View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Wed Oct 26th, 2016 07:39 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Some Notes Modeling the Hidden Treasure Mill

The Hidden Treasure Mill would be a very interesting, but challenging, mill to model. It is quite sizeable, and HO scale, would occupy a space of about 16” x 18”. On a model, there are the main tracks to Black Hawk that cross under, and perpendicular to, the upper spur entering the mill for unloading ore. On a model layout, building two levels of track in this configuration takes up a lot of space, and I have never figured out how to build this mill into one of my layouts. Maybe one of you readers can include this mill in yours.
Studying the photos provides a lot of interesting details, which if modeled, would give a mill model a lot of character and interest.

Looking at the previous photo, there are many interesting details to be seen, several of which would add some real charactor to a model. Some of these highlights are flagged in the sketch above

On the west, or creekside of the mill, enlarging the previous photo reveals some interesting details. In the center of the stone wall, is a pair of doors - one large and one short. These doors were used to unload coal from C&S gondolas into the mill. There appears to be a wooden platform that may have swung down to bridge the gap between the doors and the gondola. 

I don't know how the two railroads handled coal loads being unloaded at the mill - the C&S had to spot the gondola here, to be adjacent to the boilers, but then blocked the 2' gauge tram access to Black Hawk. There may have been some informal cooperation between the two railroads to keep the traffic flowing!

At the east end (hill side) of the mill, a large enclosure looms over the mill. This enclosure housed the large waterwheel, used in the spring and other times when there was good water flow. This was an unusually large wheel for the area, and I believe this is an overshot wheel (the water runs onto the top of the wheel, not the bottom, to turn it). This enclosure may be covered with tarpaper - the exterior looks "wrinkly".

Note the water flume entering at the backside on the right. This flume is supported on a spindly trestle.

There are several details here that would bring a model to life.

First, note the very simple wagon bridge over the creek at lower left - mere planks and no guardrails.

Next, note the variety of building construction in the mill, indicating the mill was built in phases. The main mill structure is stone, but the addition on the south side (between the spur and mainline), appears to be a tin clad wood addition. This is neatly painted, and the window trim outlined in white (or other light color). The lean-to like building at right appears to be over wood planks, that may or may not have been painted. This structure was identified as a tailings house - more on that later, when I'll discuss ore processing.

Third, note the clutter around the mill. There are timbers, what look like boxes and barrels, and other unidentified items.

Last, note the doorway at the southwall of the stone building - there is a wooden entryway built out from the wall, probably to help block the cold winter winds out of the warm and moist mill interior.

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