dismantled by then.  The Midas Mill had 20 stamps at one time.

Here's a photo of the Midas Mill when it was abandoned.  Near the bottom edge, you can see the Gilpin Tram's lower switchback curving into the Hidden Treasure Mill - note the simple bridge that spans over a wagon road, Clear Creek, and the tram's own mainline.

Here is another image showing at bottom left the switch at the bottom of the switchback.  If you squint a bit, you can barely make out a harp swithstand.  This is all 2' gauge track in this photo.

In about the center of this photo, there is another Gilpin Tram spur curving off to the left.  This spur does not show on any maps, but obviously existing at one time.  I do not know what that structure is next to the spur, either.  There seems to be a small mine operating in this area - maybe it was an ore storage shed.

Last, here's a neat shot of Gilpin Tram shay #2 heading up to the enginehouse with empty ore cars from some of the mills down in Black Hawk.

In future posts, we'll poke around Chase Gulch and Winnebago Hill.


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