View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 08:49 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
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

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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