View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 08:39 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 780

Rickard's book that Chriss mentioned is a great reference, and I recommend tracking it down. I'll post some information gleaned from that book, and a few other references about milling. This will be an opportunity to either dazzle you with my brilliance, or baffle you with B.S.!  I'm not a mining engineer, and have no connection to that industry, so my interpretations are definitely that of a hobbyist.



100 years ago today, business was not very good for the Gilpin Tram. This once-prosperous two-footer used to make its owners a profit each year, but those days were fast disappearing. 

Whereas 1913 saw a small surplus revenue of $10,238, 1914 was an ominous year – the tramway lost $9,750 on its operations. The troubling trend continued into 1915 – the tramway lost $10,437 that year.  1916 was looking worse yet! 

The prospects for any increase in traffic were none too good, either. By 1916, only the Polar Star Mill in Black Hawk was custom treating ores on a regular basis. Ongoing expansion by the Newhouse Tunnel (which exited over in Idaho Springs, and we know it today as the Argo Tunnel) was now taking over more and more ore haulage from the producing mines in the district. Already, the tunnel had tapped former major shippers on the tramway, such as the Frontenac, Aduddell, Saratoga, Old Town, and others, with more mines being reached each year.

What had started out as a European war in 1914 precipitously grown, and now seemingly engulfed the whole world. This impacted mining operations, too. Mining production had started a gradual decline in 1904, and dropped off alarmingly in 1914:
Year     Mine Production
1904    $1,707,257
1905    $1,764,283
1906    $1,435,842
1907    $1,283,855
1912    $1,330,796
1913    $1,035,746
1914    $  770,655
1915    $  709,605
1916    $  723,146
Bondholders were getting impatient – payments on the bonds were coming due, and where was this money going to come from?
So, what will happen to the Gilpin Railroad? Will it survive? Will there be a surge of new traffic and opening of new mines? Time will tell…[url=javascript:emoticon(':bang:', 'images/emoticons/banghead_125.gif')]document.write('[/url]');


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