Freerails Home 
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Narrow Gauge > Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.I

Freerails IS ACCEPTING new Members ... To join Freerails ... See how to Register as a Member in the 'Joining Freerails' Forum

 Moderated by: . Topic closed
AuthorPost
Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Does anyone else on this group model the Gilpin Tram?  I've been intrigued by this little line since I first saw some of the old grades back in the mid-1980s.  After some research, I learned how the 2' gauge Gilpin Tram served numerous mines, hauling gold ore down to mills in Black Hawk, and coal and other supplies back up to the mines.

So, about 20 years ago, I began modeling the Gilpin Tram in HOn30.  This small scalle has allowed me to model a decent amount of railroad in a fairly small space. 




The photo above shows the Gilpin Tram enginehouse, which was modifed by the railroad from a horse barn.  I had an article written up on this in the Gazette in 1989.  The small size fits into the layout pretty well.  That little structure out in front was a storage building for oil and other combustibles.


This iteration of my layout did not have room for a wye like the prototype did, so I put a small turntable out behind the enginehouse.   The turntable is a modified Peco N scale model sold at one time by B & F Hobbies, with a custom motorizing kit.  I purchased it about 20 years ago and it still runs great.  The shay locomotive is a modified Atlas N scale mechanism.


The focus of my modeling is to have operating sessions recreating the switching to the various mines.  Here is a morning shot showing Shay #4 heading up through Clear Creek Canyon (north fork) with a couple of empty ore cars, a water car, and caboose.  The water car was used to haul water to those mines that had a poor water source - the Gilpin Tram filled the tank car up at one of their water tanks, and dropped it off at the mine for a $10 charge.

I'll post more photos tomorrow - gotta go to bed now!

Keith

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
Very nice, Keith.... Very nice indeed.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Mike-I am very familiar with Keith's work. It has inspired me for years. The Gilpin Tram is one of my "first loves" in narrow gauge and then I "discovered" the Silver City, Pinos Altos, & Mogollon RR which used the Gilpin Tram's first 2 Shays. Keith has published plans and his models in the "paper" press for years and even did an article with plans for my beloved SCPA&M. Get ready for some beautiful photos, we are lucky indeed to have Keith here on Freerails.

Woodie

Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 624
Status: 
Offline
Echo what Woodie said. Keith has done some great articles on the Gilpin, including the ore cars and how he made his own up in resin.

The Gilpin was the first mining railroad I considered for modeling fodder and since it was 2-foot went along nicely with my addiction to the Maine railroads. I just didn't feel I could do it justice. Then I saw the Mogollon and what Woodie did with that and so decided to alter my plans and freelance a railroad for an actual mining company that existed in the Big Bend area of Texas.

Great to have you long for the ride, Keith, and looking forward to more eye candy. 

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Superb work, Keith.

Watch out hanging around here though--Woodie will have you modeling much bigger things if you don't resist!

Just kidding!




Herb 

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Herb-Keith hangs out with legends of narrow gauge history, not the likes of blacksmiths like me! However, Keith wants to know about others modeling the Gilpin Tramway, here are a few things that I have.




From left to right-Gilpin Tram water car #300, GT ore car-phase one, GT Shay #1, and GT snowplow #02. While these pieces are owned by the Mogollon Railway, they are still somewhat faithful models of Gilpin equipment. The water car is now MRy #301, ore car is #69, loco is still #1 as it would have been on the Silver City RR, and plow is GT (Gila Tramway) #02. So there, I do indeed have Gilpin equipment in New Mexico.

BTW-the water car and plow were built from Keith's plans.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Mike, James, and Woodie:

Thank you for the nice comments on the Gilpin Tram postings. The Freerails group is a great group of modelers, and contains some of the most creative modeling I have seen.

Woodie, in your last post, you posted photos of your Gilpin roster. The loco is beautiful, as are the cars. The water tank car looks escpecially intriguing - I'd like to see more.

Gilpin Tram's little snowplow is sure "cute", if I'm allowed to say that.

And, there is an almost-prototype connection between the Mogollon in our model world - the real Gilpin Tram sold two shays to the Silver City, Pinos Altos, and Mogollon Ry, so who's to say more stock couldn't have been sold to the neighboring Mogollon Ry? Woodie, thank you for posting the photo.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
OK Keith, these are for you:







MRy #3, Rosa has spotted the water car on the smelter turntable. You can see both sides. As you might note, there are a couple of metal patches on this car since it had rusty holes when acquired from the Gilpin Tram. The car was renumbered 301 since the management wanted it that way.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

That's an awesome car model. I like the used and weatherbeaten feel of the model - the hose is an effective little detail, also.

MR #3 has nice proportions for a small tank engine, but it looks like the cab needs a new paint job :)

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I have always liked the mining industry, and it's relationships with railroads.  In Minnesota, my home state, the mining industry means iron mining, and the mighty Mesabi, Vermilion, and Cuyuna iron ranges.  These were all served, at least in more modern times, by standard gauge railroads.  It would be a challenge to model them, because nearly everything about them was massive.


The Tower-Soudan Mine was on the Vermilion Range, and might be considered typical for the industry.  I'd need a  lot of space if I chose to do it in HO.

I became interested in the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Way up north on the Keweenaw Peninsula, numerous shaft mines mined the copper ore.  This range was mined from about the mid-1800s to about 1965.  In the early days, there were many narrow gauge railroads around.  Most of these were standard-gauged early on, but the 3' gauge Quincy & Torch Lake ran until 1945.


The Quincy Mining Company owned the 3' gauge line, and it was used to haul copper rock from the mines at the top of the hill about 6 miles downhill to the stamp mills on the shore of a bay off of Lake Superior.  This was a fascinating prototype, and there still is a lot to see today.  However, this was a large industry - the Quincy Shaf/Rock house, if built in HO, would be about 3' tall and 3' long - too big for me to model.


I modeled this area in HOn30, but had to greatly condense the models to fit my layout space.  This is a photo of a mine shaft/rock house I built in 1982.  I had a lot of fun with it, but this changed once I was exposed to the Gilpin Tram.


This is a photo taken about 1900, and is looking at mines served by the Gilpin Tram.  Most of the mines in this photo were served by spurs and branches off of the Gilpin Tram main line.  Numerous switchbacks were needed to reach many of the mines.  The mine industry here was very much modelable.  The mines were reasonably small, close to one another, had interesting architecture.  The Gilpin Tram more or less made a large half-circle around the towns of Black Hawk and Central City.  The mines and railroad were often perched up on the hillside above town areas - nice and compact for a model.  In the photo above, that is the outskirts of Central City in the foreground.


This photo is taken from about the same vantage point as the 1900-era photo. You can still see many of the mine ruins, and most of the railroad grade is still there.  Like many mining towns, the trees have really grown up once mining halted.


Most of the mines survive only in old photos - there are only a very few left of the hundreds that once were in the region.  Here is one of the old mines - the Frontenac Mine at the Gilpin Tram's original end of track.  At the left edge, the Gilpin Tram track ran under the ore loading bins.  Some friends and I found some old Gilpin RR ties laying around this area about 10 years ago.  Since this photo was taken, a lot of the backside has collapsed under the weight of snowy winters, but there is still stuff to see. 

 

Mines like the Frontenac appealed to me, because I could fit scale or near-scale sized models on my layout.  The many branches and spurs were excellent to model for operations - my preference is switching layouts, and that is basically what the Gilpin Tram was.  So, the decision was easy to switch to modeling the Gilpin Tram beginning about 1990 or so.  Well, there it is, a very long-winded explanation on why I chose to model the Gilpin Tramway, circa 1902.

Dallas_M
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Oct 30th, 2012
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA
Posts: 258
Status: 
Offline
Neat stuff! Following along ... makes me "home sick" for Colorado ... keep going!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
THe Gilpin Tram's mainline from Black Hawk climbed up through Chase Gulch, edged along on the side of Winnebago Hill, and eventually reached Gunnell Hill. Located just above Central City, Gunnell Hill was one of the early big gold ore producing mining districts.  Several prominent mines were located here, including the Gunnell, Grand Army, Whiting, Concrete, and Grand Central.  To serve these mines, the mainline twisted and turned around the brow of the hill, and several spurs and switchbacks to serve these mines.


Taken from an early 1900s promotional booklet, this image shows three of the mines on Gunnell Hill.  The trestle in bottom center is the Gunnel Mine's ore dump trestle extending over the Gilpin Tram mainline.


The image above shows a different perspective of the Gunnell Hill area.  With all this activity in this area, I couldn't resist modeling some of these mines.  Starting in about 1998, I fitted in what I called the Gunnell Mine district in an area about 30" by 60".  I fit in 4 mine spurs and a switchback to models of the Grand Army, Whiting, and Grand Central mines.  I intended to model the Gunnell Mine, too, but never got it finished before I moved and dismantled the layout.


The Grand Central Mine is a well-known prototype, and has been manufactured as a kit by several firms over the years.  I built this model from a Taurus Products kit.  Here, shay loco #1 is delivering a coal car to the Grand Central while the rest of its train sits on the mainline.


On another day, shay #3 is easing 3 loaded ore cars down the switchback from the Gunnell and Whiting mines.  The Grand Central mine can be seen in the left foreground.


Taken from a slightly differnt angle, the Whiting Mine can be seen.  Like the protoype, my layout was built with steep grades and sharp curves.


The Whiting Mine is seen at the rear left, and the Grand Army mine in the right foreground.  The GT caboose sits on the mainline.  Shay #1 can be seen crawling down the switchback from the Gunnell Mine with an empty coal car.


Here is an overall view of the Grand Army mine.  The spur at left serves the ore loading bins, and there is another spur, not shown, for unloading coal into the bins at the rear of the mine.



The caboose and flatcar are sitting on the mainline, and there are two loaded ore cars to be picked up from the Grand Army line.  The loco must be working the switchback to the Whiting Mine while the rest of its train waits.

We'll halt our tour for the day, and next time, maybe we'll follow trains as they head down Chase Gulch to the mills.

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Welcome aboard, Keith! Great stuff! You're layout looks terrific. The colors and textures of the terrain are very realistic, and I love all the mining structures. Has your layout been in the Gazette?

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith-

"Mines like the Frontenac appealed to me, because I could fit scale or near-scale sized models on my layout.  The many branches and spurs were excellent to model for operations - my preference is switching layouts, and that is basically what the Gilpin Tram was.  So, the decision was easy to switch to modeling the Gilpin Tram beginning about 1990 or so."

More than reason enough!!

Herb 

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
Are there any good books about the Gilpin Tram?

Mike

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Mike-indeed! GILPIN GOLD TRAM by M H Ferrel is the "standby", THE GILPIN ERA by Abbott & McCoy is really nice (and expensive), THE GILPIN TRAM by Hollenback is an old, little book (the first one), a piece in LITTLE RAILWAYS OF THE WORLD by Shaw-along with the SCPA&M, many articles in the NG&SL Gazette, most written by Keith Pashina, and I am sure there are more out there. Well, you just had to ask! I'll bet that Keith knows about some more.

Woodie

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
Wow.. Everything I wanted to know about the Gilpin Tram but was afraid to ask. I think I'll see if I can find the one by Mallory Hope Ferrel to begin with.

I gotta start looking for 2' gauge stuff now that I'm officially a 1:35n2 modeler. ;)

Mike

smokebox
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
HIYA...

Great looking layout and rolling stock!!
I agree, the Gilpin and the Maine 2 footer lines are on my list of to model lines!!
When I get to the point that I can start a layout I plan on combining the two and moving them to the mid west.
Someplace between Louisville, KY and Saint Louis, MO.
If I plant my line in the Missouri area I can mine lead.
Kentucky.... probably red clay mud...
I plan on the Gilpin rolling stock for mining and the Maine lines for passenger and fast freight...

Smokebox

smokebox
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
HIYA...

If I had to make a choice I would say get Abbott/Mccoy 's book, the Gilpin Railroad Era... Big book for the bucks and much more information than the other. Both have lots and lots of pictures.
Just my 35 cents of advice...

Smokebox

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Welcome to freerails-I enjoyed your article on the sc pa & m and am looking forward to looking over your pics when I can get a computer. (Cant see them wAmcurrentCant on II-phone, on vacation mapping mining railroads, I. E . Helvetia ng any hackberry)

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
OK, here's a link for GILPIN GOLD TRAM:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=ferrell&tn=gilpin+gold+tram

Check it out...

                Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Ray, Woodie, Smokebox, Mike,and Duane:

Nice to hear from all of you. Yes, modeling the Gilpin Tram is a lot of fun, there is a surprising amount of information out there on a railroad that was rather short and didn't run all that long.

I second Smokebox - the best overall reference is the Sundance book, "The Gilpin Tram Era". This has the most amount of information on the GT in one place. Also, Sundance has ceased publication, so when this book is gone, it's gone.

Ferrell's "Gilpin Gold Tram" book is a good reference, too. It is lacking compared to the Sundance book because it was published about 35 years before Sundance's, and a lot more research and information was dug up over the years.

Hollenback published a nice book in the 1950s on the Gilpin Tram. This book is not that hard to get - I have seen some go for $10. I suggest checking out ABEBook Exchange on the internet, or other used book sellers - you might be surprised.

Some other sources of information are:

1. Abbott, Dan. “Colorado Shays, Part 1: Introduction and the Shays of the Gilpin Tramway.” in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, March – April, 1995. pp. 38 - 42

2. Aldrich, John K. Ghosts of Gilpin County, Centennial Graphics, Lakewood, Colorado, 1989.

3. Brown, Robert L. Central City and Gilpin County, Then and Now, The Caxton Printers, Caldwell, Idaho, 1994. Pages 166 – 172.

4. Brunk, Harry W. Up Clear Creek on the Narrow Gauge, Benchmark Publications Ltd., Los Altos, California, 1990. Note: This is the reference for structure plans in Black Hawk. Also, the "More Up Clear Creek" book continues the story.

5. Cox, Terry. Inside the Mountains – A History of Mining Around Central City, Colorado, Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado, 1989.

6. Crea, Joe. Mines and Mills in the Colorado Rockies, videotape published by Digital Video Images, Inc., Littleton, Colorado, 2000. Note: This video explains and tours many of the surviving mines that were served by the Gilpin Tram.

7. Crittenden, H. Temple. “The Two Footers: The Gilpin Railroad,” in RAILWAY AND LOCOMOTIVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN Number 57, January, 1942. Pages 94 – 98. Note: A good summary of the railroad history, worth the search for a copy.

8. Digerness, David S. The Mineral Belt – Volume III – Georgetown – Mining – Colorado Central Railroad, Sundance Publications, Ltd., Silverton, Colorado, 1982. Pages 290 – 412. Note: These pages have some great views of downtown Black Hawk trackage.

9. Ferrell, Mallory Hope, “The Gilpin Ore Cars – Western 2 Footers”, in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, September – October, 1998, pp. 30 – 35

10. Fire insurance Maps in the Library of Congress – Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company. Checklist is compiled by the Reference and Bibliography Section, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1981. (1885, 1890 and 1895 editions). Note: these maps can be found from many sources. I was able to obtain photocopies from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection.

11. Gilpin Railroad Quarterly, the quarterly publication of the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society. Issues 1 (August, 1999) to 50 (May, 2012). This publication ceased with the 50th issue, but there is a ton of information here.

12. Granruth, Alan. Mining Gold to Mining Wallets (Central City, Colorado 1859 – 1999), self-published, Central City, Colorado, 1999. Note: Has good background information on Central City and a little bit on the mines.

13. Hauck, Cornelius W. Narrow Gauge to Central and Silver Plume: Colorado Rail Annual Number Ten, Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden, Colorado, 1972. Pages 104, 112 – 115. Note: There are some interesting photos here.

14. Pashina, Keith A. “The Gilpin Line – Snapshots in Time, Part 1,” in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, March – April, 1993, pp. 44 – 49

15. Pashina, Keith A. “The Gilpin Line – Snapshots in Time, Part 2,” in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, May - June, 1993, pp. 38 - 42

16. Pashina, Keith A. “Iron Horses in a Barn, The Gilpin Tramway Co. Engine House,” in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, September – October, 1999, pp. 52 – 57

19. Pearce, Sarah and Pfaff, Christine. Guide to Historic Central City & Black Hawk, Cordillera Press, Inc., Evergreen, Colorado, 1987. Note: A picture book with the history of several town and industry buildings explained.

20.Crea, Joe. Gilpin Ghost, videotape published by Digital Video Images, Inc., Littleton, Colorado, 2000. Note: this video covers the Gilpin Tram virtually from end to end, and contains many previously unpublished views of the area industries. This presumably is also available in DVD.

There are a few more not listed above, that have some good photos. These are in books such as Ferrell's "Narrow Gauge Country", or others I cannot recall their names right now.

All of the sources listed above, with the possible exception of sources #14-#16, have impeccable information in them.

Keith

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
Well, that a lot more than I bargained for with that simple question. I haven't bought anything yet so I'll see if I can find a copy of that Sundance book. If I do decide to base my modeling on the Gilpin it will only be loosely. I do like it I just don't want to confine myself to only stuff that was found on the Gilpin. I'm one of those guys that likes every damn thing... I know, I'd be better off with a little more focus but I've lived with myself long enough to know that ain't in the cards.

Thanks for the wealth of information, Keith!

Mike

Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 624
Status: 
Offline
Mike,

I really like the Gilpin also but like other mining roads too. That was what helped me make the decision to freelance where I could use bits of what I felt would look really good. It helps not being tied to one road.

In that manner I'm creating the prototype for the Chisos Mining Tram. The Chisos Mining Company actually did exist in the Big Bend of Texas but had no railroad. Now they do.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Mike and Jim -

Yes, there's a lot of information available on the Gilpin Tram - I just got caught up in the fun of researching to see what I could find, and several years later, it amounted to a pile of stuff.

I also like to freelance models. Although the Gilpin Tram offers a lot of switching operations, and had an interesting roster, the traffic was limited to mostly ore, some coal, and a little bit of supplies, water and the occasional excursion.

The roster is pretty simple, too: 100+ ore cars, 4 flat cars, about 9 coal cars, 6 excursion cars, water car, snowplow, and 3 cabooses. This can be both liberating (not a big roster to attempt to model), but at times confining. I also like to model passenger traffic, shipments in boxcars, and all kinds of narrow gauge equipment that the Gilpin Tram never had.

My solution was to model equipment and scenes based on the Gilpin Tram, but on the same layout, model other traffic, cars, and places the real tram never had or went to. I adopted the name of a paper railroad - one proposed but never built, which would have been called the Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park Railway. This vaguely- proposed line never had a specific route mapped out, so in my world it goes and does what I want it to. So, the passenger rolling stock, boxcars, reefers, etc. are all lettered for the good old G, JP, and MP Ry.

Keith

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
That's pretty cool, Keith. That kind of ad libing is what I've come to appreciate in a lot of the modeling I see here at Freerails. It's not prototypical per say but not out of place either.

If you might have noticed just today I caught another bug. I'll be modeling 60cm gauge railroad the US built in France during WWI for the foreseeable future. At this point, that could be a year or two or the rest of my life depending on how long that subject matter drives my imagination. That said, I may take a break from time to time do some other stuff.

Thanks again for passing along all that info. I'm sure many others that read Freerails will appreciate the effort you put into that post.

Cheers,
Mike

Last edited on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 06:07 pm by mwiz64

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The Colorado Historical Society's archives have 4 original journal books for the Gilpin Tram, besides containing tons of information on traffic on the line, there are 4 drawings of bridges that were to be replaced or built. Three of them seem to match locations that can be seen in photos.  One of them doesn't look like anything in old photos nor matched up to any known location.  That fourth, mystery bridge became a model, in fact, an exact scale replica of it!


The shay is a plastic superstructure over an N scale Rapido switcher mechanism.  The excursion car is an old Joeuf car purchased in 1972.


Chase Gulch on the real GT was a narrow, twisty gulch that the GT climbed through stiff grades and sharp curves.  On my layout, it was the scenic section between the upper and lower levels.    The bridges are freelanced, and just looked "right" in this location.




 

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

60cm railways sound like an awesome prototype. What scale will you model in?

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
1:35 scale is my intention. That way I can use Bachmann On30 stuff as a base point. Take a look at the thread I started (and continued to post it all by myself) in the Proto Photo forum called "Real WW1 Narrow Gauge in France Video".

I'm pretty fired up about it. I'm not the modeler you are at this stage of the game but I hope to approach that quality of modeling as I go.

Thanks for asking!
Mike

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith

I petty much LOVE the Gilpin stuff.
Your referance list is SUPERB, thanks !

Have seen the Gilpin bridge drawings...
...your models look like a great picture of 'the gulch' !

Cheers

Si.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for the comments. The Gilpin Tram line certainly had its oddities. Most of their bridges were rock-filled wood cribbing, with a short span, usually less than 12'. A trestle is an oddball for them, but it sure looks "narrow-gaugish".

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
While the Gilpin had small "bridges", the Silver City NG had "trestles" the longest of which was this one over Pinos Altos Creek in NM.




This one was over 250' long and 24' high over the creek. Imagine little GT #1 and ore cars crossing this. It only lasted 2 years, was burned down just before abandonment.

I trust Keith won't get upset by this hijacking of his thread but I think he will understand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I love that SIlver City, Pinos Altos & Mogollon bridge you built. How long is your 35n2 model? It must be several feet long. Also, did you cut all the lumber for it yourself? If you purchased the wood at a hobby shop you must have made the owner very happy!

Thanks for posting the photo.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-it is just one bent short but is a bit over 6 feet long. I cut most of the wood (from the LHS) but made Mr. Grandt very happy for selling me all those 800 plus #16 NBW's. Every year I hose it down with Thompson's Water Seal and it has been outside for about 4 or 5 years now. I used Mr. Tufford's plans in the old LID magazine.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You must still have nightmares about drilling holes and putting in N-B-W castings! That is a very fine model and looks great in your photos.

I never thought about it before, but you have some interesting maintenance issues with an outdoor layout that I haven't thought about before. I guess it makes your model all that more prototypical.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Since we have been talking bridges lately, I thought I could share some photos of the prototype bridges on the Gilpin Tram.


The Gilpin Tram crossed many small gullies and gulches along its 26+ miles of trackage.  There were no large rivers to cross or tall trestles - the Gilpin Tram preferred to be built low-budget and following the contours of the mountainsides - any fills were small and any rock cuts very modest.


The photo above is Shay #2 pulling empties up through Prosser Gulch, across its small bridge with cribbed timber approaches.


This is a sketch of bridge drawings I hand-copied from original journals from the 1890s, of notes on bridge construction details. 


Chase Gulch was a tortuous climbe from the yards at Black Hawk to the mining districts.  Along the way was this Gilpin bridge, basically wood cribbing with a culvert-like opening in the middle.


This is the same bridge site as in the photo above - the wood cribbing was replaced with this stone structure set a little further back up the gully.  That's friend Darel Leedy on the bridge, to give you an idea of how big this bridge/culvert is.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
As we continue the "Gilpin Bridge Saga", here's a 1890's vintage photo of the bridge near the head of Chase Gulch.  Here, the mainline made a nearly 180 degree turn across the gulch to continue its climb up the backside of Winnebago Hill.

What I really like is that the bridge builders took advantage of the natural rock shelf, and built right above a small waterfall.  This would make a fine model!


The mainline curvers off the left edge of the photo, and the diverging track is the Tucker Mill branch.

 

The photo below shows the typical Gilpin Tram bridge abutment for the wood cribbing. Small logs were laid up, and filled with a mixture of dirt and rock.  This particular one was on Chase Gulch, almost directly uphill of the C & S ore transfer chutes in Black Hawk.




A detail I'd like to model someday would be a wood culvert coming out of a rock retaining wall, such as this one, also in Chase Gulch, near the Smith Road crossing.  That is Dan Abbott in the photo - he's the author of The Gilpin Tram Era by Sundance Publications, editor of the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society newsletter, and author of tons of other narrow gauge articles.


Finally, because we haven't beaten this subject to death quite yet, here is a bridge site over a small creek bed along the Banta Mine Branch.  I like the pastoral scene here.  This mine branch is a lot more woodsy than most of the terrain that the Gilpin Tram ran through.


What I have been trying to show in these photo posts was the simple nature of the bridges on the Gilpin Tram - a small bridge could be built from small twigs and dirt to create a realistic model, or a carved plaster rock wall with a stripwood culvert could easily be made to duplciate some of these scenes.

Milocomarty
Registered


Joined: Thu Nov 1st, 2012
Location: Borne, Netherlands
Posts: 1003
Status: 
Offline
Great proto pics Keith :2t:

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Outstanding, Keith! :glad::glad::glad::glad:


Herb 

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
This is the kind of thing that keeps me here on Freerails. Thank you, Keith. Now, we need some more.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Yesterday, I posted several photos of the real Gilpin Tram bridge and culvert sites.  These are very easy to model - some twigs, rocky fill soil, and carved plaster, and you're in business.

The real Eureka Gulch crossing was interesting - Eureka Street was on the western outskirts of Central City, and at this location, the tram crossed the gulch in front of one of the city water reservoirs.  Being resourceful, the railroad built their first water tank at this site.


Here is  photo of the Eureka Gulch as it looks today:


The yellow arrow points to the bridge crossing.  In this photo, the grade curves from the right front edge to left center.  On the front ridge edge, do you see that black pipe sticking out to the ground?  That is the filler pipe remnants, marking the location of Gilpin Tram's second water tank.

Here is how I modeled this area in HOn30.  The stone building in the background is one of Central CIty's water reservoirs, and can also be seen in the photo above.




My layout has several small "Gilpin-like" bridges along the route.  Here is a small bridge near the Woods Mine.  Shay #3 is pulling ore loads from the mine.  In the background, the rest of the train waits on the siding next to the Buckley MIne.


Further up the line, the route heads up towards James Peak on the Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park  Railway - this is the fictitious extension of the Gilpin Tram, using one of the paper railroad names - a line chartered, but never built.

Here is Shay #6 (the real Gilpin Tram never had a shay numberered 6) crossing Elk Creek on a small bridge.




Next, a little farther up the North Branch of Clear Creek, the narrow canyon widens out. Here is Shay #3 pulling a train of empties across a small, unnamed draw.



The cribbing was built from wooden toothpicks, with the ends chopped off, then painted with acrylic paints.  Very simple and easy to build.


Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for posting those-ive never been to Central City, and looking at your pics it is really hard to visualize the historic landscapes as so much has changed. In that first picture on this page, is that one of the old mills?

also, that dry stacked retaining wall is a beauty-the craftsmanship it takes to dry stack a wall that high and have it last 100 years is impressive.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I agree, the Central City area looks so different with mature trees everywhere. It was so barren in the mining days.

No, the first picture I posted was at Eureka Street, and the stone background is one of the city water reservoirs (the other one I know of still stands, also, and is very close to the Schoolhouse (now called Coeur D'Aelene) mine. Basically, a corrugated roof over a big hole in the ground!

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
your pics have me thinking that I might have to order the "new" Gilpin book-

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Duane-git out yer checkbook! I ordered directly from Sundance & got it in a few days. YOU NEED THIS BOOK...the droids are not the ones you seek...

Woodie

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Your probably right, need to stop being such a tightwad. Now I'M stealing Keiths thread....btw, any more Central City pics your willing to share?

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Woodie is right - the Gilpin Tram Era by Sundance is well worth the money - you won't regret owning one!

Black Hawk is where the Gilpin Tram had its shops and yards to serve the mills and transfer sidings.  Black Hawk itself was a colorful town, with many interesting structures.


The "Bull Durham" building was the former Frick carriage works - Frick was a teamster backer who opposed the Gilpin Tram when it was first built.  The building has survived, now part of the local casino trade.

Much farther up the hill, well, actually in Central City, there are still several mines to view.  At least 3 have been restored/preserved.  One of them is the Couer D'Alene Mine, which many modelers now as  a previous building kit offering.


That's well-known modeler Joe Crea in front of the big doors.




Down at the bottom of the hill, along Clear Creek, the Gilpin Tram had its enginehouse and yards.  The photo below is well-known, and shows the engiehouse, a former barn.  Note the trestle curving around the left side - that's the main line up Chase Gulch, which needed to dodge around a large outcropping.


This is the same location today - nothing remains, not the enginehouse, trestle or any signs of grade.  I think the creek itself was re-routed many years ago for highway construction.  Joe Crea and I poked around the site, and all we found to indicate the Gilpin Tram was here were a few firebrick from a boiler and miscellaneous pieces of metal siding.

The enginehouse would have been in the trees immediately below the large rock outcropping.




Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Just downstream of the Gilpin enginehouse site was Black Hawk and its many ore processing mills.  After passing the Hidden Treasure, Midas, Humphrey,  and Meade (Gunnell) mills, the Gilpin Tram reached the site of the Polar Star mill, which was immediately next to the ore transfer chutes to the Colorado & Southern 3' gauge. 


In this photo, the bottom center of the photo shows a string of 5, C&S coal cars parked on the siding next to the ore transfer chutes.  Two Gilpin Tram ore cars can be seen on the ore transfer trestle above, still loaded. 


At the bottom center photo edge, two C&S coal cars are parked on the siding next to the Gilpin Tram transfer - two Gilpin coal cars are parked on the track where coal was hand shoveled from the 3' gauge to the 2' gauge.

 

Black Hawk lies in the valley beyond the Polar Star Mill.


This is the same location today as the photo above.  Almost everything has changed, but the Polar Star Mill still remains, and is well preserved.


The Polar Star Mill is privately owned, and the owner recently restored the exterior and the roof.

 

The Gilpin Tram track unloaded ore from a trestle above the doors.  Metal chutes were hung from the trestle to load into one of the 8 ore doors.  These doors were also used to unload ore from horse-drawn ore wagons.  The Polar Star, like several other mills, was built before the Gilpin Tram was built, and had to be modified to accept rail traffic.


Here is my HOn30 model of the Polar Star mill, showing the same end of the mill as in the photo above.  The trestle has a broad span to allow horse-drawn wagons to go underneath.  The metal-clad enclosure is a warming shed, with steam pipes inside to thaw out frozen ore cars of ore to be dumped into the mill.

Keith

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

I'm finding this thread very interesting. Thank you for posting.

One question. The mill you show, what kind of machinery was used to process the ore. These don't look like your typical western stamp mills that I'm used to seeing.

Bernd

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Great photos, Keith--and a VERY nice model!


Herb 

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
The stamp mill model is a beauty, really captures the feel of the prototype.

Great to see that people in Colorado have embraced (to a degree)the mining culture and preserved some of the mines and mills rather than bulldoze them in order to make way for more McMansions.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Amen, brother! I have looked at Keith's modeling for years now and I have come to the belief that besides being a fine historian, he is a master modeler. Wow, we have two such fellows(Keith & Duane) right here on Freerails, artists and writers, who have inspired me greatly. Thanks guys.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Woodie, Herb, Duane, and Bernd - thanks for the nice comments.  It's fun sharing and discussing this stuff with all of you.

 

Bernd - you asked about the Polar Star Mill, and noted it doesn't look like most stamp mills we are all familiar with.  The mines around Central City- Black Hawk were first developed early on - this was the general area of the "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush in the mid-1850s.  There were three or more waves of development in the industry, and many of the mills, such as the Polar Star, were built maybe a decade or more before the Gilpin Tram was built. 


These mills still used stamps to crush the ore, amalgamating tables, and other equipment we have used elsewhere.  The Gilpin County stamps were referred to as "slow drop" stamps, running with heavier heads, but a lower rate to crush the ore.  One of the pieces of equipment used was the "Gilpin County Bumping Table", which was bumped back and forth to separate the metal from the waste.  We modelers are more familiar with the Wilfley table, which was developed at a later date, but has been made as kits in several scales.

 

So, Bernd, that's a long-winded answer to say these are still stamp mills, just a little different.


This is a photo of typical stamp, displayed at the Central City historical society museum.  The  image below shows a Gilpin County Bumping table - kind of a cruder version of the Wilfley table.


So, several mills were built on the low, barn-like appearance such as the Polar Star Mill.  Several other mills looked like the more typical stamp mill construction we are used to seeing.  Besides the Iron City Mill, there were several others.


The Avon Mill was served by the Gilpin Tram - that's the mainline to Quartz Hill in the foreground.


The Oliver Mill was located in Chase Gulch, about 1/2 mile above Black Hawk.  The Gilpin Tram ran on the hillside above the mill, but it may have had a spur serving it at one time.


This small mill still stands, and can be seen next to the highway between Central City and Black Hawk.  This was never served by railroad, but is very modelable size.  This structure was brought as a kit by Wild West Scale Model Builders in multiple scales (sorry Wooide, not in 1:35).

 

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith, do any of the mills still standing have any processing machinery in them?

Herb 

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Keith hit the nail on the head-many of the mills in Blackhawk were built before the stamp mill evolved into the form we come to recognize as a "stamp mill"

Dont want to highjack Keith's thread and go on one of my infamous, verbose,nefarious, agregious and outragious rants on the misconception of what a stamp mill should look like and how it is modelled...Got me speakin' like Al Sharpton...

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Al, er, I mean Duane: please give us your thoughts on stamp mills! As far as I am concerned, the more, the better!

Herb, you asked if any of the mills have machinery in them? By my count, there are 5 mill structures still standing in the area: Polar Star and the Golden Gilpin Mill in Black Hawk, the Little Red Mill in Mountain City, an unnamed mill remnant in Illinois Gulch, and the more recent Chain-O-Mines building in Russell Gulch.

I think only the Golden Gilpin Mill and Chain-O-Mines mill have machinery in them, and these are more recent mill buildings - 1950s is my guess. Neither were served by the Gilpin Tram.

I was given a tour by the Polar Star Mill's owner, and none of the original machinery remains.

There were a few more pieces and remnants of mills that are around, or disappeared in the last 20 years - I'll post more on those if there is interest in that topic.

Keith

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Thanks for that explanation. I'm finding this very fascinating. When I first read about a "ten stamp" mill I wondered what the heck is that. The I finally found the answer. I believe the Gazette had some article a while back about these mills.

Another thing, didn't they use mercury to separate the gold by, for lack of a better word, foaming it to separate the gold form the overburden?

Bernd

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Funny that you should mention mercury in gold/silver smelting. Here is a photo of a little mercury still I built from the idea of Verne Niner's. If you search for mercury still here, you will find info about these things. They were built a ways from the smelter (even the toxic smoke couldn't compete with mercury distilling).




The mercury was distilled from the ore and it dripped (I suppose) from the pipe on the left side. It filled bottles which were then taken into the smelter. The info and history of these things are in Verne's thread so I won't cover it here. You might note that the usual sparse vegetation is REALLY sparse here since the mercury killed off anything close by! This little still is about 8 by 8 feet and about 8 or 9 feet tall.

Woodie
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=1964&forum_id=4&highlight=mercury+still

That's the link for the thread...

Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 624
Status: 
Offline
Mercury distilling also killed off the workers. It was the original Zombie maker of the smelting industry. After years of being subjected to the toxic vapors they would begin drooling and become palsied.

And, yes, you're correct that the vapor accumulated in the top of the boiler and there was usually some kind of pan or pipe that would collect it as it cooled and allow it to drain into the transfer bottles or flasks (made of iron).

Last edited on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 04:40 pm by Sullivan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

My understanding of the process is (spoken as a Civil Engineer, not a mining engineer, and not even living in Colorado) was mercury was spread over copper plates, call amalgamating pans, which were sloped sheets directly in front of the stamp mill. As the slurry ran across the amalgamating pan, free gold would stick to the mercury. The rest of the slurry, still containing some gold, would be concentrated further by other processes.

Periodically, the stamp mill would be shut down (a very interesting process in itself), and workers would use wood paddles to scrape off the amalgam - mercury, gold, and other metals, for separation in the mercury still.

A Gazette article by Hitzman about 1987 had very good article on this. I think the mercury still, as shown in Woodie's photo, basically heated a sealed metal pot with a tube coming out the top. As the vessel heated, the gold melted, and the mercury boiled off. The tube coming out of the vessel was submerged in water, and the mercury gas condensed into a separate vessel. The tube coming out the side of the still theoretically had only water vapor in it, but some residual mercury was lost, too.

It must have been a smelly, hazardous mess in some of those ore processing towns.

Keith

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith.

Those people that worked in the mill must have died horrible deaths later in life, however long that was. Death by mercury poisoning, what a thought.

Bernd

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Years and years ago, in a science class (never had chem) in High School, we were shown how a test tube with some mercuric oxide (brown powder--I guess that was what it was) when heated would cause balls of liquid mercury to condense. Young Herb, thinking that mercury was fun stuff--you could make all sorts of things shiny and silvery with it, just by rubbing it on to the object --but lacking a supply of the metal--- stole a small container of the powder and proceeded to distil it at home in the basement. Never noticed any trees dying--but come to think of it there weren't any trees in the basement to start with.

Now--when I don't make a whole lot of sense--you know why

Breh   

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Another fun item is collecting dirt samples for use for scenery on the layout. Friends warned me early on to avoid any mill waste, because heavy metals could be concentrated in it and cause potential problems. So, I resort to collecting dirt from mine waste dumps and hillsides. I always thought collecting some good, nasty mill dirt might be a neat scenic option on the layout - I could have glow-in-the-dark hillsides!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
More On Stamp Mills


 

In this post, I'll talk about some of the stamp mills along the Gilpin Tram.  There were many mills served by or adjacent to the Gilpin Tram's 26+ mile-long route.


Most of the mills, and the largest processors, were all down next to Clear Creek in Bkack Hawk.


We saw a photo of the Avon Mill in a previous post.  This mill was at the base of Quartz Hill, near Nevadaville.  This mill recieved coal from teh Gilpin Tram, and shipped out mill dirt to other mills for further processing on the tram.


This shows the Avon mill site today.  The area has changed a lot, as the trees have grown up.  Nothing is left of the mill today, except for some stone foundations and railroad grade.


We also saw another view of the Olover Mill, along Chase Gulch, in a previous post.  Here is another view, and the Gilpin Tram grade can be seen snaking around the hillside in the background.


Here is the Olvier Mill site today, from about the same viewing angle.  That is not a mill structure at the bottom of the gulch, but a sprawling home built on the mill site.


The Hidden Treasure mill was one of the more interesting processors along the tram.  It was served off of a short switchback, crossing on a trestle over the Gilpin Tram down into Black Hawk.  Note the lower track in the foreground is dual gauge - 2' and 3', as the C&S had a spur terminating here.


This photo shows the Hidden Treasure mill site today.  The highway construction obliterated any traces of the mill building and railroad grade.


Perhaps one of the most magnificent mills along the tram.  The milll farthest downstream along Clear Creek was the Iron City mill.  This mill was greatly expanded over the years, to this large, sprawling structure seen here.


This photo shows what remains of the mill site in about 2005 - nothing, really, except for some cribbing for the Gilpin Tram grade.  Since I took this photo, even more of this grade has disappeared for a waste water treatment plant construction.


At the opposite end of Clear Creek, the Gilpin Tram served the Wheeler Milll, maybe a mile or so upstream from Black Hawk.  In the 1990s, you could see this structure which was either on or very near the original Wheeler Mill site.  This particular mill building was built sometime after the Gilpin Tram quit running - y guess is maybe in teh 1940s or so.  This building has since been demolished (progress!?), but I like the proportions - I could see building something like it on my layout.

That's all for today, but I can post more on millls, if you'd like.

 

Keith

Dallas_M
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Oct 30th, 2012
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA
Posts: 258
Status: 
Offline
Keith Pashina wrote: That's all for today, but I can post more on millls, if you'd like.   Keith
Well, recognizing that it takes time to put together great posts like these ... THANK YOU! :apl:

And then, of course:  "yes, please!" :2t:

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
I agree with Dallas. More please and also thank you for these great postings. I'm getting a good education on the mining that went on out west. B:2t:

Bernd

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
X3 on that.

I know the time that it takes, and appreciate that also.

Looking for where I left my wayback machine--------


Herb 

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Fellow modelers-this is just the kind of material that sets Freerails apart from all others. Keith is able to post these superb photos in a manner that reads like a magazine which better suits his work. I am just elated (25 cent word) that Keith arrived here and I know that we will all learn from his historical and modeling expertise. And I ain't forgetting Duane Ericson either...same goes.
Thanks to both from me and everyone else.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Keith

B&O GLENNWOOD
Registered


Joined: Wed Aug 25th, 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 92
Status: 
Offline
Im with Woodie on this one All I can say is fantastic and I cant wait to see more Thanks for posting this Paul

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

WOW, my edumacation is continuing. Water wheel power. Never heard it mentioned in other articles on the Gilpin Tram. Very interesting.

Really appreciate all the work that's going into this. Thanks.

Bernd

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Thank you Keith. Please show more, much more. We may need to start the GLA, Gilpin Lovers Assn., here on Freerails.

Woodie

Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 624
Status: 
Offline
Uhhh...

I'm on overload...but don't let THAT stop you. If you're willing to give us more of that top-notch info...please continue.

Thanks very much for the brain swell.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Thanks guys - I'll be more posting more this evening. This has been fun so far, and it's really getting me fired up to get more models built!

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Like the others said, really appreciate you taking the time to post and share these fine pics and maps.

Keith-on the structure that covered the water wheel on the Hidden Treasure Mill, what material do you think that is?

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
elminero67 wrote: Keith-on the structure that covered the water wheel on the Hidden Treasure Mill, what material do you think that is?

I'd like to hazard a guess and say horizontal boards. It looks like it has a horizontal stratification in the picture.

Bernd

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Bernd-if you look at the picture Keith posted at the bottom of the page it is easier to see: Ive seen it quite a bit on industrial mining buildings from 1890s to about 1910. I could never tell if it was just a tarpaper or actually a composite rolled roofing material...(and what color would it be?)

Either way I am envious of what is still extant at Blackhawk as shown by Keith's pictures. I have been employed as historical archeologist for the Bureau of Land Management for the last few years, so may day job is to locate all of the historic lode mines in Southwestern Oregon...in a nut shell, out of the 450 minbing sites we've recorded, none have (historic)standing structures or even retaining walls, so it is nice to see something left that reflects the heritage and hard work of previous generations.

Bernd
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 18th, 2012
Location: New York USA
Posts: 826
Status: 
Offline
elminero67 wrote: Bernd-if you look at the picture Keith posted at the bottom of the page it is easier to see: Ive seen it quite a bit on industrial mining buildings from 1890s to about 1910. I could never tell if it was just a tarpaper or actually a composite rolled roofing material...(and what color would it be?)


Jeeeeees, I looked at the last picture and didn't even notice. This time with glasses. Yup, your right looks like tar paper or something. I'd say balck or dark brown. But hey I was wrong the first time too. :dope:

Bernd

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Yes, I believe that it was tarpaper also. I looked at photos in the Gilpin Era book and in one or two, you can see the wrinkles (it looks like) in the covering.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Regarding the wall covering on the Hidden Treasure Mill - it could be tarpaper, or it could be painted flat tin siding.  Both were common in the area, and I don't think you can easily tell from black & white photos.

Here is a photo of a small barn on Eureka Street, in Central City. 
 Notice it is very wrinkled, even though it is metal. 

Keith

 

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Previously, we looked at the Hidden Treasure Mill area, which was down on Clear Creek and at one time a major shipper on the Gilpin Tram.  Now, we'll take a look at the Gilpin Tram route up through Chase Gulch.

Chase Gulch was a major operational challenge for the Tram. The grade was probably 2%-3% throughout, and had numerous sharp curves.  Photos published previous books on the Gilpin Tram show double-headed and triple-headed trains of empties and loaded coal cars blasting up the grade. 


Chase Gulch is a rugged and narrow gulch with steep, rocky sides.  The Gilpin Tram negotiated the gulch by snaking around major rock outcroppings, and building a lot of the right of way on narrow ledges supported on stone walls.  Few sections were straight or in easy-to-dig soil.

First, a quick sketch of where Chase Gulch is relative to Black Hawk and Central City:


Basically, Chase Gulch is the next gulch north of Gregory Gulch, where Central City as located and where Black Hawk was bult at the mouth of the gulch (at Clear Creek).


Here, Darel Leedy is standing on a typical stone retaining wall along the right of way in Chase Gulch. 

 

About 1/3 mile uphill of the Hidden Treasure switchback, the grade noses around Maryland Mountain, and starts heading more westerly.  At this point, the grade crossed Smith Road.   Here, a loaded ore train is whistling for the road crossing.


And below, is a view of the Smith Road area today.  Little has changed, except the trees have matured.


This is about a hundred feet west of Smith Road, looking west up the gulch.  Note the long, neat rock wall supporting the grade.   See that mine dump (yellowish-brown dump) in the center background?  That's the Queen of the West Mine dump, and the Gilpin Tram grade is climbing right up to it.


A little farther along, we see Dan ABbott, Chris Walker, and Joe Crea exploring the grade.  These guys have researched and published a lot of information on the Gilpin Tram and mining.

Nosing around the corner, we approach the site of the spur to the Oliver Mill.  The photo below shows the GT grade at right edge, and the waste dump for the Oliver Mill site can be seen near the bottom of the gulch.


To reach this point, the Gilpin Tram had to built a magnificent stone wall to hook around the rock outcropping on the hillside.  The grade and wall remain today, and it looks like this:




In the same general area, about 300' west, was tbe Bonanza Mill.  This mill served mines in the area, but was not a shipper on the Gilpin Tram.  The GT grade is high up on the hillside to the right at this point.


Today, nothing remains of the Bonanza mill, except a waste dump and this stone foundation wall:


A short distance upgrade, the grade dips into a narrow notch in the side of Maryland Mountain.  To cross this, the Gilpin Tram built this large wall with a culvert at the top center (to the right of where Joe Crea and Dan Abbott are standing).




Most of the retaining walls were laid with dry stone, stacked and generally in god condition today.  However, in a few areas, the walls were built with wood cribbing.  This photo of the Chase Gulch grade shows a wall that is a combination of dry-laid stone and wood cribbing.


These wallls tended to be built by miners of Cornish descent, who excelled at this kind of work.  A short description of how these walls were built is shown below:


The numbers in the sketch above are explained below:

1 - Nearby stone is broken to shape and laide up dry.

2 - The space between the laid-up stone and hillside is filled with a combination of rock, gravel, and dirt.

3 - The hillside was minimally excavated - it was easier with the hand labor of the day to built walls upward and outward than to excavate and blast into the hillside.

4 - Sometimes, the rock wall was laid on top of a rock outcroppiing.  To prevent the wall from sliding outward, sometimes the wall builders drilled holes and inserted metal rods, rail, or whatever was handy to keep the toe of the wall in place. This is shown in the photo below:




Keith


 

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Moving along, we encounter some scenic grade:


This is what I would like to model - a nice combination of steep mountainside, stone walls, and a sharp curve hooking around at the right edge of the hillside.

Climbing further along the grade, we pass by the Robert Emmet Mine.  This apparently was a good producer at one time, and was set along the hillside above the tramway grade.  This mine was not a shipper on the Gilpin Tram - perhaps they teamed their ore down to the nearby Bonanza or Oliver Mills, or one of the other mills down in Black Hawk.



The Gilpin Tram grade can be seen at the bottom right edge of the photo.

Nothing remains of the building today.  Here is a photo looking at the mine site:


And here is a 1890-era photo showing the same location:


Note the mine building in the foreground - that is the Queen of the West Mine and we'll be seeing more of it soon.


The map above shows the trackage up through Chase Gulch.  Next stop - the Castle Rock area.


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
As the Gilpin Tram continues its climb up Chase Gulch, it approaches the head of the Gulch and makes a 180 degree turn.


Castle Rock is the large rock promontory at center.  The GT mainline can be seen along the bottom of the photo, crossing over a small bridge above a waterfall.  The track curving around the back of the rock outcropping is the Tucker Mine and Mill branch.


In the photo above, location #1 is the point from where the preceding photo was taken, and is located on the Gilpin Tram grade.  Location #2 is the waste dump of the Belden Mine and Tunnel, which was located inside the 180 degree curve of the mainline (it was not a tramway shipper).  Location #3 shows the ruins of a small stamp mill built to serve the Belden Tunnel.


Looking back at Castle Rock, here is the south side of it today.  The grade can be made out, partially hidden by trees.


Here is a modern-day view of the waterfall immediately beneath the grade - what a great scene this would be on a model railroad.


The photo above was taken in the 1890s, and shows the Castle Rock Mine, which was located high above the Gilpin Tram mainline (but was not a shipper on the railroad).  Nothing remains of this mine today.


The Tucker Mine and Mill was served by a short Gilpin Tram branch.  Here is how the mill looked in the 1890s. At first, the GT was not built all the way to the mill, but eventually the track was extended all the way to the mill.


Here is the Tucker Mill site today - no mine or mill structures remain, and this is on posted private property, so I have never been able to get much closer than this vantage point.


From above the Belden Tunnel, we can look down Chase Gulch towards Black Hawk.  The Gilpin Tram grade can be seen curving around the rocky point to the Robert Emmet Mine.  In the far distance, some modern day development can be seen in Black Hawk.


This photo shows the Queen of the West Mine (upper mine) and the Virginia Mine (lower mine).  The Queen of the West Mine sides right next to the Gilpin Tram mainline, and was a shipper on the Gilpin Tram.  I do not think much was ever shipped, maybe inbound coal loads.  However, written records exist showing there was some mine traffic at least one year.

 

Below, this is an enlargement of a photo we saw before, showing the Robert Emmet mine.  This is a partial view of the Queen of the West Mine.  Two neat little details show up in this photo - first, two small wooden roof vents can be seen.  At lower right, note the chime whistle projecting out of the roof - I wonder what it sounded like?  These would be neat details to include on a model, plus, I think the mine's name has a wonderful ring to it!




Today, nothing remains of the Queen of the West, except a sprawling waste dump eroding down onto the Virginia Mine site below.  The Virigina Mine has this interesting boiler remaining, shown in the photo below:




That wraps up our brief tour of the Chase Gulch section of the Gilpin Tram.  Next stop - the Freedom Mine and Winnebago Hill.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Your work is inspiring.  Working on an ambitous 3-4 deck layout running from Denver through Golden through Clear Creek canyon, on to Black Hawk, And Silver Plume (details ar DGCCRR.Blogspot.com).

In Silver Plume including Argentine Central and the tourist tram.  Including the Gilpin from Black Hawk up to the mines.

Your work is helping me revise the plans for the Gilpin.  I acquired the Narrow Gauge Gazette articles in 93 and 99.  Enjoying them greatly.

Your mill and mine pictures and maps are a huge help.

The Iron Mill and the Bobtail Mill are both potential inclusions (Bobtail almost certain).

Any more drawings, plans, pictures you have on the Iron Mill, Bob Tail and Gilpin car shop, engine house and ore warming would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and keep up your excellent work, it is helping others!

Cameron

GilpinFan
Registered


Joined: Fri Jan 22nd, 2010
Location: Clayton, New Mexico USA
Posts: 15
Status: 
Offline
Keith, Thanks for posting pictures of the Gilpin Tram. I've been on the old grades many times and I 'm planning on returning there next year. I was with Dan Abbott a few years ago, we went to the Frontenac and the Saratoga mines. I also met Kent Blake at the Polar Star Mill in Blackhawk and was inside the mill. I'm building a model of the Polar Star Mill in 1/35 scale. I'll post some pictures of it soon. Keep up the great work on the Gilpin Tram. Ken Mannes

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Cameron and Ken: good to hear from both of you. Gilpin and Clear Creek counties are such fascinating places, and so rich in mining and railroad history!

Thanks for putting in the link to your blog site for your railroad - you've got a real nice start to Clear Creek. The modeling looks pretty good - you must be going through a lot of plaster to create all that rock work. I see you toured Harry Brunk's layout in Cheyenne - that is a destination well worth the trip. I had a last-minute opportunity to see it this past summer, and probably took over 100 images. Harry's work in person is even better than depicted in the magazine articles.

Ken, you were in good company if you hung out with Dan Abbott to prowl around Gilpin County. Dan literally wrote the book on the Gilpin Tram, and an excellent tour guide of the area.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
There is a good source of information out there that everyone may not know of - Mike Blazek workbooks and drawings.

Mike has published over 36 workbooks on narrow gauge topics, and 3 of them are on the Gilpin Tram.  The notebooks contain a lot of historic information, some photos, and drawings of many of the structures.  So far, he has covered from the enginehouse, up Chase Gulch, and the mines on Gunnell Hill.

Mike Blazek is also a prolific producer of scale drawings for modelers.  Mike is a Gilpin fan, and offers many drawings for sale.  A listing of these, now about 2 years old is shown below:


Those of you interested in modeling the Gilpin should really check out these products.

Mike's drawings are generally in HO scale.  I would really like to see how Ken Mannes' 1/35 model of the Polar Star model turns out - that would be a big, big structure model.  I suppose if he ever got tired of it, you could use it as a small garage or something... :)

 

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith, slowly building my collection of Mikes books and plans.  I contacted him on the Bob tail, he said it was so big few were interested in modeling.

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
After hiking the real Chase Gulch on the Gilpin Tram, I knew I had to model part of it on my layout.  Scenes like this one really whetted my interest.


For my HOn30 layout, I had a space about 9' wide, and I built this as a 16" shelf, similar to the rest of my layout.  Here is a view of the scene when under construction - plaster and dust everywhere!


The layout extension was pretty lightweight.  I glued rigid styrofoam board to 1x2 wood furring strips which were screwed to shelf brackets.  The backdrop was painted 1" styrofoam, and a particle board shelf above both supported a book shelf and was a mountig for the LED light strips.


This type of scenery is easy to work with, and goes together quickly.


For rockwork, I used mostly latex rubber molds from Bragdon Enterprises.  These were large molds, maybe 16" square, so I tended to fill the entire mold, but break off smaller pieces and set them into place with more Plaster of Paris.  I then hand-carved the fill-in new plaster that was between the broken-up plaster rock castings.

Above is a progress shot of some of the carving.  I saved the cutoff chunks, then later stained them to match the rock to create talus and rock debris.


This section was built with Peco code 90 flextrack and switches.  This track runs well, works well, plus, I had a bunch of it laying around.  I handlay code 55 and 40 track now, but the flextrack was a nice break.


The plaster shapes were stained with artist's oils, then ground textures out down.  This was  a combination of collected dirt from Gilpin County, and AMSI and Woodland Scenics ground foam.


Shrubbery was built from a variety of sources - Woodland Scenics foam clusters, painted and foam-clad caspia and other plants, air fern, and a bunch of stumps I had cast in resin and painted.


For this crossing, I salvaged a bridge from a previous layout.  This bridge was built from a sketch in the original 1890s Gilpin Tram business journals, but I don't know if this design was ever built.  I think it fit into the scene okay.

Inevitably, "mission creep" surfaced on the project.  I added two short spurs in the scene - an ore loading area and a small depot and tourist stop.  The tourist stop scene was based on Beaver Brook on the Colorado Central (later C & S Clear Creek line).  I liked the squeezed-in feeling of the prototype area.


The white structure up on the hillside represents a dance pavilion as in the prototype scene.  The depot was set at 90 degrees to the mainline like the prototype.  I used a Kingmill Raintown depot kit for here - their kit was based on the the C&S Forks Creek depot, so it fits in well.  The water tank was based on a shrunk-down Colorado Central tank - it had the multi-sided enclosed base, and covered with advertising posters as shown in the prototype photos.  The tank was a resin casting of the Gilpin's Eureka St tank I had cast many years ago.

 

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The Chase Gulch scene was now taking shape.  I eventually planted the canyon with trees from Woodland Scenics and Grand Central Gems.


The photo above is near one end of the Gulch area.  A short spur branches off to the left where horse-drawn wagons could load area - this was done at several locations on the real Gilpin Tram.

The photo above shows Shay #2 having just picked up empty coal car #5 from Martin's spur, and continuing upgrade with a load of coal and two loaded ore cars.


Trackwork was kept simple, and was all Peco HOn30 flextrack and turnouts.  The harp switchstand is an East Broad Top prototype sold by David Hoffman.


Much of the right-of-way was supported on rock walls, represented by carved plaster castings.  Here Shay #2 and its train are crossing the gulch over a short trestle, also salvaged from a previous layout.  You can see why the tram is so vital to the mining area - the rugged landscape limits where horse-drawn teams can haul ore from.



After crossing the short trestle, the train rounds a curve through a narrow rock cut.  Local excursions, on their way from the Pine Creek pavilion at Pine Creek (which can be seen in the far background), stop here to gaze in awe at the Mother Grundy formation - which if you squint just right, looks like a profile of a woman's face.  This scene was carved from the plaster and based on the real Mother Grundy location on the Colorado Central Clear Creek line.


Crossing the gulch again, the train has topped the steepest part of the grade and will soon exit the narrow gulch.


A parting shot of the train carefully treading its way through the gulch.  Soon, it will round a sharp curve and reach the townsite of Nugget.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Nice work as always.  I'm doing Beaver Brook so was happy to see your version.  I tried to carve Mother Grundy, no luck.  You would not have happened to make a mold of yours did you?

What did you use for Shay's?  I'm in a quandary:
1.  Go with HON30 - Leaves issues with Dual-gauge in Black Hawk, no jigs I can find and folks tell me tolerances are so small very hard to get to work.
2.  Go with HON2 - trying to either build using something like the little NN3 units or z-scale and maybe a Shapeways casting.  Or maybe trying to regauge 2 flying zoo kits I have.
3.  Rule 1 and use HON3 with back story that line upgraded to handle increased load in 1917 (in um utopia Gilpin runs on due to silver and gold boom due to WW1.

Thoughts?

By the way got you engine house plan in NGG.  What do you recommend for metal siding?

Thanks Cameron

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Superb work, Keith!!


Herb 

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Yes, Keith has got the Gilpin Tram "nailed". Just super workmanship and a joy to behold. Harry Brunk's "Up Clear Creek..." was great, this "Further up Clear Creek" is my favorite. Thank you Keith for so many years of inspiration.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Woodie, Herb, and Cameron!

For the Mother Grundy scene, I took made a profile of styrene by tracing off of a photo in Sundance's Colorado Central book. The profile is what you need - the tricky part was making the rock casting not look like anything unless you viewed the profile from a specific angle. Actually, I am moving next month, so I'll be discarding that entire scene - you can have the Mother Grundy scene if you want it!

For shays, that's tough in HOn30 or HOn2 because none are currently made. I used Atlas N scale shays, but they are not in production. I also have some old Joe Works shays in HOn30. Only one currently runs - the others I will modify with Kato N scale parts as advocated by Woodie - he modified one before for a friend - I think he may have posted somewhere on Freerails on how he did it. I looked at trying HOn22 once using Z mechanisms, but shied away from it because of cost - I'm not afraid to cut up a $100 mechanism, but wouldn't attempt it on a $400 mechanism. That said, Republic Locomotive Works once offered a shay in N and Nn3 using a Z mechanism - it looked pretty nice.

For the Gilpin enginehouse, I prefer using paper - it's thinner and absorbs paint unevenly, giving a slight mottled effect like the prototype. The enginehouse model was built in 1993 using thin styrene, but since then all my structures were all built with paper.

Keith

Daniel Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Nov 28th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
Hi Kieth, Great to see what you are doing now, always wodered what was going on since you dismantled your last layout. I live in Colorado Springs and that is close enough to visit the Gilpin area often. I have a photo of a mine that I would like you to help identify (if possible...) The only thing I hate about going up there is that they didn't even have the courtesy leave a sign on EVERYTHING(!) so I would know what I was looking at!!! I will get that photo out as soon as I figure out how to do it. It is hard being from the generation before electronics...

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Nice to hear from you. I look forward to seeing the mystery photo!

Actually, my layout is being dismantled once again, in January. However, I'll be moving to a new townhouse with a layout room in the basement. My layout was built in sections, to the major ones - parts of Black Hawk, mining areas, Eureka Street, etc. will probably be up and running by summer.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Wow if you would not mind I'd love your Mother Grundy.  It would sit in a place of honor just downgrade from Beaver Brook.

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I could box it up and ship it to you - I'd just ask you to cover shipping costs.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

For some reason browser wont open PM.  Tried IE and Firefox.  Even enabled pop-ups.

My email is c_bryars@bellsouth.net

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The mines and mills in Gilpin County give a lot of character to any scene modeling the Gilpin Tramway, or the Colorado & Southern branch to Black Hawk and Central City.

The history of the area was one of a mining district that got going before the Civil War, and evolved over the years with changes in mining technology and the gold-bearing ores (which tended to become chemically different with depth).

Many of the early mills were more barn-like than the typical Colorado Stamp Mill we are used to seeing.  Some of these mills were modifed and upgraded, and ore bins built to receive ore from Gilpin Tram cars.  You can see this in the Polar Star, Bonanza, Randolph, Penn, and Eagle Mills, among others.  Mills built in the late 1800s tending to be the familiar shape, cascading down the hillside.  Examples of this type of mill would be the Avon, Oliver, and Iron City mills.  Other structures were used for concentrating gold ores - these concentrates were then shipped to other mills for further processing.  An example of a concentrator would be the Rocky Mountain Concentrator.

Fortunately, there is a lot of information out there to find and use.  For someone modeling the Black Hawk/Central City area, modes based on the prootype structures will really help capture the flavor of the area.

So, for a modeler wanting to build models of some of the mills in the area, let's look at sources of kits and drawings available (based on what I can remember as I write this!). 

ORE PROCESSING KITS AND DRAWINGS AVAILABLE FOR GILPIN COUNTY

The Avon Mill was located near Nevadaville, on Quartz Hill.  This mill was served by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings of this mill are available from Mike Blazek.  These drawings are available in Mike's Gilpin Tram Workbook 3, or separately direct from him.




The Eagle Mill (below) was in Black Hawk, and served by the C&S.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The Gold Coin Mill was a large complex on Quartz Hill, in Nevadaville, and served by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The New York Mill (below) was in Black Hawk and served by both the C&S and Gilpin Tram.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The Oliver Mill was seen in previous posts, and located in Chase Gulch.  The Gilpin Tram may have had a spur serving this mill.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The Penn Mill (below) was in Black Hawk, and served by the C&S.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The original configuration of the Iron City Mill was in Black Hawk, and the first construction was served by the C&S, and later by the Gilpin Tram after a major expansion.  This mill was offered as a kit by Trains of Texas about 25 years ago.




Below is the Polar Star Mill, located in Black Hawk, and a good customer of the Gilpin Tram and also served by the C&S.  This mill survives today.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




Down in Black Hawk was the Rocky Mountain Concentrator, (shown below) which surprisingly, was an ore concentrator!  This very interesting structure was served by a switchback spur by the tramway, and got coal deliveries from the C&S.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The Tucker Mill is shown below, and was at the end of a short branch off the Gilpin Tram mainline in Chase Gulch.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




The Little Red Mill is not the real name of this mill, located in Mountain City,  but the name given to it by modelers because it's earlier names were unknown.  This mill is available as a kit in several scales from Wild West Scale Model Builders.




Last, there were the very interesting Randolph Mill (shown at right in the photo below), and the Chamberlain Sampling Works (left rear of photo), in lower Black Hawk, and both were served by the C&S and Gilpin Tram.  Drawings are available for both structures from Mike Blazek.




That sums up what mill buildings are available as kits or drawings for modelers.  There are many other very intriguing mills out there - we'll take a look at those in future posts.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Like the mill buildings, the mine buildings in Gilpin County tend to be distinctive.  Following their architecture will define what area you're trying to model.  The Gilpin County mines look noticeably different compared to mines from Cripple Creek or the San Juans.

These mines really got going before the Civil War.  I think several of the original buildings were later expanded or repaired to the mines seen in the Gilpin Tram era. The first structures tended to resemble simple barns or sheds.  As the shafts deepened, headframes were built, which were usually enclosed (the shaft headframe is easily spotted as it protrudes above the roofline).  These mines were first simple wood structures, and later many of the walls and roofs were covered in painted tin siding, or sometimes tarpaper.

There were hundreds of mines in Gilpin County at one time or another, and only a fraction of them were directly served by the Gilpin Tram.

MINE BUILDINGS AVAILABLE AS KITS OR DRAWINGS

Here is a quick look at all the mine buildings for which there are kits or drawings available (based on my memory at the time I write this).

The Belden Tunnel was near the head of Chase Gulch, and next to, but not directly served by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




Next, we see the Buckley Mine located in Eureka Gulch, and served directly by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




Below we see the California Mine, located atop Quartz Hill.  We all have scene a picture of shay #3 switching ore cars at this mine, but the photo below gives a better idea of how large this mine really was.  Drawings are available from Mike Blazek.




Next, we see the Castle Rock Mine, which we saw in a previous post.  This was above the Gilpin Tram mainline in Chase Gulch, but not located directly on it.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




The Concrete Mine was reached by several switchbacks on the Gilpin Tram on Gunnell Hill.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




Next, the Quartz Hill Mine was the subject of an article I wrote for Gazette, and now a kit from Wild West Scale Model Builders. 




Below, we see the Federal Mine located near Russell Gulch.  This mine still stands.  It may have been directly served by the Gilpin Tram.  This mine is available in several scales from Wild West Scale Model Builders.




Next, we see this greatly enlarged fragment of a photo showing the Freedom Mine, located on top of Winnebago Hill.  This had a spur into it off the Gilpin Tram mainline.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




This mine shown below was the Gold Collar Mine was located in Prosser Gulch.  This mine was up the hillside above the Gilpin Tram, but had its own spur down at track level.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




The Grand Army Mine is shown below, and was one of the steady shippers on the Gilpin Tram.  Parts of this building have survived.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




The Grand Central Mine is well-known to modelers - it has been offered as a kit over the past 25+ years from Taurus, Classic Miniatures, and maybe others.  It is still available as a kit today - this mine was served by the Gilpin Tram.




Below is a view of the Gunnell Mine (lower left) and Whiting Mine (center above the Gunnell) - both served by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings of this mine were published by me in the Gilpin Railroad Quarterly (historical society newsletter, now out of print), and are still available from Mike Blazek.




This well-dressed woman is the wife of H.H. Lake, the school superintendent in Central City, and also a photographer who took many good photos of railroads and mines in the area.  At the upper left of this photo, you can see the James Henry Mine, served by the Gilpin Tram.  You never know what subjects turn up in some of the family photo collections!  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




what the Flack is this?  (sorry, I couldn't resist).  This is the Flack Mine, on the western side of Quartz Hill.  This structure still exists.  It was not served directly by the Gilpin Tram, but located close to the ends of two of the mining branches.  This mine was documented by Joe Crea (seen in this photo).  This mine is available in several scales from Wild West Scale Model Builders.




The photo below shows the Pozo Shaft, once available as a kit from Link & Pin Hobbies about 20 years ago (if my memory is correct).  This was near Nevadaville, nd near, but not served by, the Gilpin Tram.  Thsi structure still exists.




The Queen of the West  Mine was a Chase Gulch mine we saw before in one of my earlier posts.  This mine was served by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




Below, we once again see the Robert Emmet Mine in Chase Gulch (refer to earlier posts for more information).  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




Below, we are looking at the St. Louis Mine, located at the end of the Buckley Mine Branch, and served directly by the Gilpin Tram.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




This image below shows the Virginia Mine located immediately below the Queen of the West Mine.  Drawings of this mine are available from Mike Blazek.




The mine shown below is a drawing of the Wood Mine, located in Prosser Gulch and served directly by the Gilpin Tram.  This is an example of a drawing available from Mike Blazek (only one elevation of this drawing set is shown here).




As far as I know, that is all of the mines along the Gilpin Tram that I am aware of available as drawings or as kits.

One remaining mine, the Coeur D'Alene still stands in Central City and was once available as a kit, I think from Builders in Scale (now part of C C Crow).  We saw a photo of this mine in an earlier kit.

Keith



Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Last, but not least, we'll look at some of the buildings and structures available as drawings or kits along the Gilpin Tram.

Below, we see the Eureka Gulch Bridge remains, located next to the Central City water reservoir, and near the water tank.  Drawings of this bridge were published in Light Iron Digest, and drawn by Joe Crea.




Next, we see the Central City Water Reservoir - a covered water cistern for the Central City water supply.  This was next to the Eureka Gulch bridge.  Drawings of this building are available from Mike Blazek.




The Eureka Gulch Water Tank was next to the bridge and reservoir seen previously.  I published drawings of the first tank at this site, and replacement (and larger tank) in Light Iron Digest.  Drawings of this water tank are available from Mike Blazek - Mike's drawings are more accurate than mine, and any model you build should be from his drawings.




There are a bunch of other buildings that were in Central City or Black Hawk.  In past years, and maybe 25 years ago, Trains of Texas offered kits for the Iron City Mill, Grand Central Mine, Knights of Pythias Building, Black Hawk House, Black Hawk Bakery, Couer D'Alene Mine, Black Hawk Depot, Bull Durham Building, and the Gilpin Hotel.  There may have been others!

Other kits offered by others include the Lace House (Builders In Scale), Black Hawk Boiler Works (Rocky Mountain Model Works), Black Hawk Depot (Columbine Models in 1:24, no less), and the Grand Central Mine (in 1:48 by The Structure Company).

That concludes the listing of kits and drawings.  Have I missed any?  Please post if you know of some!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I knew I was forgetting something when I sent off that last post.

Mike Blazek, in his Gilpin Tram Workbook (Volume 3, I think of 3 different workbooks) has several mines and mill drawings included in it that were located on Quartz Hill.  Previously, we saw a photo of the Gold Coin Mine.  Mike also included four other mine buidings in that workbook.

One mine was the University Kansas Mine drawing is included, but I do not have a photo of it to post here.

Below, we see the First National Kansos Mine, served by the Gilpin Tram.




In the photo above, note the Gilpin Tram coal car at center left margin - it dumped into a coal chute to serve the mine.

Below, we see the Pease Kansas Mine, located at the end of the Pease-Kansas Branch of the Gilpin Tram.




And finally, we see an unidentified mine building located on Quartz Hill, and near the other two mines shown here.  This may/may not have been served by the Gilpin Tram - the mine was at least close to one of their branch lines.




From these photos posted today, you can see I rely heavily on Mike Blazek's drawings and workbooks as a resource.  Mike is a good friend, and we have explored some of the Gilpin Tram route together.  I highly recommend checking out his materials, if you haven't already.  You can find his website at http://blazeksplan.com

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Mike must have spent two lifetimes doing all those drawings, and it is my opinion that anyone with an interest in modeling any part of the Gilpin tram, or Clear Creek should check out his work.

Herb 

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Your a wonderful source of information.  Really enjoyed the last post with plans, etc.  Will begin looking at those.  Have 3 of Mikes WorkBooks, need Gilpin 2-3 and a bunch of these plans you mention.

Question on how you do rock walls for buildings.  I have several to do and would like some details on how you approach them.

Thanks Cameron

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
A post note.  Chris at Carsten Publishing is a friend and "good people".  You should send him this info, it would make a great story for the annual he puts out.

You have enough for a great book, any thoughts?

Cameron

Last edited on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 03:59 pm by CBryars2

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing.
Im now suffering from vintage photograph overload.

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Awesome stuff. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

Any chance that you have a track plan of your layout? I am very curious how you fit in some of those scenes and how much space you used.

Thanks,
Brian

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Brian:




The Gilpin Tram layout was in a room measuring 15' long by 9' wide. The layout was built as a shelf 16" wide on all four sides of the room, although it was not a loop.



I mention the layout in the past tense because it was dismantled in January, and I moved to a new home last week. The major sections: Buckley Mine Branch, Quartz Hill Mine, Nugget, and the sector table were built sectional in the first place, so they were easily moved. The Mother Grundy scene, Pine Creek, and Eureka Street scene were all given to friends for use on their layouts.



I am planning a new layout and I already have the Buckley Mine Branch scene set up (1 week after my move to a new home). I should have the DCC connected and this section running this weekend.



Here is a track plan of the layout in my last home (I never got around to building Black Hawk, but it would have extended off of the Quartz Hill area in towards the center of the room, as a peninsula).




Here are some more scenes of the shelf layout.



A train is easing by the Mother Grundy rock formation, crossing over Clear Creek, and heading into Pine Creek, seen in the distance.



This ore train is descending the grade down into Nugget.  This photo shows the narrow shelf configuration.  The lighting is LED strips mounted to the bottom side of melamine particle board shelving.  The lighting valance is strip styrene.




When viewed normally from in the room, the narrow depth is not apparent.  Here a train of empties is heading up through Clear Creek Canyon, led by Shay #6.  Shay #6?  The real Gilpin Tram never had more than 5 locomotives - my #6 is a 2-cylinder Joe Works shay.



Here is an overall view of the layout taken around New Year's day, showing one end of the layout room.  I've already packed up the books I stored on top of the shelf above the layout (the LED lighting was mounted to the underside of this shelf).  The Polar Star Mill model and the Quartz Hill Mine model can be seen temporarily sitting on top of the layout, before being carefully packed for the move.



Keith

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Kieth,

Thanks, I'm amazed what you can get into 16 inch width. Also amazed to hear you already have something up! I am confused though about the pictures at the start of this thread. I don't see the engine house area or the switchback scene at the Gunnel and whiting mines. Were those pictures from an even earlier layout?

Thanks,

Brian

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
I agree with Brian, you did a great job giving the feel of the Colorado lanscape on a narrow shelf.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Duane and Brian:

Thank you for the nice comments.  Actually, the photos I have posted have come from a variety of layouts over the years.  I tend to build scenes in sections and have frequently reused those into new sections of layouts.  For example, one depot on the current layout was built about 1980 and keeps getting reused.

The Whiting, Grand Army, and Grand Central Mines shown in some of the earlier photos still exist, but I gave them away to a friend about 10 years ago.  WIth limited space, and lots of prototype mines I admire, it is easy to keep thinking of new mines that I want to build.  In fact, I have one mine from the Gilpin that I probably will get rid of to make room for another one I have been eying.

So, the Gilpin Tram layouts have been in 3 different homes (counting the move I made last week).  Here is what the previous layouts looked like.


This double deck layout was previously published in Gazette.  It ran well, and the best part was the steep climb between levels.  I ran it with a Soundtraxx sound unit (this was pre-DCC), and the sound added a lot of interest.  But, I wanted to switch to DCC, and the double deck feature was getting tiresome, and my son wanted to use the space for his hobby, so...


I built the modular layout seen above (and drawn by Joe Crea).  You'll recognize several elements - they are part of my current layout.  This DCC layout ran well, and I had a lot of (solo) card system operating sessions on it.  In 2005, we moved to a new home, and the modular sections followed, but I also built a new, enlarged Black Hawk section.  It looked like this:


You'll notice the reused mining scene on the left.  This section had several design flaws that became evident when I started operating it (yard layout, track too far back from the front edge, etc.), so it was eventually replaced.  I tried an experiment to double deck the layout, reminiscent of what I had done a few years before, and it started out like this:


There's those reused mining sections up on the top level once again.  I started rebuidling Black Hawk, but realized I did not like the double deck feature - each level was either too low or too high.  So, I discarded the unfinished lower section, lowered the upper section, and was happy.

Then, we decided to sell and move, so now I have a new place, with many sections to be reused, and lots of scheming and dreaming going on right now...

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Is the new place bigger?

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The new place is different. My last space was 135 SF, and was windowless. The new space is 110 SF, but has a large window (which I don't want to block), and 2 doors (neither of which will be blocked). So, the new layout will be more compact, which I don't see as a problem in HOn30.

Keith

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Ah ha! So your layout was in the NG&SLG! I though something about it seemed familiar.

Thanks for posting the plans, the picture now makes so much more sense.

Curious, why did the double decker become a pain? Anything other than difficulty getting each height just right? I ask these questions as I am always planning the next layout in my head. Also, I really like the linear single deck plan. Looks like a lot of operation. I've always thought that a model of the gilpin would have lots of operational possibilities. Any comment both positive and negative about the plan drawn by Joe? I don't see any operational drawbacks, yet you must not have liked something since the next layout was different?

Didn't Joe start a Sn2 layout? I think there used to be a web page about it. Must have been six or more years ago. Think he sold it before completion.
Also a nice design.

Interesting,

Briam

Last edited on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 12:35 pm by vamodeler

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Briam

I had a two level layout once also--never again!

I model in 1/48 (O scale) and the required distance between levels made it impossible to have the lower level at a height that made it possible to work on without  your back hurting, while the upper level (more or less eye level) required working on a stool or small ladder.

Plus it was an extreme PITA having to wear my motorcycle crash helmet while working on the lower level, after I got tired of bashing my noggin standing up too quickly when working down there.

Herb

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The double deck layout didn't work for me mainly because of personal preference. I found I preferred a single height, which is slightly below eye level when standing, and eye level when sitting on a tall stool.

The double deck layout did not get all that far when I realized: 1) when operating the lower level, I intended to sit on a wheeled office chair, but since the room was carpeted, that didn't work so well to follow the trains around, 2) I built some turnouts too far back on the lower level, making it cumbersome to reach back, below the upper deck, 3) I realized I was content with a relatively small amount of track - it gave me the operations potential I was seeking.

The Sn2 layout you were referring to was originally built by Darel Leedy of Arvada, CO (who at one time lived next door to Joe). Darel eventually sold it to someone else in the Denver area (I don't know its fate). The layout was well engineered and ran really well. He used Grandt Line small On2 Gilpin cars, and they looked great in Sn2, also.

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith, Thanks for all the great stuff. I know you are not "out there" for all of our convience, but I wonder what thoughts you have on why the Gilpin never saw a need for some box cars. Surely someone should have seen the potential for delivery to Nevadville and and Russell Gulch. With the population they could have delivered food and supplies. Also they thought of the excursion cars, so why not a couple of passenger cars to get the miners to and from the hundreds of mines. They could have tacked them on to a regular mine run train. With bad weather during Winter and Spring the roads must have been muddy and almost impassable. Too bad I couldn't talk to Fred Kruse about this!! Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Howdy Dan, welcome to Freerails. I have been inspired by Keith's work for years and finally have gotten to know him via the "net"...what a great guy he is! I am sure that Keith knows about "Gilpin box cars" and will inform us when he can. In the first issue of Light Iron Digest (now defunct), MoeN3 Meichling had plans for a Gilpin box car which showed the interior structure and had dimensions of lumber, etc., even though it was "imaginary". I usually get in trouble with copyright laws and post info like these plans, but knowing the editor of LID, I feel that a jail stint is not for me!

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Woodie, Thanks for the info. There are a lot of things about the Gilpin that have disappeared into the "mists of time". 26 miles or so of track equals 52 miles of rail.. and how many ties did that need. I know the Gilpin was not built in a day, but where did that all come from, where did they store it, and I know about the rail car and flat cars but that sure sounds like a lot of work! I have wandered around almost all of the area of the Tram, and there are numerous wagon roads that obviously were used to do some of the things I am talking about. I have also "hoofed" along the Rio Grande Southern and in reality the area between points is much closer than we think about travel today. Same way with the Gilpin, so I am probably over-thinking what was needed. Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Dan-Years ago I lived in Denver and went to Blackhawk & Central City many times...before the stinkin' casino craze goofed it all up. Just a wonderful place to be. If you want the most info about the GT, get a copy of GILPIN ERA from Sundance...it's the best reference there is. My favorite was the Siver City, Pinos Altos, & Mogollon which used GT #1 & #2. Not much about that line except for Duane Ericson's SILVER CITY NARROW GAUGE, it is the only place for info about that railroad. Duane is a friend here on FR and has posted many great photos and words for us to learn from. Many thanks to both Keith and Duane for their work to keep us informed about the Southwest's only two footers.

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Woodie, I have a copy of the Gilpin Era, (almost worn out!} and also a copy of Mal Ferrel's Gilpin Tram. I agree that the casinos have destroyed a lot of the history of the Tram. I have walked around the warming house foundation, and I think they have covered it over with a C-DOT parking lot and storage area in recent years. If these areas, including Cripple Creek and others are designated as historical districts why do they get away with doing these "horrible things!" Anyway, best to concentrate on what once was there instead of getting all worked up. I have a lot of other questions that I would like to share with all of you that would like to pitch in. I have noticed the posts have slowed a little lately and this is just the ideal place to talk about the Tram. With people like Keith and Woody, {and others} we should be able to get a really good dialogue going. Dan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Dan, Woodie,

The Gilpin Tram never had any boxcars or passenger cars probably because they did not need them.  Their route of 26+ miles sounds like a decent amount, and it is, but when you look at a map, it really followed a giant "C" around Central City.  It never was all that far from any of the towns.

There are records of non-coal and ore shipments, such as oil (in large cans), wire, bricks, etc., but these were hauled in ore cars. 

Passenger traffic was limited to excursions.  If you had to get somewhere, walking or riding a bugy would have been a lot quicker than riding behind a shay winding around the hills and gulches.  Plus, the Gilpin Tram seemed to make do with some pretty simple railroading.


This 1890s photo shows part of Central City.  On the hillsides beyond, most of the visible mines were served by the Gilpin Tram, which reached this point by winding several miles up Chase Gulch and crossing Winnebago Hill.


The first time I visited the area, I was surprised at how close-in the town was to the right of way.  The photo above was taken from the Gilpin right-of-way near the Grand Central Mine, and looking down at Central City.

 


When I first visited the area in 1986, parts of the north end of the warming house were still standing.  By about 1990, the City of Black Hawk covered the site with several feet of dirt, which is still there today.  This obliterated what remained of the warming house.  There was also a very interesting ore bin (probably built later than and never served by the tram) that had a long ore slide from the adit further up the hill.  Parts of this still remain.  That's Joe Crea exploring these ruins.



This shot was taken from the Flack Mine on Quartz Hill looking northeast.  Between the 2 foreground trees is Nevadaville.  In the distance, to the right of the righthand taller foreground tree, you can see Central City.  This shot shows just how compact (and modelable) this area really is.

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, Woodie and all, One day a friend and I were standing on the wagon road down the hill from the Frontenac when a fellow walked by. Now, since all Coloradoans are super friendly we said hello and he stopped and talked with us for quite a while. He was a local and gave us a lot of info on the mines in the area. One thing he told us about was "pocket mining". I had never heard that term before, and he explained that near the end of the mining district there was not too much actual work in the mines. What they were doing was mining the pockets of investors who wanted to own a part of a gold mine! What brought this to mind is that we are doing the same thing to Keith! Thanks Keith. Hopefully he isn"t all played out yet and has very deep pockets...Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Dan-Keith has very deep "historical" pockets and loves to relate what he loves-the Gilpin Tramway.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Woodie, Dan,

There's plenty more stuff to relate on the Gilpin Tram.  Previously, I had posted stuff starting at the enginehouse, heading up Chase Gulch, and ending at the Queen of the West Mine.

From here, the Gilpin Tram swung around the east brow of Winnebago Hill and headed for Eureka Gulch.


This part of the line was entirely in sight and directly above, Central City.  What will follow are several photos of this area.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Winnebago Hill sits in between Chase Gulch to the north and Central City to the south.  It is noteworthy because the Gilpin Tram grade swung around the south end of the hill, and ran along the south slope to Eureka Gulch.

As the grade swung around the east end of the hill, it approached the Freedom Mine.


The view above shows an ore train chuffing past the Freedom Mine.  It also shows how close the mine and grade were to Central City at this point!


A better closeup of the same view, showing the mine in earlier years.  The Freedom Mine had its own west-facing spur off of the mainline, and was a regular ore shipper on the Gilpin Tram.


This view is probably one you have never seen before.  It shows the west side of the Freedom Mine, with the GT mainline in the foreground.  Note that the mine has been enlarged considerably from the previous photo.  This photo came from a 1907 Mining Investor magazine, and was promoting the mines in the area.  If you're interested in this mine, Mike Blazek sells drawings of it, drawn from these and other photos.


Today, nothing remains of the Freedom Mine except for old roadbed and the waste rock dump.


Winnebago Hill was still on a stiff grade, as witnessed by three shays hauling this train.  The buildings in the foreground are along Eureka Street.  Ore cars loaded with coal are coupled behind the second locomotive, and empty cars are coupled behind the third locomotive.


Today, the grade can be readily seen - it's the dirt road near the top of the hill.


Much of the Gilpin grade was supported on dry-laid stone walls, which remain today.  View is looking west, with Gunnell Hill at the left background.


An upgrade ore train of empty cars is edging along Winnebago Hill.  Parts of the roadbed are supported on a low stone wall.


The grade transitions to a more gentler sloped area, through this grassy location.  The Gilpin grade exits the left margin of this photo.


Joe Crea is examining a low stone wall through a small cut along Winnebago Hill.


A loaded ore train is easing down Winnebago Hill with seven loaded cars.  Note the caboose and water car coupled at the rear.  Gold ore looks white in old B&W photos, and I am told by "those that know" the gold ore has a light gray color.  The waste rock dumps we see today are that same rock, weathered over the years to the light yellow/buff color we are familiar with.  If you go to one of these dumps and dig down a few inches, you will find the original gray rock color.


Here is  a view looking west showing the 8' wide grade.


Another view of the grade showing not all of it is supported on rock walls.


In this view, a train of ore cars loaded with coal is nearing Eureka Gulch and the water tank.


This view shows a loaded ore train pausing at the second water tank at Eureka Gulch. In the background is the City water reservoir and the Eureka Gulch bridge.


Today, the City water reservoir buiding is still there, as are the bridge abutments for the Eureka Gulch crossing.  See that little black pipe on the right side of the road?  That's the water fill pipe for the Gilpin's water tank - all that remains of the water tank today.


This small photo shows the water tank area - we'll explore this in more detail in my next set of posts.


I built models of the water tanks (which was covered in Light Iron Digest several years ago).  The tank on the left is a model fo the first tank, which sat on the opposite (south) side of the track.  It was found to be too small, so was replaced by the more modern tank as seen on the right. For some reason, I ended up building 4 of these water tank models - I only needed one on my layout!  Oh well.

That's all for now, more will follow in a few days.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Oops, not sure what happened at the end of the last post.  I'll repost those last few photos.

Here is  a view looking west showing the 8' wide grade.



Another view of the grade showing not all of it is supported on rock walls.



This view shows a loaded ore train pausing at the second water tank at Eureka Gulch. In the background is the City water reservoir and the Eureka Gulch bridge.



Today, the City water reservoir buiding is still there, as are the bridge abutments for the Eureka Gulch crossing.  See that little black pipe on the right side of the road?  That's the water fill pipe for the Gilpin's water tank - all that remains of the water tank today.



This small photo shows the water tank area - we'll explore this in more detail in my next set of posts.



I built models of the water tanks (which was covered in Light Iron Digest several years ago).  The tank on the left is a model fo the first tank, which sat on the opposite (south) side of the track.  It was found to be too small, so was replaced by the more modern tank as seen on the right. For some reason, I ended up building 4 of these water tank models - I only needed one on my layout!  Oh well.


That's all for now, more will follow in a few days.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Great stuff, thanks for posting!

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Great stuff Keith !

Love the Gilpin...
...nice size stock & lokies.

Thanks for the 2' inspiration Keith.

Cheers.

Si.

Doug Heitkamp
Registered


Joined: Thu Feb 21st, 2013
Location: Centennial, Colorado USA
Posts: 5
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

As usual, Great Stuff! Glad to hear you survived the move.

Doug

Last edited on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 01:52 am by Doug Heitkamp

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Thanks! Ray, Si, and Doug.

3 1/2 weeks ago, we moved to our new home.  Most of the previous layout had to be dismantled, but I was able to save some sections for reuse, and some building models to be reused in a future part of the layout.  Last week, I attempted to reactivate part of the layout, but when I plugged in my Digitrax DCC system, the booster unit let out a nice puff of smoke - fortunately, Caboose Hobbies was having a sale for President's Day, so I got a new booster on sale with free shipping.  So, after fiddling around a bit more this weekend, trains resumed running on the Gilpin Tram today. 


For now, I will be operating a 8' long section temporarily hooked up, which contains 4 mines - lots of switching opportunities, and should keep me occupied for some time.

I also took a panoramic shot of the new layout room (the panoramic image was taken with my phone camera, and greatly distorts the view - you're looking at most of all 4 room walls in this photo). 

You can see that this is in the very rough, initial stages, but I do have an 8' long section lit and powered up.  Eventually, the section on the left will be where the Black Hawk terminal, mills, and town will be located, then a lift-out bridge will cross in front of the window, and reach the mining district (this mining district will eventually be reworked, and deepened from 16" to about 24", allowing a bit more scenery).   Finally, the mainline will cross on another liftout bridge (I don't want to the block that door, which leads to the utilities room), and will reach a 5' long section which will house yet more mines.  Trains will eventually exit off to the right, into liftout fiddle yard sections.  Lots of work to do, but I'll eventually get there.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Glad to see your getting the layout back-up.  I'm pretty amazed you can even find the layout just after a move!!!

Let us know plans for your empire, looking forward to much more great stuff.

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I am working on a trackplan now. I post something once I figure out what I want build next. But for now, it's nice to operating trains again.

Keith

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Looks great! Looking forward to the track plan and more updates. It's great that you can get 4 mines into the eight feet you have. Finally found the NG&SLG article with your layout! Great and inspiring stuff.

Brian

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, noticed with interest that you are already operating. I am in the process of building a Gilpin inspired layout in On30. I have five sections built and hopefully will add four more. I would like to operate in a reasonable prototypical way, using the four way waybills available from Micro Mart. Some questions I have about the Tram...how did they get empties deliverd in the early days before phones, especially if they had not used any cars for a while. I have a "Leavenworth" siding and plan to run empties up there and distribute them to the mines. Also seems to me that the mine owners were a trusting bunch. It looks like they did not have a lot of control after their valuable ore left the mine and showed up at the mill. The engineer's train list looks like the only control. I have read of miners sneaking ore out of mines in their lunch buckets so surely there must have been some "temptation". I have at least a bazillion other questions for you and hopefully for other Gilpin fanatics. Dan.

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Dan,

On30 gilpin, cool. How about some pictures? :2t:

Brian

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Brian, I have a photo of a mine that I wanted to put on this site, the one Keith called the mystery mine. I am now officially announcing to the entire world that I am the most computer-challenged person alive. I even had my daughter come over to help (and she is really good at this "stuff") and she also could not get the photo online. I see all the other photos and I wonder how I have made it this far! The only thing I am really good at is watching television...but I will keep working on it (or not) and maybe I will surprise myself.Dan.

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Dan--

If you can't get photos into the gallery, why not go with the Photobucket, or Flicker route--outlined in the "sticky" in the General Talk section?

Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
"Luke-use the force"...or rather use the TOOLS then Compatibility View Settings. That may get the "big G" to work.
Dan-you are not the computer doofus that I am. If it has a keyboard, I am lost.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Yesterday, you asked about operations on the Gilpin Tram - real and the model.

My HOn30 layout is basically a switching shelf layout.  I also use the Micro-Mark car cards, which have 4 faces on them.  I also use the wood partitioned boxes to sort the cards, and have one or more at each major switching point.  Of course, they are not on the present layout - yet, but will be.

The real Gilpin Tram is a bit harder to decipher.  Only some of their paper records exist. 

At one of the National Narrow Gauge Conventions, years ago, Mel Ferrell told the story during one of his Gilpin Tram clinics of how he was visiting a model railroad club layout in Denver, that was apparently housed in the Union Depot or similar structure.  When walking through a corridor, they noticed a baled pallet of paper to be disposed of, and he spotted the Gilpin name on several papers.  Mel and others then took some of the soon-to-be-hauled-to-the-landfill papers, and the rest was presumably thrown away by the C&S.  This sounds similar to other stories I have read of how railroads often discard unwanted documents.

As a result, there isn't much detail on operations.  However, I have had the chance to dig through some wonderful historical collections, at the Colo. RR Museum, the Colo. Historical Society, and Norlin Library at  the University at Boulder.  From that, and from a few documents Dan Abbott showed me, some things I learned:
  • The conductor or engineer filled out a slip with the number of pickups and setouts at each mine, using the Engineer's Daily Report form.  Examples of this paperwork can be seen in both Ferrell's and Sundance's books, and shown below:
  • The Tram kept a ledger for each year for each shipper, which means mostly mines, but a few others. The ore was tracked by either cords of ore or number of cars.  Coal was usually listed by weight.  How they got the weight of the coal shipped I do not know - I have never seen a reference to a scale on the GT.  The ledger books, there are four of them, are in the Colo. Historical Society archives and a great wealth of info.  I transcribed the records at the Colo. RR Museum, and they were mostly all published in the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society about 10 years ago.  An example of a month's record is shown below:
  • There were also duplicate mill receipts.  I do not know if the railroad handled this paperwork, or if it was only between the mine and mill.  I have one example for the Old Town mine.  I am guessing this is how the mine shipper tracked cars shipped over the GT. I also think most ore was not all that high-grade so leaving it in open cars was not much of a risk.  If there were higher grade ores, maybe they were shipped by wagon team? One of these is shown below. 
  • The above record shows train number (4), lists who received the ore, and lists the mine name.  I can't read the mine name - can anyone else make out the name?  By the way, the CDS mill that was the recipient of the 3 GT ore cars refers to the Chamberlain Dillinghaus Sample, which was just east of the Randolph Mill.
  • There were regular business records kept. I own a page of the employee monthly payroll records, which lists hours worked by everyone each month.
  • The Hollenback, Ferrell, and Sundance books have tidbits scattered throughout describing train movements.  There seems to be often two trains each day up the line - maybe the same loco doing both trips or two different crews - maybe it depended on traffic levels.  I don't know how the mills were switched, but there are photos showing daytime operations.
  • From photo evidence and the scanty paperwork available, it appears that empties were at least partially stored on low-traffic spurs and branches for handy use as needed.  I would think empties would be distributed from wherever handy, then that car number assigned to a specific mill destination.
  • Regarding coal, it was documented by weight, and an example of a paper record is shown below:
It looks like 1 C&S gondola was transloaded into 7 Gilpin Tram ore cars.
There are all kinds of exceptions to the above.  For example, there were double-headed trains, even triple headed ones on the line.  There were excursion trains, night trains, work trains, snow trains, etc.  The Gilpin Tram also switched C&S cars in Black Hawk, too - there's paper records of that that exist.  Lots of stuff to think about!

Well, this is enough BS for one day, Hope this helps.

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, Thanks for the info. The name of the mine looks like the Old Town, with the O, and the rest scrawled seems to read town. You mention the pay scale, that would be an ineresting thing to share. I agree that getting a working operating session fitted to the Tram is challenging. I noticed from one of your early articles that at one time you used other freight cars including box cars. I always overdo things, like putting two tracks in where one will do. So I know how easy it is to get carried away. Basically the Tram was empties up and loads down which in real life is okay but a bit boring on a model railroad. That was the reason for my previous questions about box cars etc. I model in On30 and our friends at Bachmann have just come out with a line of 18 foot cars. Oh well, I guess I can use some of them. Dan.

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Brian, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. My wife seems to think that birthdays and wedding anniversaries are more important than the Gilpin Tram. As I mentioned, I am modeling in On30 and have built 5 sections that measure four feet by thirty inches each. They assemble into a U shape. I presently live in an apartment having moved back to Colorado from Arizona. My wife (her again) seemed to feel that daytime temps in the 110-115 range were not for her. We have been out looking at houses and as soon as our agent opens the door the boss rushes into the kitchen and I rush down to the basement. All the sections were built in the apartment which meant that there could not be any noise or mess. I did put the frames together in the garage but the rest was done in the spare bedroom. It is all built with foam and each section weighs 25 to 30 lbs. I plan on adding four more sections later. One thing about using foam, you had better be very sure that the track is where you want it the first time... I envy people like Keith and others who are building a very close representation of the Gilpin. The best I can hope for is a Gilpin-like feel. I have a mill that measures 15 inches by twelve inches so you can see that needs to have a lot of room. (however there is an old unused Hobby Lobby building here in town I have my eye on...I wish!) More later if you are interested.Dan.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I think you're right about that duplicate mill receipt - it does look like it was from the Old Town mine .

The track to the left of the enginehouse leads to a turntable - a space saving item the real GT never had

My model railroad operations try to depict a combination of some of the prototype Gilpin Tram operations, and a bunch of freelanced stuff.  I like a lot of narrow gauge - not just Gilpin Tram. As a result, I have cars on the layout modeled after Silver City, Pinos Altos, & Mogollon, Quincy & Torch Lake, ,Sandy River and others.

The twisted logic I follow on my layout is that there are parts trying to recreate the Gilpin Tram, and those areas I will model the best I can according to the prototype.  As for the rest, I latched onto one of the paper railroads (chartered but never built) in Gilpin County, and letter rolling stock for the Gilpin, James Peak & Middle Park Railway.  Here is where I generally letter the boxcars, tank cars, reefers, etc. - all rolling stock the real Gilpin Tram never had.  I also have passenger traffic, also non-Gilpin Tram.

Station at Nugget, a freelanced town with freelanced traffic

I do run the equipment side by side, and it congregates together in the Black Hawk yards, and so at times you see Gilpin ore trains running past a brewery, or rod locomotives pulling boxcars running past mines that were located on the Gilpin Tram.  It works for me. 

What the?  Pickle cars?  Sure, at least running on the Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park Railway

The freelanced Clear Creek Supply Company ships boxcars, flatcars, and gondolas to all sorts of online towns on the freelanced part of the railroad.  Definitely never existed in real life!

Generally, the ore traffic tends to stay separate from the freelanced traffic, and I think I will continue this concept as I rebuild my new layout.  There are just so many fun prototypes to model, and also so many model kits or kitbash material to limit myself to only one line of modeling.

After all, aren't we all in model railroading so we can re-create the world as it should have been? :)

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Nice work, Keith. As always. I agree about the "Gilpin-esque" flavor, my rr is built on the premise that the SCPA&M began from both Silver City and Mogollon. The SC line went down but the MRy hung on due to the rich mines in the area. Fantasy wil set you free! At least that's my story.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You're right: "Reality is for people that don't do model railroading" (to paraphrase an old pop saying from the 1960s).

Keith

OhioMike
Registered


Joined: Fri Dec 14th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 66
Status: 
Offline
love the Clear Creek Supply company, especially the freight wagon next to it!!!

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

I like you layout and operating style. I would call it proto freelance. The elements of the prototype with an element of what could be or what interests you. Given my interests, that's what I do too, combine elements that I like with some prototype.

I really like the three dimensionness of your scenes.

Dan, keep more info coming. Still hoping for pictures.

Brian

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

As always look forward to each and every post.  Got some old Gazette's from 1983, seems Rick Steele did some stories on Central City.  While not Gilpin, they are the exact same area.  Good reading.

I wish I could make a switch-back for C&S up to Central City.  The Gilpin will have one but due to depth over Blackhawk I could never figure out how to make a C&S switch-back work.  Even with a 22' wall I would need 2-3 ledges at roughly 2"-3" deep so would really hurt what I could do modeling Blackhawk itself.  Plan to stub off so in future I could add.

Maybe when I move I can wiggle another 6-12" and then add.

Keep up the great postings!

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Woodie, Brian, Mike and Cameron:

Thanks for all the nice comments.  The wagon at Clear Creek Supply is a Jordan HO farm wagon kit.  The complex was kitbashed from Main Street Heritage, FSM, and IHC building parts, and various detail parts. 

This isn't the first Clear Creek Supply - I seem to be stuck on building them, and the previous photo was the third version.  The second version was given to Al Sandrini for his layout, and that was about 11 years ago.  Here's 2 photos of the previous version:
This was also kitbashed from a Revell garage and two older scratch-built sheds.
This type of facility (whether the old or new one) ships a lot of boxcar, gondola and flatcar traffic to the various towns on the proto-freelanced Gilpin, James Peak & Middle Park Railway.   And, it's a great way to clear out some of the various detail parts that collect in my scrapbox.

Keith

OhioMike
Registered


Joined: Fri Dec 14th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 66
Status: 
Offline
Too bad Jordan only does HO....I need about 15 of those farm and freight wagons! Thank goodness i love scratchbuilding!

Last edited on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 04:24 am by OhioMike

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

In 1/4" scale, I have admired the McKenzie Iron & Steel wagons, sold at http://www.mckenzieironandsteel.com/catalog/.  I wish he did the same models in HO scale.

There's also Grizzly Mountain Engineering (GME), at http://www.g-m-e.com/laserkit.html

I have not tried any of GME's wagon kits, have you?  

I did purchase laser cut wood cabs for Gilpin shays and an excursion car back when they sold HOn30 parts (my understanding is they discontinued that line a few years ago).

I modified a Jordan HO Budweiser Beer Wagon to resemble an ore wagon.  Here is a progress shot of the ore wagon sitting under the trestle leading to the Polar Star mill, but the finished model looks okay.


Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith

Great to see your pics.
Love the look you have on the layout.

Cheers.

Si.

Traingeekboy
Registered


Joined: Sun Aug 28th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 493
Status: 
Offline
Wow, A gilpin layout! Very nice indeed.

I first got interested in the gilpin years ago when I saw a drawing for a gilpin ore car in a narrow gauge magazine. Must have been in the mid 80's. Perhaps a drawing done by you Keith?

i will have to come back and read, for now i just skimmed and mostly the images.

What strikes me most about the old photos as compared to new ones, is the trees. They pretty much cut down every piece of firewood or lumber on site back in those days. I had always thought the Gilpin ran above tree line, but seeing comparison photos makes me realize it was just people needed to build and keep warm that created that moonscape effect. Then again it means you can save time not needing to model too many trees. :)

Thanks for this long discussion from everyone who contributed.

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
They needed to keep the ores warm TGB...

...who can blame 'em !

Rockin' thread Keith.

Cheers

Si.

OhioMike
Registered


Joined: Fri Dec 14th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 66
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for the links keith...
The mckenzie one doesnt work but the GME one does, ill have to order from them. Thanks again.
Mike

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Regretfully Bill Roy, owner of McKenzy, passed away last year. He usec to publish Timberbeast in addition to plans, figures and vehicle kits.
He will be missed.

Brian

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Brian, Si, Mike, Traingeekboy, all other narrow-minded modelers out there:

That is a distinct advantage in modeling Gilpin County in the mining era - very few trees!  One thing I tried to model was a lot of stumps around the hillsides - you can still see a lot today around the hillsides.

Yes, unfortunately Bill Roy passed away in June 2012.  A link that worked today is:

http://mckenzieironandsteel.com/catalog/

another link is here:

http://www.creative-works.ca/mckenzie

This website announces that they are no longer taking orders, but you can at least view the line of products they had.  I thought I had read elsewhere on one of the newsgroups that someone was intending to take over the line? Maybe someone else knows it this is true?

In HO, there are a few manufacturers of wagon kits out there.  I have purchased some from:
  • Jordan
  • Musket Miniatures
  • Grizzly Mountain Engineering
  • Aritec
  • Preiser
And I know there's a few more out there I have forgotten about.  The Musket Miniatures wagons are useful.  They have some prototypes not offered by others.  Here are 3 photos of models built by my friend John Niemeyer.
Above is a more-or-less stock kit of their coal wagon.  John built this for me and I use it on my layout.
Something less commonly modeled is a scraper/excavator.  This is John's Musket Miniatures model.
These are both John's models.  At left is the Jordan Products light delivery wagon kit, and at right is Musket Miniatures' delivery wagon.

There's a decent selection of vehicle kits out there, at least in HO scale.


Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Nice wagons Keith.
The horses look great.

Cheers

Si.

OhioMike
Registered


Joined: Fri Dec 14th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 66
Status: 
Offline
Outstanding work keith! Great looking horse vehicles!

Mike

Last edited on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 03:58 am by OhioMike

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Si and Mike:

I agree that the wagons and horses look good, but I can't take credit for most of them - they were built by John Niemeyer!

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Woodie, Keith... Looking back through earlier posts at the water car, I noticed that Woodie has a hose on his car and Keith did not. Obviously, filling the car was done at the water tanks, but I am curious how the Tram delivered the water to the mines. I am sure that at all locations gravity would not be the answer. There are hoses on top of the shays to siphon water from the creek. Surely this was how it was done...Dan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Dan-

There seems to be one decent prototype photo of the water car, and even that is partially obstructed by a wagon parked in front. The idea of a hose to drain the tank makes sense to me. Plus, the mines receiving the water car (such as the Barnes) did not have an elevated track serving it. I wonder if they drained to a below grade cistern and pumped water out it. In that scenario, you would not necessarily need to have much of a drain hose.

But for modeling purposes, I would tend to defer to the Maestro of Modeling, Sultan of Scenery, and Wizard of Whimsy - Woodie Greene, and go with a big 'ol drain hose.

Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
" You can lead a horse to water...
...but a pencil must be lead "

Cheers

Si.

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Si, Sorry you are unhappy with my "stupid questions"...but they are a heck of a lot better than what you have contributed. Good news for you however, not to worry, this will be my last post. Have a nice life. Dan. (Wow, it really is hard having thin skin...)

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Awww, come on. Dan, if I had listened to the stuff I read about my r/c addiction many years ago...I would have dropped the hobby. Life is too short. Sit back and enjoy what Keith hath wrought.

Woodie

Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 624
Status: 
Offline
Huh? Unless the moderators deleted a remark Si made I don't know what that's even about.

I did not see where Si commented on any "stupid questions". As a matter of fact, I thought the last question from Dan was pretty relevant.

Oh well...what do I know?

OK, back to the Gilpin. Carry on Keith.

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Cmon guys, dont let a miscommunication ruin a good thread. I really don't think Si meant anything, just maybe used the wrong font.

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
" Hi Si, Sorry you are unhappy with my "stupid questions"...but they are a heck of a lot better than what you have contributed. Good news for you however, not to worry, this will be my last post. Have a nice life. Dan. (Wow, it really is hard having thin skin...)"

----------------------------------------------------------

Hi Dan.

I have just seen this post, and am quite unable to fathom out what you are actualy on about.

I am unaware of any 'stupid questions' as you write...
...and also your use of quotation marks, implies that I actualy said this.

This is quite simply misleading to others reading the thread.

Sullivan has seen nothing of any concern...

...Elminero says he thinks I didn't mean anything, or used the wrong font ??
Mmmm...

I have enjoyed this thread very much...
...and my comments, as always, on Freerails, are positive and encouraging ones; just as I would expect others to make regarding my own contributions to the sites exellent ongoing friendship of modelers, their interests, and outstanding work.

My own personal philosophy, through very much learning over the years, from knowledgable folk who enjoy sharing the passion for their model making...
...is that in everything from 'rivet counting' to 'fun scale', there is a place for everything and everyone...
...at least in my book.

I will undoubtedly have a "nice life" Dan; I have managed to so far anyhow; principaly I believe, by my unfaltering positive attitude toward those around me.

I am sad to see you feel I have contributed nothing of value to Freerails.
I feel I have contributed a small amount of modelling, many encouraging and complimentary comments on the amazing variety of things seen on the site; and most importantly, in my view, a presence which most seem to see, as a chatty member with a sense of humour.

Nothing by the way has been 'deleted' that I have posted; in this thread, or in any other on Freerails...
...EVER !
I am not the sort of person that requires that kind of action.

It is a shame that sometimes in instances such as these, some my be put off from posting; quite why, I'm sure I don't know.
I will personaly carry on posting as enthusiasticaly as ever on Freerails.

I hope that my contributions will continue to be appreciated by the good people I have chatted with, since becoming a member.

Carry on Freerails, gentlemen...
...best RR site in the Milky Way
( possibly the Universe ! )

Cheers

Si.

The site you can bite between meals, without ruining your appetite !

Last edited on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 03:37 am by Si.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
OK guys, let Keith get back to bidness..(Texican for biz) and end this philo-sop-ikle talk. You do know that I have a delete button avaiable? LOL
Yep, have a good chuckle and let's visit Blackhawk & Central again.

Woodrow

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Everyone -

Woodie brings up a good point - life's too short to get worked up about minor matters.  Actually, I was thinking about what I do for a hobby - I devote many hours reading and searching for tidbits of information about a little 26-mile railroad that has been abandoned for 96 years and has virtually no direct impact on our lives today.   How wonderful and rich my life is, when I can spend all this time and effort on something so inconsequential!   I know, I know, the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

So, back to more fun, but still trivial points to ponder.

GILPIN TRAM ARTIFACTS

Aside from old grades and bridge abutments, there is not much other physical evidence remaining of the Gilpin Tramway.  All of the locomotives and rolling stock were scrapped a long time ago, and all of the Gilpin-specific structures have long been demolished (although parts of the stone warming house survived until about 1990).

But, little pieces of the Gilpin Tram be found here and there.  Railroad ties, for instance - after having hiked most of the grades over the years, I have seen less that 30 total old railroad ties, and not all in one place, either.  There have been rumors over the years about this or that being in stored in someone's garage or warehouse somewhere, but, seeing is believing, and I haven't seen any of these yet!

Joe Crea is pointing to a half dozen ties found on the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch on Quartz Hill, about 1995


Here is Darel Leedy clowning at the "Shrine" on the Saratoga Branch, with Joe Crea having a good laugh, about 1996.  One of the local residents spotted two wood ties on the old branch grade to the Saratoga Mine (near the Searles Spur), and helpfully fenced in around them to preserve them.  Darel did not step on the ties - if he had, we might have shunned him and condemned him to modeling unit coal trains in N scale!


Likewise, occasionally I have found parts of trackage, such as spikes, broken splice bar bolts, rail joiners, spikes for wood cribbing.  When discovered, these become a cherished part of my collection.  I have found a few spikes, but Dan Abbott is the champion "spike-finder".  I think that every time I have ever walked a grade with Dan Abbott, he has found at least one tie.  Here is some of Dan's finds from the Chase Gulch grade, not too far west of Smith Road Crossing:


You can seebroken and unbroken spikes, track bolts, coal, and misc. pieces of iron found by Dan Abbott near the Smith Road Crossing

Once in a while, though, you get lucky.  The Gilpin Tramway had several well-documented wrecks in its past.  For example, there was a well-photographed wreck of Shay #3 at Prosser Gulch.


Other accounts talk about the runaway ore cars that crashed at Roundhouse Curve, and others that are shown in photos in the Sundance Gilpin Tram Era book. 

Back in 2001, my friend Darel Leedy and I were enjoying a hike up the grade in Chase Gulch, where we think found where a previously undocumented derailment or minor wreck occurred.

Our hike up Chase Gulch took place in late fall weather.  By the time we had reached the head of the gulch near Castle Rock, it had started snowing, and we were getting pretty cold.  We decided to turn back, and as we were hiking back to the car, Darel spotted some man-made wood shapes tucked down in the trees below the roadbed (Darel is an expert at spotting man-made objects that have spilled down mountainsides).

In this area, the Gilpin Tram was on one of its characteristic stone cribbed walls.  The stonewall was about 12 feet high at this point, and the hillside was very steep and rocky, eventually ending at the creek bed far below.  After we had scrambled down the slope, we found what we believe was the site of a minor wreck on the Gilpin Tramway.  What Darel had spotted was a crosstie laying against a small pine tree, which had prevented it from sliding further down the hillside.  This was a real gold mine, at least in terms of cross ties.  Six different cross ties were found scattered about, in various stages of decay.  One of the ties was rather unusual, having four square holes bored into it - we wondered how it was used? One tie other still had four spikes in it, although two of the spike heads were broken off Maybe a track problem had contributed to the wreck?  Scattered all about the hill, from just below the stone retaining wall to about 100 feet below the roadbed were lumps of coal.  We estimated that there was probably 500 pounds of coal left on the rocky hillside. 

Darel Leedy with one of the crossties we found that day in Chase Gulch

Several other artifacts were found.  Darel located part of a broken brake shoe, which had tumbled about 150 feet down the hillside.  Laying right on top of a rock was another rare find - a link and pin from one of the couplers.  This link pin measures 1" in diameter, and is 16" long.  Lying nearby was a well-used chisel, about 12" long.  This battered tool was marked with many hammer marks, and appeared to have been well used.  Perhaps it fell out of someone's hands up on the roadbed, and they lost it in the rocky and steep slope below.

Some splice plates, a tie, and spilled coal found in Chase Gulch in 2001

Darel and picked out the tie in the best shape, and hauled it down the hill back to the car.  The tie now has a place of honor in Darel's front yard.

No identifiable parts of any cars or trucks were found, or for that matter, any piece of metal or wood that could even have been part of a freight car.  Freight cars were valuable equipment, so it is likely the railroad promptly cleaned up anything of value, and not left behind anything usable.

Whatever happened in Chase Gulch that day, we probably will never know for sure.  Regardless, we had fun exploring the site.  Hmmm, we wonder what else could be hidden in the brush and rocks of Chase Gulch?


Here are some artifacts we have found in Chase Gulch: from left to right, a coupler link pin, chisel, long spike used in wood cribbing, and two spikes

Well, that's all for today.  My next post will discuss a real-life accident on my model Gilpin Tramway.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-one of my treasures is a Gipin spike brought to me by my late buddy Steve Beck and since we both love(d) the Silver City line, he found a couple of spikes from there also! What are the chances little #1 traveled over both spikes in it's lifetime?

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

#1 just might have run over both!  A fun thing to think about.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
WHAT THE TARNATION!!! roared Engineer John Tiernay, as with hellacious thump and grinding roar Shay #3 came to an abupt stop.


 
Jumping down to the ground, the  crew quickly discovered the problem....


 
Shay #3 dropped the front universal on the drive shaft to the rear truck.  Fortunately, the loco was moving along at slow speed (aren't shays always slow?) down the winding spur to the Woods Mine when the drive shaft fell off.



While the crew pondered their predicament, the miners at the Woods and Buckley Mines gathered about to see what the fuss about.  Looked like #3 would out of service for a while.  Fortunately, the Woods Mine was a prosperous mine, and even had electricity and one of the those newfangled phone contraptions.  Conductor Ernest Klein soon was on the line to roundhouse in Black Hawk, and summoned help.

An hour or so later, Shay #4 showed up to the rescue.  Under the watchful eye of General Foreman Louis Pircher the loose drive shaft was lashed up and the crippled loco carefully pulled into Black Hawk for repairs.

In the real world, one of my modified Atlas N scale shays actually did drop part of the rear truck drive shaft linkage while I was switching cars at the Woods Mine.   Fortunately, the fallen part didn't wander too far, and with a little careful work, it'll be ACC'd back on and #3 will go back in service.  The crew names i pulled off an actual Gilpin Railroad wage/time sheet I obtained.

Well, model railroading is fun - even actual mishaps!

Keith

Dan B
Registered


Joined: Sat Nov 24th, 2012
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 208
Status: 
Offline
Awesome! Thanks for getting us back to the GT.  :thumb:

Maybe I missed it but, did you have a model of the cabooses?

Dan B

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I have built models of all 3 cabeese, but haven't gotten around to posting any photos yet - I'll need to do that. They are a neat size, and I know commercial models were once offered in HO and still in O (International Hobbies, I think?). Several other people have made models of them in recent years, all of which look better than my simple models! I intend to redo some details on them someday, but...

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-that's a great story! Something that really happened on many lines. We can stand much more...give it to us!

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

There are some model stories that just do not translate to prototypical stories. In past years, my little model world has been subjected to the attack of the 100 foot tall cat, trains running the 1000 foot abyss at end of track, or the giant hand that snaps off a smokestack!

I see the Mogollon Railway has been plagued with giant 10-foot wide leaves and other calamities.

Sometimes I wonder how often the Gilpin Tram had minor derailments during switching compared to my model railroad.

At least I don't have to worry about pinching my fingers in link and pin couplers.

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Great story, Keith!

Keep up with your always interesting posts--luv em


Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-according to SCPA&M historian Duane E., derailments were a daily occurance on the line. I am glad to know that I am operating in a "prototypical" manner.

To the list of calamities, add monster squirrels, giant insects, large flying dinosaurs, and big old ants.

Woodie

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
W C Greene wrote: Keith-according to SCPA&M historian Duane E., derailments were a daily occurance on the line. I am glad to know that I am operating in a "prototypical" manner.

To the list of calamities, add monster squirrels, giant insects, large flying dinosaurs, and big old ants.

Woodie

Sounds like you need to add a Jurassic Park section to the layout.... Maybe that's what all that blue foam is for?


Last edited on Tue Mar 19th, 2013 06:25 pm by mwiz64

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Mike-the whole layout is Jurassic!

Woodie

mwiz64
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 26th, 2012
Location: Fenton, Michigan USA
Posts: 1330
Status: 
Offline
What did you say it was called again, the Denver Jurassic Park and Pacific.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Woodie's experience shows that there are definite advantages to having an indoor layout!

Back when I was fresh out of school and recently married, my wife had several friends over one night, and some of them had young children. Well, I was traveling for work, and out of state. I got a call from my wife - from the tone of her voice I was certain someone had died. Instead, she told me how she had come downstairs to my layout room (the shelf layout even in 1984 was mounted high on the wall), and saw one of the kids had figured out how to climb up, take all the locos and rolling stock down to the floor, and was playing with them on the carpet! It actually was funny in a way (considering I thought some one had passed away, just some broken rolling stock was a far better situation in comparison), but it did take me a while to fix all the rolling stock! (Oh, and we remained friends with our neighbors after this, too).

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Seems we have a mutual friend, John, we know him as Rev over in HON3Chat and a new group we just formed.

Ask about Rabbi.  John is a great guy.

Keep posting, great stuff, and by the way the spike you sent me means even more after you posted the Artifacts pictures!

Thanks Cameron \ Rabbi

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Have a question, how did you do the shell on your Shays?  I am trying to re-gauge 2 Flying Zoo Shays to Z scale track (24" roughly in HO) and trying to use z scale wheel-sets in-order to reduce track width.

Issue is turn-outs (Dual gauge), so far being told very difficult and I want an interchance in Black Hawk with C&S.

Another option if re-gauge does not work is flea motors from Sea rails.  Plan to get 2 and test.  There is a HON3 or 30 Shay shell listed but not sure if they are still making it (heard they in-sourced a lot of printing and cannot do all parts now).

Thanks Cameron \ Rabbi

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

As to how I do the shays, I have a few around the layout.  Three are Atlas N scale shays, and I use the boiler (stripped of detail) and frame.   The cabs were either built scratch in plastic, or with laser cut cabs (no longer available).  The Joe Works shays I have are similar - I might dress up the cab and tender differently, but they remain a two-cylinder, T-boilered shay.  Below, a Joe Works shay is on the left, and a modified Atlas N scale shay is on the right.



I would think rolling stock using Z scale would look pretty neat.  I shied away from it because of the cost of loco mechanisms - too expensive for me to want to modify.  I think if I modeled in 1/4" scale I would model On20 with HOn3 components - that gives a really nice look.

I have laid three-rail track in Black Hawk.  However, I don't actually run any 3' gauge locos.  Most trackage is for show and to park 3' gauge cars at the coal and freight transfer tracks.  I do switch 3' gauge coal cars, but this involves pushing/pulling and no turnouts.  I laid it in Code 40 track, and it worked, but I have no idea how well it work with a C&S 2-6-0 running over it.

I think you were also referring to a 3D printed shay mechanism on the Shapeways site?  I saw it too, and was tempted to try one, or a similar one.  I have purchased several HOn30 cars from that site, and been pretty happy with the results.  A photo of some of the models is below:
If you or anyone here has tried 3D printed parts, I'd love to hear about how it turned out for them.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

Great pictures.  Thanks for the info.  I believe Duncan (Toyman on HON3Chat) has some custom HON3-HON30 turn-outs made, not sure by whom.

The shapeways you showed look really good in pictures.  Hope they look as good up close.

Armed with your past Gazette articles and many pictures here I'm getting everything laid out to start Gilpin.

Focused on Denver Yard (sorta freelanced) and West Denver trackage right now.

Had some turn-out issues and electrical items to sort out.  Added a decent sized staging yard with reverse loop.

So much to do, so little time.  Updates at DGCCRR.Blogspot.com if interested.

Thanks again Cameron

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Howdy Keith-yes, I took the plunge with Shapeways and got a fine car made by Tom Bell (teebee).




Here she is. 1:35n2 open passenger car...completely built up in one piece. To say that I am satisfied would be wrong...I am elated with the product.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for posting previously about the SCPA&M Railway having daily derailments - I have meticulously and with great effort been able to duplicate that prototype feature on my own layout!

That excursion car is a real gem! I look forward to seeing a photo of the finished car on the Mogollon someday. I'll need to check the Shapeways site again - maybe the designer might have something similar available in HOn30!

Keith

tebee
Registered
 

Joined: Sat Jan 1st, 2011
Location: France
Posts: 447
Status: 
Offline
Not at the moment I'm afraid, but I have thought about it !

I do, however, have HOn30 Gilpin trucks

Tom

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline



Keith-here tis'. Ready for a trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Nice looking excursion car - that really turned out nice.  Not sure whether I would want a ride on it, though - that's an ornery and tough-looking bunch on that car!

What types of paint did you use on the car?  The color tones look very good.  I haven't actually finished any 3D printed cars (but I have done a bunch of freight car trucks) yet.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-I use Tamiya acrylics on most everything now, and if not that then I use Humbrol enamels. I settled on both brands long ago, if you look at their colors, they have matches to almost all "railroad colors" and are superior (my opinion) to Floquil, etc.

Those passengers are "temporary" until I can make some more civilized archeologists and "ladies".

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Talking about 3D printed parts - your HOn30 components are excellent.  For those reading this not familiar with Tom's designs, they are found at the Shapeways site, and look for "Tebee"-designed products.

I've used a several dozen of Tom's Gilpin Tram trucks, and I think they look great and roll very well.  They also come with end brake beams - they add a nice appearance to the cars.


Here are some Gilpin cars with 3D printed trucks.  Ore car 92, flatcar #2, and the caboose all have Tom's 3D Gilpin trucks under them.  The other two ore cars have 3D printed trucks from another source.

I also have several other 3D printed cars, yet to build, to eventually fill out the roster.  It turns out that I have some of Tom's designs for a stock car, tank cars, cabeese, and 4-wheel frames, all of which turn out to be exact copies for the prototype Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park railway.  I'll post pictures once I get around to finally completing these cars.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The colors and sheen on the painted figures look good.  It'll be fun to see what more genteel patrons start riding the Mogollon1

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
That sheen comes from the fact that the Bloated Goat mixes used motor oil into the stuff that they sell. Patrons are so desperate that they don't complain, and the proprietor is saving the environment. Previously, he poured it down the well--but the ring around the bath tub wouldn't go away.


Philup Miglas

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Too bad the Bloated Goat wasn't a national franchise - it'd make this country even more interesting!  Woodie's excursion car also has a figure holding a rifle - guess things aren't always quiet and peaceful.

On my own Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park Railway, things aren't always quiet, either.  Our roving reporter was able to capture this image of the near-riot when famed burlesque star Lili Von Shtuppe visited the local Sin Palace up in Nugget.  Lot's of rough-looking folks were lingering around until the Sheriff showed up to quiet things down.



Things are quiet in Nugget.....for now.

The figures are in part based on the John Allen figures from decades ago, plus several others with a southwestern twist.  I got them from Keith Glaab at Bosco Figures .

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
I looked at the picture before I read the caption below. I thought immediately of John Allen when I saw the slightly "pudgy" guys. Must be some place with good food in town!


Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-a most delightful scene and yes, it does make me think of Mr. Allen. BTW, the name is Headly...not Heady.

Woodie

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Good times indeed at Prof. Niemeyer's house of entertainment! great scene

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
A while ago, I posted several images of the Gilpin Tram mainline up through Chase Gulch, then around Winnebago Hill.  We saw the Freedom Mine, perched high above Central City, and halted the tour at the Eureka Gulch water tank.

Let's continue that tour, first by taking a closer look at the very fascinating Eureka Gulch area.


Here is another look at the Gilpin Tram on Winnebago Hill - the tram grade is seen running left to right along the top of this photo


This inset map shows the next area we'll be taking a closer look at - the Gunnell Hill mining area and the first area with a lot of spurs and mines.



This is Eureka Street, with my back against the water reservoir looking due east.  The Gilpin Tram grade crossed the road at the street sign.  The middle building at left shows up in photos from the 1800s.

Central City had a network of 3 reservoirs strategically set around town.  The Gilpin Tram locos needed water after the long, hard climb up Chase Gulch and Winnebago Hill.  Eureka Street was a logical place for a water tank.  The tram took water directly from the reservoir.


This familiar photo shows a loaded ore train pausing at the tank. The gold bearing ore shows up white in the old black and white photos.  You can see the city water reservoir building behind the train.  At the left margin of this picture, you can see the Eureka Gulch bridge.

This photo shows the second and larger water tank at this location. The first water tank was considerably smaller and on the opposite (south) side of the tracks.  You can purchase drawings of this water tank from Mike Blazek, and I published two articles with drawings of this area in Light Iron Digest several years ago.


This great old photo is looking south over Eureka Gulch.  Near the bottom of the photo is the water tank, reservoir, and gulch area.  The start of the Buckley Mine branch and some other mines can be seen here, also.   The sketch below explains what is shown in this photo:



Here is a closer view of the water tank area - you can see the first water tank, which was later replaced by a larger water tank. Note how close to town this area was - the tram is running through a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Central City.



I built models of both the first and second water tanks.  Here is a photo of the first water tank - both the prototype and the model were tiny!



The Eureka Gulch area makes a great model. Because the Gilpin Tram made a sharp curve to the south here, you can easily adapt this scene to an inside corner in the layout room.  I built a model of Eureka Street in a 24" x 24" area in HOn30.  Here is a view of that scene:



The city water reservoir was modeled as a building flat against the backdrop.

Next, we'll start heading up through Prosser Gulch, and check out the mining activity there.

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith--

Great stuff--as usual!

Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
I hope all you readers realize that you would have to pay mucho dinero (big buck$) to get info like what we have here. Thank you Keith for all the work you do, I am enthralled with this thread and await every new post.

I will expect my check in the mail....
Woodie

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Excellent info.  Do you have any drawings or plans for the water tanks?

Also, was there a tank near the engine house in Black Hawk?

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Thanks, herb, Woodie, and Cameron.

Regarding a water tank down by the engine house - Dan Abbott told me his research showed that there was a water cistern inside the enginehouse that was used to fuel the locomotives. Also, there is reference in the Gilpin Tram era that the water they were getting from one of the mines in Russell Gulch (maybe the Saratoga?) was poor, so they built a water tank near the Russell Gulch bridge. So, apparently all the Gilpin had was the roundhouse cistern, and the Eureka and Russell Gulch tanks.

I do have drawings of the water tanks, which I can post later. My drawings for the second and larger tank are incorrect - Mike Blazek's drawings are the accurate ones that i recommend anyone build from.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Keith-thanks again for sharing. I don't always respond as it takes a few days to absorb your post as you pack so much good info into them.

I downloaded the 1912 Central City topo map to give myself an idea of the geography and relationships between the various locations:



My first impression was to be overwhelmed. There was alot of activity going on up there! One of the conclusions I had in my thesis on mining landscapes/architecture was that you could roughly estimate the success of a mining area by looking at the amount of infrastructure, roads, railroads, houses, communities water systems etc. If that is accurate, they must have pulled ALOT of valuable ore out of the hills!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for posting the excerpt from the USGS map - is that the 1912 "Special"?  This map shows the numerous switchbacks wrapping around the east side of Gunnell Hill - this hill was directly above Central City, and the mines are not all that far apart.  It's difficult today to follow all the grades, because the hillside has many trees that have grown up over the years, and their are also numerous old wagon roads crisscrossing the area, too. Because the Gilpin Tram had pretty steep grades in spots (they weren't shy to use 5% or greater grades), it can be difficult to differentiate between the roads and grade.

Cameron, you asked about water tank drawings - here is the drawing I originally published in Light Iron Digest a few years ago.  Remember, this drawing doesn't show the frost box and certain other details that this tank had (either better information has become available since then, or I made mistakes interpreting the photos, or both!).  Mike Blazek sells more accurate drawings.




Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith appreciate these.  I probably will take a little rule #1 leeway and have use the FSM Water tank / tool shed and sand/coal in Black Hawk for visual interest.

For upgrade your plans are a great start.  Have Mike's Gilpin 1 book.  Are the plans in book 2 or 3, or separate?


Thanks Cameron \Rabbi

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Mike Blazek's workbooks 1, 2, and 3 all have drawings in them. I am going from memory here, but I think Work book 2 has the Whiting, Buckley, Grand Army, Gunnell , and Concrete mine drawings in it. If not covered in workbook #1, it would have the water tank and Woods mine in there, too.

Mike's workbook #3 has a ton more of drawings, including the Avon Mill, Pease-Kansas, Gold Coin, First National, and I think maybe 2 or 3 more mines.

The drawings in the books are not printed to any regular scale, but scaled drawings can be purchased separately from him if needed.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith guess it gives me a reason to get next 2 volumes!

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
In our ongoing tour of the route of the Gilpin Tramway, we previously visited the Hidden Treasure Mill switchback, the line up Chase Gulch, the Freedom Mine, the route across Winnebago Hill, and the water tank and bridge crossing at Eureka Gulch.  We also got a glimpse of Gunnell Hill, the heart of the Eureka Mining District.

This post will continue that journey, gradually continuing along the mainline, but stopping to explore the spurs and mines along the right-of-way.

Gunnell Hill was a rat's nest of switchbacks and spurs, with one mine (the Hubert) requiring 7 switchbacks to reach it.  So, for convenience, I will refer to some of the key areas by the official Gilpin Railroad milepost (for reference, we started near Hidden Treasure Switchback No. 1, at milepost 36.73).

M.P. 40.08 Eureka Gulch Water Tank:

This area we looked at previously, and included the early and later water tanks, the bridge crossing over Eureka Gulch, and the city water reservoir.


This photo shows just how close to Central City and Black Hawk was Gunnell Hill


The mining districts around Central City, Nevadaville, and Russell Gulch were crowded with mines, and Gunnell Hill was no exception.  This photo shows some of the mines.  The Buckley Mine branch can be seen just below the Woods Mine, and below the mainline



This is how Gunnell Hill looks today.The hillsides look very different with the tree growth.  Most of the mine structures are gone, but the waste dumps and grades remain.


This is an extreme enlargement of a view of Gunnell Hill, and shows the Woods Mine.  This mine has a very distinctive roofline.  Mike Blazek sells drawings of this mine.


M.P. 40.16 Buckley Mine Spur: A south-facing turnout was located here, where the Buckley Mine branch veered off to the east, dropping abruptly in elevation. The mainline continued to climb upgrade, around the east side of Nevada Hill. The Buckley Mine branch is a very interesting area, which will be covered in detail in a future posts.

[img]">

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Oops, it seems the site had some problems and only posted about half of my post - I'll repost the rest of what I had intended to post later tomorrow.

Keith

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Keith

I'm new to list but have had an ionterest remodeling C&S / Gilpin in On30.
Did the Gilpin Engine house have a tank in the roof for watering the shays.
Is there any information on the Car Repair shop next to the enginehouse??
Greg Hiley

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Howdy Greg and welcome to Freerails. As you found out, Gilpin is spoken here, Keith is the keeper of the flame. Don't be shy, send photos and verbage anytime you want.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Hello Greg:

The Gilpin Tram enginehouse had a water cistern somewhere in the building.  I recall Dan Abbott telling me his research indicated there was a water cistern in the roof rafters.   This may not be all that unusual - I think the 2' gauge Bridgton and Harrison line in Maine did this at their enginehouse at Bridgton Junction.

The car shop is something of a mystery.  No decent photos have ever shown up - in fact, there is one photo in Sundance's The Gilpin Tram Era that shows a few inches of the end wall - and that's it!

Sanborn Company insurance maps don't show the shop in their 1890 map, but show it on their 1895 map.  Here is an excerpt from that map:



I have no idea what this building looked like.  A book on Black Hawk I have recalls a newspaper account that calls it a "stone shop" or some term like that (don't have the book handy right now).  But, there is no evidence of a stone building at the site today - and usually such a substantial buiding would leave some remains.  My personal preference would be to build a model of the car shop with similar construction as the enginehouse.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Yesterday's post was truncated by the FreeRails software, so here is the rest of what I originally tried to post.

We left off at the Woods Mine, next to the switch off of the branch to the Buckley Mine.


This image is from the promotional booklet "Glimpses of Golden Gilpin", and is greatly enlarged from a panoramic image.  This photo shows empty ore cars on the Woods Mine spur - this is the only photo I have ever seen showing any trackage or cars here.  Mike Blazek sells drawings for this mine.


This snow plowing photo has been published several times before.  The view is looking north, and in the background is the Woods Mine.  The train is plowing out the mainline, and the spur to the Woods Mine would have been a facing point switch for trains.

Immediately south of the Buckley Mine branch spur, the Woods Mine was located in between the mainline and branch. This mine shows up in many historic photos. There are no remains of the mine today, only a waste rock dump.

There has been very little information printed about the Woods Mine (not to be confused with the more active Wood Mine along the Topeka Mine branch on Quartz Hill). However, this mine was a shipper on the Gilpin Tram. The photo shown in Figure 4 shows a string of loaded and unloaded ore cars at this mine. This document was published in 1908, so we can assume the mine was at least active at that time.


The Gold Collar Mine back in Gilpin Tram days.

M.P. 40.27 Gold Collar Mine Spur: The Gold Collar Mine was about 100’ feet uphill of the mainline at this point.


The two locomotives are parked at the Gold Collar Mine spur.  The mainline would be the left hand track.  This spur was built to load out ore and bring in supplies, and was located downgrade from the mine, perhaps 100' lower in elevation.  A steep, winding wagon road led up to the mine.


Joe Crea explored the site about 10 years ago, and is standing at about the same spot as in the photo above.  The old grade remains, and there are a lot more trees that have grown in the area
1

Dan Abbott, in the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society Newsletter No. 4, writes “The Gold Collar Mine was on the north side of Prosser Gulch just above its junction with Eureka Gulch. The shaft was 712 feet deep, how- ever, having been idle for many years, by 1910 it could only be descended to the 332-foot level.

In September of 1911, lessees had begun to reopen the 332, 257 and 200 foot levels. The total production of the mine was about $250,000.

The 180-foot spur for the Gold Collar Mining & Milling Company was completed and ready for use on March 26, 1910. The entire cost of this spur -$289- was borne by the Gilpin Railroad Company and the track was the property of the railroad company.

This spur was built to provide a loading point for the Gold Collar Mine and to better facilitate handling ore for the Casto Mill. Construction began March 23 and was completed just three days later.
"

Interestingly, there is another grade that might have been a mine spur. This grade extends off the end of the Grand Army Mine spur, which is immediately across Prosser Gulch from the Gold Collar Mine. The grade curves around and across Prosser Gulch, heading to the Gold Collar Mine on a slight downgrade. Mark Baldwin has also walked this grade, and provided the attached sketch (figure 9) showing the location of this grade. Of course, if there was ever any trackage laid on this grade, there is no written or photographic evidence of this. Likewise, walking this grade does not show any cross ties or spikes, but that can be said of most of the Gilpin Tram right of way. This is another one of the many mysteries we enthusiasts must suffer!


This photo was taken from the Grand Army mine dump, and looking northeast over the wagon road that lead to the Gold Collar Mine. The spur would have been down in the flat spot at right center, which is the remains of the GT grade
.



Here is the Gold Collar Mine today.   Quite a bit of the structure was standng in 2005, when I took this photo.  Mike Blazek sells plans for this mine.  The waste dump is a nice mix of yellow and gray rock.  Other researchers have told me the gold ore was gray in color, and shows up white in old photos.  The chemistry of much of the rock in Gilpin County is such that it weathers to the yellow color is familiar with today.  I would guess the dumps have a lot of sulphur-bearing compounds in them - on warm, sunny days, many of the dumps have a slight sulphur odor to them.


The Gold Collar Mine is in the foreground, with the Grand Army dump and ruins in the background.  Prosser Gulch is in between the mines, and out of site.  This photo helps show how close together many of the mines were.


The Gold Collar, like most mines, had its own blacksmith shop for sharpening drill bits and general repairs.  These are the remains as of 2005.



This is a little closer view of the south and east walls of the Gold Collar Mine.


When poking around the mine, this wall was found.  The painted wall was covered and protected by a building addition, and in relatively good condition.  I like the large, block lettering style.  The mine appeared to have been painted yellow - somewhat unusual, as most mines in the area appeared to be either unpainted or painted a red or earth brown color.


M.P. 40.31 Prosser (sometimes called Pioneer)  Gulch:
Prosser Gulch is third gulch crossed by the Gilpin Tram as it climbs up to the mines from Black Hawk. The gulch is a one of the smaller gulches crossed by the Gilpin Tram, and dry for much of the year. The Gilpin Tram crossed the gulch with a short wood bridge with the typical wood cribbing abutments on each side.

This gulch was the site of the a well-known accident where shay #3 derailed and fell into the gulch. On December 29, 1897, shay #3 was pulling a string of empty ore cars upgrade when it jumped the track and fell into the gulch. Engineer Harry W. Pierce was pinned in the wreckage and died several hours later due to being scalded by the escaping steam. The fireman, Will Franklin, was also badly burned but survived. The cause was attributed to “tight universals on the engine.”

About 15 years ago, some railfans discovered the crushed remains of the smokestack from shay #3., left over from this same wreck. These remnants can now be seen at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado.



Here is a train headed for the mines, with a loaded coal car behind the locomotive, and several empty ore cars.  The 4th and 5th cars behind the loco are over the rebuilt Prosser Gulch bridge.  This bridge was rebuilt from an earlie design, shown in a post a few weeks ago, and in the sketch below:





Next stop:   The Gunnell Mine!

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Here's a model of that tiny snowplow shown above.



GT02 had a plow that was set at an angle to the track. There was a box affair built later which covered the brake wheel (?). The body was filled with whatever was heavy...rocks, scrap iron, a bunch of stuff.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

That is a very fine-looking model. The blade looks like real metal - is it, or just a good paint job? I suppose with an outdoor layout like yours, you could actually use it to clear track from time to time.

Enjoyed the photo - thanks for posting it.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
As usual Keith, awesome post with much to go over and think about. Thanks for taking the time to share, always happy to see your updates on the Gilpin thread!

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-thanks for the kind words. The blade is .020 brass which was chemically backened and then dry-brushed with a steel color. The model is from the drawings in the Gilpin Era book and the very old Gilpin Tramway book by Hollenbeck. (the same drawings). The underframe is a much whacked on passenger truck which turned out having the right wheelbase! What luck.

Woodie

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Woodie
I,ll be a mug,I've wondered what or how the blade is supported

Greg Hiley :-)

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Woodie / Keith

Do you know if it is possible to still get copies of the Gilpin Historical society quarterly magazine.
I know it stopped production in June 2012.
Thanks
Greg Hiley

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Greg-Keith would know about the mag. I am sure he will answer.

The snowplow 02:




This drawing is from Hollenback's The Gilpin Tram and can be found in Gilpin Era also.  As best I can figure, the blade was hinged with a casting that looks like a "bridge shoe" or perhaps a coupler pocket. There was a support rod (maybe 2) along the bottom of the blade to the car body. As you can see from the end perspective, the blade was canted and not "carefully centered". I hope this helps explain what I consider to be a really obscure piece of rolling stock.

Woodie

Monte
Registered


Joined: Sun Apr 7th, 2013
Location: Brandon, Mississippi USA
Posts: 54
Status: 
Offline
Keith and All,

Some of the yellow and smell of the waste dumps is a results of the weathering of the waste rock with a high percent or concentration of blasting material. Which was dynamite based on the material nitroglycerin. If you collect some of the material don't take it with in to the Airport. It could be a very long day.

Keith, keep up the postings will see you now at the Sn3 Symposium.

Monte

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You asked about the Gilpin Quarterly newsletter - I'll ask Dan Abbott for you and give him your email. Dan authored probably 90% - 95% of the newsletter content, which totalled 50 issues.

Monte:

First, glad you're coming to the Sn3 Symposium in Minneapolis - it'll be nice to see you again. As for the stench off of waste piles being in part explosive residue, well, I guess I have been lucky. I have often wondered, when passing through TSA security, if my shoes have ever picked up any residue. So far, I have not.

Mike Blazek told me a story once where he got searched leaving Colorado. Apparently, he stirred up a lot of official interest because of some residue that was on his shoes. As Mike tells it, the event ended peacefully because one of the agents was a railfan and recognized Mike's work.

Another time, I was flying back with a friend from Colorado, and he had maybe a dozen baggies of colored dirt in his carry-on. The scrutiny of the security guys was pretty intense, and funny, because they had trouble believing it was just "dirt." This was pre-9/11, so I can't imagine what it would be like now.

Personally, I prefer the waste tailings from the Durango smelter - the glow-in-the-dark feature adds a nice atmosphere to the layout :)

Keith

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith
Thank you for the info and look forward to here from Dan Abbott.

Another thought I have just had is that I've never seen or heard of anyone  making Moe Mechling's imagined Gilpin Boxcar.

The drawings were in Light Iron Digest Vol 1 #1 and also published in short and narrow rail but I don't know what issue.

I've got 2 under construction in On30 and it has been an interesting project so far in that it has shown me a lot about the frame construction for Gilpin rolling stock.

Regards

Greg Hiley

 

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Pix Greg?



Herb

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Herb

When I get one finished I will post some pictures
Regards
Greg Hiley

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Hi All
Sorry for the blank post, I tried to post afew photos of Gilpin Boxcar.
How do I post photos???????
Greg H

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Greg-there are "how to's" about photos here but here goes. Go to your GALLERY (menu on home page), hit UPLOAD PHOTOS, then you will see BROWSE option, hit that, find the photo(s) on your computer, hit open on the photo selected, then go to bottom of the page and hit UPLOAD and the photo will appear in your gallery. Then go to whatever forum you want,(like Gilpin Tram), hit REPLY (not Quick Reply), then you will see 2 rows of icons at the top of the reply board, the end of the bottom row is a big G. Hit that, it takes you to the gallery, find your photo, click on it and BOOM...it appears in your post. More than one photo or you want to write something, hit ENTER and then post another photo or words. Ya got it? Let us know.

Woodie

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Hi All

Under construction photos of Gilpin Imagined Boxcar
regards
greg H

Greg Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Apr 10th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 8
Status: 
Offline
Hi All

I'm building some On30 Gilpin Coal Cars #'s 8-13 and I'm after some additional info.

Did they have grab irons and stirrup steps??
A photo in The Gilpin Railroad era pg 234 shows a hint of grab iron on one end of car and small stirrup step.I think these were only added for this Convention train to aid the passengers in and out of cars

Did the coal cars have corner supporting plates like the C&S Gondolas?
There is a hint of a corner plate in a photo in Gilpin Era, and Hollenbecks drawing shows a corner plate. Is this correct??

Did the queen post support timber actually have a short queen post or did the truss rod just go across the queen post support board??

Regards

Greg Hiley

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The boxcars are looking good! I always liked the drawings published for this fictional car, and enjoy seeing a model of it.

As for the stirrup steps on coal cars - I am not sure. You're right that they are shown on photos at a convention. Other photos I have seen are from a distance, so I can't say either way if they had them. I do recall seeing a photo near the engine house showing a stirrup step on a flatcar. Hard to say which cars had the steps, and when.

The C&S made a bunch of changes when they took over in 1906 - building cabooses, for example. Maybe the steps were added then, the convention photo you referred to was taken in 1908, as a safety feature.

As for corner braces - I am not certain. I think some cars did have them, at least coal car #11. I don't access to all my stuff right now - I'll check and post more later this week.


Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The past week has been very busy.  The 2013 Sn3 Symposium came to Minneapolis starting April 25, and I was involved with layout tours and a clinic on the Gilpin Tram. I've posted some information on what I participated in on the Sn3 Symposium thread in the Narrow Gauge section of Freerails.

Anyway, in order to get the train room area a bit more presentable, I finally got around to framing some Gilpin artwork I had collected over the years.



In the hallway leading to the layout room, I framed and hung 6 different pieces.



The two pieces above are (top to bottom) of the Gilpin Shay #3 and the Frontenac Mine, both prints created by Joe Crea about 10 years ago.



The next wall has more Joe Crea prints of the enginehouse, Whiting Mine, and Gunnell Mine.  The map is an extra copy I got from Don Griffin of Clear Creek Model Engineering , the same map included in Sundance's Gilpin Tram Era book.



The end wall has this print of Shay #1.  This I purchased at the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Colorado Springs in 2009.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
That's a lot of nice art!

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith-

What a wonderful collection!

One thing missing though--

Need a drip pan under each piece to catch the slobber if I visited!

Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
A very fine gallery to be sure. This makes me want to show some of my collected "etchings". I may start another thread...

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
After 10 years, and 2 house moves, I finally got around to getting the prints on the wall.  Glad I did  - I get a flash of inspiration before I enter the layout room...

Last weekend was the Sn3 Symposium in Minneapolis. I have a separate thread going on what I participated in.  On two different days, I hosted layout tours - lots of fun, and I had a lot great conversations with visitors.

Keith




Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Evening All

Have just finished the First of my Gilpin Imagined boxcars.

Have posted a few photos.

 I choose a 200 seris for numbering purposes.

Regards

Gregory Hiley


W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Nice looking model. The GT probably never needed a box car since they could just haul everything in a couple of ore cars! I am sure that Keith knows the story.
I have just one "box" car on my road, loosely modeled after the Mich-Cal "mulligan" car for hauling perishable goods.

Woodie

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
woodie
Thanks for the good comments.
I've also wondered how the Gilpin transport fresh & frozen produce to the mine,mills and towns.
May imagineer a refridgerator car one day
Greg Hiley

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Gudday

I'm currently working on a model of water car #300 and I have a couple of qestions about it.

What colour was the tank--oxide red or black?

Was there a water filling hatch on top of the car and what shape was it?

Was there a valve under the car or in eacjh end of the tank for un loading?

Regards
Greg Hiley

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The answer to your questions about the water car is, yes!

In other words, who knows for sure? I have never seen much on the water car - there is the C&S folio sketch of it, and one partially blocked photo of it passing through Russell Gulch. As for the color, I have never seen that either.

I would think any model would have to be an educated guess. For example, might it have resembled the military trench railway tank cars that came along a decade later? Or, maybe it looked exactly like Woodie Greene's model that he posted a while back? Or, ...

I built models about 20 years ago, and built two - one with one centered hatch, and one with two hatches near each end. I intend to rebuild that car some day, and would have one, centered, tall & narrow hatch, and support the tank on deck boards that alternate (board-width gaps between each deck board), and model the tank based on a Soo Line water car from a century ago. Oh, and I will paint my car probably black, just for fun. of course, this is just my own preference, and anyone else's model would be just as correct!

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith & Greg, Since there are no detailed photos, plans, color shots...it's a "crap shoot". I did try to "generally" follow the tiny drawing Keith mentions but my car is a couple of feet shorter than in the drawing and the riveted tank has some patches (due to bad riveting) and the trucks are incorrect and it is lettered MRy 301. So I guess that it is indeed built exactly as the prototype, well, it IS the prototype! I do appreciate the "nuts & bolts" scale replicas and when I can (read want) I will try to make things that look pretty close to "published" information. Oh my, I have said too much already.

Woodie

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Hi All

It,s been quiet for awhile so I thought I would post photos of my latest Gilpin cars for comment
Regards
Greg Hiley

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Nice work, Greg. Do you know that Shapeways has Gilpin trucks (less wheels) for On30 and 35n2 ? Years back, I used PSC HOn3 West Side Lumber trucks on my O scale Grandt ore cars, their sideframes were a match for the Gilpin Phase 1 trucks. The Shapeways trucks are nice for Phase 2 & 3 and other GT cars. The trucks (and lots of other cool things) are the work of Tom Bell (teebee) and available from Shapeways. This is a shameless promo for a fellow who is doing fine work.

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Greg, Really great work on your cars! I am in love with your water car. How about sharing the details on it. Is the tank home-made or did you purchase it. These are too good to pass up the opportunity to comment on them. Dan.

Dave D
Registered


Joined: Mon Jan 23rd, 2006
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin USA
Posts: 3291
Status: 
Offline
Yup, like um too!

That tank is cool. :shades:

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Dan, Dave And Woodie
Thanks for the positive comments.
The cars are in On30 with Walthers HO arch bar trucks and Kadee On30 wheels.
The tank body has an old N Scale freight car box as its centre, the lamenated styrene sheet over it to build up size. The water hatch is of an On30 oil tank for the outside frame 2-8-0 and the globe stop cocks are scratch built.
The riverting is archer rivert decals.
The frame is scratch built of a jig I madethat also suits the other 2 cars
Regards
Greg Hiley

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Nice work, Greg!

I like freelancing when it's done in a prototypical manner.

You have done that very credibly!

Keep it up!

Herb

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Greg, Looks like some ore cars in the photo behind the tank car...hope those are in your next set of photos. Do you have any "work in progress" photos of the tank car? Alright I admit it...I need a car just like it! I'm also working in On30, but I have decided to take the easy way out and use a Bachmann 18 foot flat car and just add the tank. I work on the theory: never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lie down. Dan.

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Dan
Yes in the background are a string of the coal cars-I've made 6 of them and some of the ore cars.

I made a jig up to do the frames for the coal cars and the tank car.

Sorry don't have any construction photo's of the tank car.

I'm currently working on a excursion car right now, have built the frame and structure for the roof but am stumped on the seats right now.
Regards
Greg Hiley

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Greg, Grandt Line sells passenger car seats. You can use the end frames and cut the slats (out of wood or styrene)to the length you need. I have a friend that has already done this and they look great. Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
If you want a nice tourist car without much work, check out Tom Bell's SHAPEWAYS offering. I have one in 1:35 scale which only required paint, passengers, and underbody. It even has slatted seats. I am sure the same car is offered in 1:48 scale. It is called an "open passenger car" on their site.

Woodie



rmontgomery
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Dec 5th, 2010
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
I can't seem to find the Shapeways listing you mentioned, any help?

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
http://www.shapeways.com

Click on "miniatures", then on "model railroads"

Tons of stuff

Herb

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Greg, Woodie, As Woodie mentioned, the Tom Bell site is great, everyone should take a look. Also Greg, the part number for the Grand Line seats is 3017. These are standard gauge seats with the end frames cast separately. Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Gosh...I was wrong. The tourist car isn't listed as being available in On30. Maybe a PM to Tom can get one made if interested.
But he has some fine cars available, check them out.

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi All, Let's get rolling again. Greg, post some pictures... Keith, more from your files please. Surely we all have questions and we all have information to share. This is such a great place to relive the Gilpin. Dan.

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Hi Dan
As per your request I've posted some photo's of my recent projects
Gondola #5
Scratchbuilt, in On30 with various grandt details and scratch details
Kit bash of a plastic Kit into a Gilpin CabooseUnderconstruction veiw of a Gilpin excursion car
Under construction veiw of a Bachmann On30 shay being Gilpinised using a wiseman kit

Regards
Greg Hiley

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
That's the way Greg! I look forward to seeing more of these projects when you get a little further along. I noticed that in one of your previous posts you spelled center with ending "tre". Does that make you a Canadian (just like me...) Anyway I hope all those looking in will tell us what they are doing, and please post photos. I need all the help I can get! Dan.

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
No Dan, I'm not Canadian -Sorry:))
But an Aussie
I usually don't take construction photo's bit If I remember I take some more for you
Regards
Greg Hiley

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Greg, Don't feel too bad, being second best is nothing to be ashamed of...(kidding)...I hope others will jump in, I would like to see some track plans. I am using blue foam and Woodland Scenic risers. We just bought a basement with a house attached and after living in an apartment I am itching to use all the space the BOSS will allow. Dan.

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Nice work Greg; 1st class !

Great pics.

Cheers

Si.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for posting the caboose, excursion car, and shay photos.  I hope you're able to update us with progress photos as the modelbuilding continues.  I am intrigued by the Wiseman Enterprises conversion kit for the Roundhouse shay - I'd love to see how your model is built using that kit.

Wow, this summer is going by too quickly.  The good news for me is that business is  good; the bad news is business is good.  This means my modelbuilding time been way too limited this summer, and I haven't had the time I'd like to build models, read, post, etc.

But enough griping for today.  One thing I have gotten accomplished is that I have the benchwork (foamboard on wood framing) and roadbed in (1/8" luaun floor underlayment glued to foam) in place for the upcoming Black Hawk scene. 

Here is the very first track laid for this scene:



Not a real lot to see here, but the start of the yard area is underway.  I am handlaying code 40 and 55 in HOn30.  I generally use Fasttracks jigs for laying turnouts, but am finding since this Black Hawk is mostly on curves, I will be custom building many of the turnouts.

The turnouts will all be stub switches, as on the Gilpin Tram.  They will have underfloor hand-operated linkages to operate.  Wiring is important - my stuff runs on DCC.



Also, I will resume posting some more prototype stuff on the Gilpin Tram real soon.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Back in April 2013, I last posted some information about the Gilpin Tram's route to the mines.   These posts covered Winnebago Hill, the Eureka Gulch water tank, the Woods Mine, and the Gold Coin Mine.

We left off at Prosser Gulch. So, continuing onward:


Above, an ore train of empty cars ( and a loaded coal car behind the engine) is crossing the Prosser Gulch bridge.  This bridge was rebuilt at least once during it's lifetime.

On the prototype, Milepost 40.31 Prosser (sometimes called Pioneer)  Gulch was the  third gulch crossed by the Gilpin Tram as it climbed up to the mines from Black Hawk. The gulch is a one of the smaller gulches crossed by the Gilpin Tram, and dry for much of the year. The Gilpin Tram crossed the gulch with a short wood bridge with the typical wood cribbing abutments on each side.

This gulch was the site of the a well-known accident in 1897, where Shay #3 derailed and fell into the gulch.


This photo shows the aftermath of the 1897 Prosser Gulch wreck.  Notice that the bridge construction differs from the one shown in the previous photo.

On December 29, 1897, shay #3 was pulling a string of empty ore cars upgrade when it jumped the track and fell into the gulch. Engineer Harry W. Pierce was pinned in the wreckage and died several hours later due to being scalded by the escaping steam. The fireman, Will Franklin, was also badly burned but survived. The cause was attributed to “tight universals on the engine.”

About 15 years ago, some railfans discovered the crushed remains of the smokestack from shay #3., left over from this same wreck. These remnants can now be seen at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado.


This is all that remains of Gilpin Tram #3 - the crushed remains of the smokestack.  On the other hand, you can go to the Colorado Rairoad Museum and actually touch a real piece of a Gilpin Shay!


Keith

Ron Knepp
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Feb 1st, 2013
Location: Mohrsville, USA
Posts: 11
Status: 
Offline

 

 

Thanks Keith for reviving this thread. I played around with

one of the photos using Photoshop and got this result.

Ron Knepp

 

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, Thanks for coming back. I wonder if any of your new neighbors saw the shape of that luan you cut and are now wondering about you...how about a track plan showing how it all fits. I will be going through the same thing shortly as we close on our house on Friday so I will have to wait until Saturday to get started on the new layout! Dan.

Last edited on Tue Aug 6th, 2013 06:34 pm by Dan Graham

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I think my neighbors wondered about me already, before I cut the luaun plywood.

In April, my little layout was on the layout tours for the Sn3 Symposium.  I really confused my neighbors that day, because of all the people coming and going.  To top it off, my home is next door to the builder's model, so there were also people coming and going all day to see the new home models.  Towards the end of the day, as my wife was walking to her car to run an errand, a couple parked and asked if we were still open for viewing.  Thinking these were 2 model railroaders, my wife said sure, just walk on into the house.  Soon, I heard a "hello" downstairs and a really confused couple, who thought they were in the model.

If nothing else, having layout tours forces me to clean up every now and then.

I am constantly tinkering with the track plan, modifying things as I lay track and judge how things might look once structures go in.  I'll post a track plan once things get more worked out in my mind.  Right now, things change weekly!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Thank you Ron for posting a better image of the Prosser Gulch wreck.  Shay #3 looks pretty busted up.  The site is so silted-in today it's hard to picture the site back in the day.

Continuing on our little tour, we now continue upgrade onto the north flank of Gunnell Hill.  Gunnell Hill is a prominent feature on the far west side of Central City.  From the town, several mines are seen tiered on all sides of the hill. 


We've seen this photo before, taken from Nigger Hill (renamed Barney Ford Hill in the 1960s), and looking south over Gunnell Hill.  The Gunnel Mine is near the center left margin.

M.P. 40.44 Gunnell Mine Spur No. 1: Gilpin Tram trackage was very prominent at the Gunnell Mine. The mainline wound around the mine, passing under the ore dump trestle on the north side of the mine. At this location, which was near the mine waste rock dump track, the Gilpin Tram laid a spur that switchbacked to serve loading operations.


This is about the same view today as in the preceding photo.  Again, the Gunnell dump is at the left margin.  The biggest dump seen is the Grand Army dump.

How the Gunnell Mine loaded the ore cars is somewhat of a mystery. The mine spur did not go under the mine building, nor was it parallel to any of the building walls where ore chutes were located. There was an enclosed wood-framed addition on the west side of the building that may have been used for loading ore cars.

For a great view of this mine in all it’s glory, check out Mark Baldwin’s Gilpin Tram.com  website, and specifically, follow this link to this photo: http://www.gilpintram.com/images/BC04-0002.jpg

[img]">
The map above locates where the Gunnell Hil area is located.  This hill was a tangled mess of switchbacks to reach the major mines. 

M.P. 40.55 Gunnell Mine Spur No. 2: The Gilpin Tram laid a second spur that switchbacked to the west side of the mine, and eventually connected to the lower spur that branched off of the mainline at milepost 40.44.

A short spur split off of this mine spur to serve a coal unloading track. This track was mostly laid on a trestle next to the south side of the mine building. The trestle was partly supported on stone piers and wooden trestle bents. Some photos show a coal car sitting on this trestle.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
(SIDE NOTE: Apparently FreeRails has a limit on how much text one can post now - I posted a whole bunch of stuff, and it truncated the post. So, I'll go to plan B, and break up the info into smaller batches).


This is an enlarged snippet from a photo, and shows the Gunnell Mine in the glory days.  The Whiting Mine can be seen above and behind the Gunnell.  The Gilpin main line curved under the waste rock dump trestle at right, and ran just below and in front of the mine.  The Gunnell's coal car dump trestle can just be seen on the left side of the mine.


[img]">From the same vantage point as the preceding photo, one can see the Gunnell Mine ruins atop the large waste rock pile.  The Gilpin grade can still be easily followed here, and I have found two or three spikes here over the years.

The Gunnell Mine provided the first trainload of ore on the Gilpin Tram, shipping a six-car train on December 11, 1887, to the Meade Mill in Black Hawk. Although this ore vein was discovered during the original 1859 gold rush, mining began in earnest in the 1870s. Terry Cox, in his book Inside the Mountains, A History of Mining Around Central City, Colorado (published in 1989 by Pruett Publishing Company), writes that this mine produced 206,000 ounces of gold between 1859 and 1938. The Gunnell Mine seems to have been worked simultaneously with the Grand Army shaft. This was a large producer: by comparison, the Old Town Mine, which was the largest shipper on the Gilpin Tram, produced 132,000 ounces of gold by 1944.

Until 1904, the Gunnell was one of the more prominent producers in the Central City area. This mine was one of the older, historic claims, dating from the original gold rush in the 1850s. Later, the Gunnell Gold Mining and Milling Company was formed in the 1870s to consolidate several claims, including the well-known Grand Army Mine. The two major shafts worked in tandem to mine a rich pocket of ore. This was one of the large producers in the district, and well-known to the Gilpin Tramway.

The Gunnell miners ran a prolific operation, so much so that they stole ore from adjacent claims. After the Gunnell had struck a good pocket of ore in the 1870s, the neighboring Concrete mine reasoned that they, too, would find good ore at the same depth. In the book, Inside The Mountains, A History of Mining Around Central City, Colorado, Terry Cox writes,[/img]

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Terry Cox writes again,"The combined mines proved quite profitable until a disastrous pump house fire in 1904. With the pumps destroyed, the mine couldn't hold back the unending water seepage, and most of the mine flooded out."


This sketch is my interpretation of the Gilpin Tram trackage around the Gunnell Mine.  I still have some doubts about how ore might have been loaded into ore cars, but this is how to looks to me from studying the available photos.

A mine record report filed with the Colorado State Bureau of Mines begins in 1899, reporting 56 men working the claim. Additional claims listed include:

Grand Army West Whiting Gunnell #2 Marine
Slaughter House
Josephine Mill site
Normands

Interestingly, the West Whiting mine was reported to have 1,100 feet of drifts and 5,400 feet of shafts being worked by 18 men in 1904 After the disastrous pump house fire, the mine seemed to work hard to continue the workings. In 1905, 25 men were reported to be working on the Grand Army workings, with 2,595 feet of shafts. In 1907, 33 men were reported as still working, but no reports were filed after that date.


This is the east elevation of the Gunnell Mine, the one that faced Central City.  The trestle bent for the coal dump trestle can be seen at left.  The main walls were mortared rubble stone, and the roofs were wood-trusses supporting wood deck boards covered with corrugated iron.

Other hints of the size of this mine are given in the 1900 report, Precious Metals in the United States, which reports two shafts of 1,200 and 1,300 feet deep are operated and that the mines have a very complete plant of machinery." The mines are reported to ship about 75 tons daily of fair-grade milling and smelting ore.

The Colorado State Mining Directory, published in 1898, lists 10,000 feet (nearly 2 miles!) of developed tunnel, and boasts of steam powered hoists (as compared to the less-impressive whim power).


This wonderful photo is blurry, but what a subject!  It shows an upgrade-bound shay pushing at least one ore car, and pulling two ore cars and then coal cars.  Because this train is headed for the mines, the cars are likely loaded with coal, to be distributed to various mining customers.  The Gunnell Mine can be seen next to and right above the main line.  What a great model this would make!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
An 1899 report, Precious Metals in the United States, lists a Gunnell mill with a daily capacity of 30 tons of ore. I do not know which mill is referred to, its location mysteriously given as "upper." Upper what?  This could have been the "Gunnell Upper Mill" or "Kimber & Fullerton Upper Mill".


Here is the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map of the Gunnell Mine circa 1895.

Another source, a map entitled, Geographical Map of Gilpin County, published in February, 1906, states the Gunnell mine properties also used three mills in Black Hawk, but does not say which ones they were.

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Norlin Library historical archives have the fascinating Hal Sayre collection, a pioneer engineer, surveyor and county clerk associated with many of the historical events in the district. He wrote a report, perhaps to some investors, on October 24, 1916, in which he describes the Concrete Group of mines, as they were known at this time. He wrote a somewhat favorable report, mentioning several veins near the Concrete mine that could be reached by their workings. The Grand Army lode was intersected by the Newhouse Tunnel 1,500 feet below the surface, which soon was renamed the Argo Tunnel, where the adit was located on the Colorado & Southern railroad in Idaho Springs. A tunnel spur was built off of the Newhouse Tunnel to also serve the bottom of the Concrete shaft. No mention is made of the Gunnell mine in this report.


 This drawing is of the south side of the Gunnell Mine.  The Gilpin Tram's coal trestle can be seen here.

Today, most of the mine is in ruins, but a portion of the boiler house remains, and the remaining roof and wall supports were sta- bilized by the present owner. The coal dump trestle remains, as does the some of the spur grades. The shaft building is mostly gone, with only a few remains of the stone walls still extant.


The little guy is probably the son of H.H. Lake - he pops up in other photos.  He is standing next to the Gilpin Tram spur that curved back around the mine and from where the coal dump spur split off.  Two guy wires, likely for the Gunnell Mine smokestacks, can be seen.  This is a good image showing how sharp some of the mine trackage spurs were.  Kind of looks like a lot of the modeling work others have posted on FreeRails!  The Grand Army is the large mine at left background.

There were many other interesting mines on Gunnell Hill.  We'll be exploring more of them in future posts.

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith-you wrote--(SIDE NOTE: Apparently FreeRails has a limit on how much text one can post now - I posted a whole bunch of stuff, and it truncated the post. So, I'll go to plan B, and break up the info into smaller batches).

Snooze to me--but changes do occur at times unannounced.

Please keep going, even if it has to be in small snippets.

Herb

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith

Great Prosser pix. !

I have some drawings of the Gilpin bridges ...
... your pix. show how a nice model could be made.

The base for your new scene looks great.

Nice trackage drawings around the mine.

All the best

Cheers

Si.

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Can anyone tell me how many bents the trestle bridge across clear creek near the engine house had and how many bents the trestle  bridge that ran along side the engine house had.
I need this information for my new On30 Gilpin module I am building
Regards
Greg Hiley

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You asked about the trestle bents on the bridge at the Gilpin Tram's enghinehouse in Black Hawk.  Other that what can be seen in the 3 or 4 photos of the enginehouse, I have never seen other information.



The Sanbron insurance map from 1895 does not give any detail about the trestle area, so there's no help there.



This sketch is by Joe Cra, and based on a photo of the early enginehouse.



This is a contemporary photo, taken of the enginehouse area.  There was not a lot of space from the backside of the enginehouse to the backside of this rock outcropping, where the grade resumed on firm ground. 

The trestle was reported to be filled in by later years, and this is very possible.  Today, the creek runs next to the rock outcropping, but the current creekbed is likely modified by highway projects.

The only photos I have ever seen showing the bridge across Clear Creek do not show much detail of the bridge.  I would guess either no bents between the abutments or one at most. 

But, the nice thing about modeling this scene is that there is only a very limited amount of information available - any part of the modeled scene not directly addressed by a photograph would be your best guess - and no one can ever prove you wrong!

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your modeling progress.

Keith


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Now that the Labor Day Holiday weekend is nearly over, I realize much of summer has slipped by.  Progress on the Gilpin Tram has been very slow, but there has been some progress.



Here, tracklaying crews are checking out the latest installed turnout.  Progress has been slow in part because some (%$/}! idiot laid out Black Hawk yard on a curve, and so every turnout is more or less customized to fit.  Also, it turns out the Chief Engineer had never laid a stub turnout before, so tracklaying crews had to suffer while the kinks were worked out.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith-I'm impressed! Stubs are indeed harder to get working right than point types, although many would debate that, how many of them have ever actually built a switch? I personally like switches on curves, there's something about it that makes the trackwork flow...or something like that. Continue onward.

Woodie

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Nice one Keith !

Nothing like a curved-stub; to get the chief-engineer talking in symbols... %$/}

If you need a 4-way; mail Herb...
...I don't even wanna know about the language from THAT build.

Nice sketch by Joe of the engine-house (Joe, love yer models)

Great thread Keith ! Keep on truckin' !

Cheers

Si.

P.S. Keith

What are the best drawings of Gilpin rolling-stock ?

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You asked about Gilpin Tram drawings. The Sundance book would be the number one source, but Ferrell's book is good, too - that has the ore car drawings not included in the Sundance book.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
In the next series of posts, I want to share some further information about the mines on Gunnell Hill.  Previously, we took a look at the Gunnell Mine and the little network of Gilpin Tram trackage surrounding it.

As we saw in several previous photos, the mines were lined up and down the hillside, and the Gilpin Tram was interlaced with the wagon roads and mine buildings to serve several of the shippers.  Not all the mines seen on Gunnell Hill shipped on the Gilpin Tram, for whatever reason.

Looking at Gilpin Tram trackage data, let's continue upgrade from the Gunnell Mine #2 spur - that's the switchback spur that served the coal unl[img]">oading trestle.

Another enlargement of a photo, with a wintry scene fo the Grand Central.  There is no outhouse in view, but the mine's name is painted on the shaft cupola.

The Grand Central was regular ore shipper on the Gilpin Tram, with surviving records of ore shipments being made in 1899 through 1904, 1906, and 1907.  The “Daily Mining Invester” issue of September 11, 1905, gives a brief report:

“S.T. Elliot, who has taken a lease and bond the Grand Central mine on Gunnell hill, starting preliminary work on the 15th inst., has succeeded in getting air through to the level to which the work will be pushed.  Stoping has been started and Mr. Elliot is figuring on making the first shipment of ore on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  When the mine is placed to proper condition  between 15 and 20 men will be put to work.

The Grand Central has not been worked for the past year and a half and at that time was operated by the Grand Central Company.  According to reports a large quantity of very high grade ore was taken out, and at one time the property was considered one of the rich producers of the camp.  Mr. Elliott, who will have charge of the mine, understands  the business thoroughly, having acted as foreman of the Smuggler Union in Telluride, a period of ten years, until about two years ago.”

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Well crap, the last post for some reason was posted looking nothing at all how I wrote it.  Let's try again.  I will break that post up into several smaller segments.

In the next series of posts, I want to share some further information about the mines on Gunnell Hill.  Previously, we took a look at the Gunnell Mine and the little network of Gilpin Tram trackage surrounding it.

As we saw in several previous photos, the mines were lined up and down the hillside, and the Gilpin Tram was interlaced with the wagon roads and mine buildings to serve several of the shippers.  Not all the mines seen on Gunnell Hill shipped on the Gilpin Tram, for whatever reason.

Looking at Gilpin Tram trackage data, let's continue upgrade from the Gunnell Mine #2 spur - that's the switchback spur that served the coal unloading trestle.


This well-published photo of the Grand Central, with the proud owners or promoters in front.  The bridge is for the mine dump cars - they could dump into the Gilpin Tram spur below (the wide gauge?), or continue on to the waste ore dump.  Note that when they painted the mine, they painted in a white trim board above the large doorway!

M.P. 40.49 East Whiting Spur:  Almost directly across the spur tracks to the Gunnell Mine, a short spur veered off of the east side of the main line, serving the East Whiting Mine, more commonly known as the Grand Central Mine.

Keith


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

A blurry enlargement of a photo shows the Grand Central mine with its prominent waste rock dump.  The outhouse is conveniently perched on the waste dump.  Note that the mine name is not painted on the walls in this view.

The Grand Central was regular ore shipper on the Gilpin Tram, with surviving records of ore shipments being made in 1899 through 1904, 1906, and 1907.  The “Daily Mining Invester” issue of September 11, 1905, gives a brief report:

“S.T. Elliot, who has taken a lease and bond the Grand Central mine on Gunnell hill, starting preliminary work on the 15th inst., has succeeded in getting air through to the level to which the work will be pushed.  Stoping has been started and Mr. Elliot is figuring on making the first shipment of ore on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  When the mine is placed to proper condition  between 15 and 20 men will be put to work.

The Grand Central has not been worked for the past year and a half and at that time was operated by the Grand Central Company.  According to reports a large quantity of very high grade ore was taken out, and at one time the property was considered one of the rich producers of the camp.  Mr. Elliott, who will have charge of the mine, understands  the business thoroughly, having acted as foreman of the Smuggler Union in Telluride, a period of ten years, until about two years ago.”


The Sanborn Insurance map for this mine, circa 1895

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Another blurry enlargement from yet another photo shows the east side of the Grand Central.  This pastoral scene has cattle grazing nearby.

Apparently, Mr. Elliott was successful, and was making ore shipments from the Grand Central Mine for at least 1906 and 1907.  This mine could have shipped other years, but these are the only years for which I have seen written records of ore traffic.  This is yet another example of how many mines in the region operate sporadically over the years, as investors and their money came and went.


This wintry scene shows the Grand Central with its name prominently painted on.  The outhouse is not seen in this view.

The Grand Central Mine is probably the best-known Gilpin County mine to model railroaders.  This kit has been brought out by Tauras Products, Classic Miniatures, and The Structure Company, in several scales.  This kit is still available in HO scale.

We'll continue on with a look at more mines - next stop, the Whiting Mine...

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The Grand Central Mine has always been one of my favorites.  Several years ago, I built a model of the Grand Central Mine from a Classic Miniatures kit.  Here's a photo of the mine on my layout, circa 2001.



The model was given to a friend when I rebuilt the layout - I didn't have room for the mine because I'd built too many mine structures without space for them all.  But maybe on the new layout...

Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith

Fantastic scene with the mine & surroundings.

Have you got 'real wood' for the top of the door-frame ? ...

... or just paint ?

Cheers

Si.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I built the mine per the kit instructions, so it has a real wood trim piece above the door!

Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
:doh:

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Tsk tsk!

Points off for that Keith!

Terrific amount of information that you are sharing with us, Thank you!

Herb


CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

I was talking to Rev about Beaver Brook.  The structures in the HOn3 Annual are very nice.  He said you had built for him.  Do you have the plans you used?  Have overall dimensions of 20 x 40 but beyond that trying to determine from pictures.

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Si, Herb, and Cameron:

First, Si, I'd never seen a scenicked race car setup before - it looks like fun.

Herb - yes, you caught me, I cheated and built the Grand Central per the kit instructions and not from actual photos.  That is why I discreetly got a friend to put it on his layout and let him bear the shame of having the incorrect model :)

Cameron - the Beaver Creek scene you referred to was on my previous layout, and when I moved earlier this year, I chopped out that scene and gave it to John Niemeyer.



The modeled scene was based on prototype photos, but a scale model of it in any way.  The dance pavilion up on the hill is about 1/4 the size of the real one - mine is a half-model butted up against a mirror, and if modeled prototype, the pavilion would probably be an actual foot or more above the track.

The depot was kitbashed from a Kingmill Enterprises "Raintown" (or something like that), which was based on but not an accurate model of the Forks Creek station on the C&S.  They had a closeout sale on the depot kits, and I picked one up for about $15.  I don't know that they make this kit anymore.

The water tank was built using a tub casting I'd made for the Gilpin Tram Eureka Street tank, so it would be way too small compared to the real life one.  The base was built to fit, to resemble the photos.  Likewise, the bridge in front was condensed a lot in size to fit the space available (which was about 1' square). 

The Beaver Creek was fun to build, but I had no space for this scene on my new layout.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith, smart use of mirrors!

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I got the idea to use mirrors (and smoke) from the US Congress, of course!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Previously, we saw pictures of the Grand Central back in Gilpin Tram days.  Today, nothing remains at the site except some grade and the waste rock dump.



The photo above shows the view over Central City from the Grand Central Mine waste dump.  This photo illustrates how close to town the mine really was.  Note that highrise casino tower in the  center background - that's in downtown Blackhawk!



This is the spur to the Grand Central Mine - it has the typical dry-laid stone walls supporting the grade.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Continuing our little tour of the Gilpin Tram, we were previously at the Grand Central Mine on Gunnell Hill.

M.P. 40.55 Gunnell Mine Spur No. 2:  The second spur to the Gunnell Mine branched off of the west side of mainline, and was only about 50’ south of the Grand Central Mine (East Whiting Mine )spur connection.  This spur may have been used for dropping off empty ore cars for loading, and the Gunnell Mine’s coal trestle track also branched off of this spur.

M.P. 40.55 Gunnell Hill Wye:  The Gunnell Hill wye was very compact, with the two legs of the wye of about 100’ radius. 



Above, we're looking up the mainline southward, and the main curves around the tree at the right - this might be a 70' radius curve!  The north leg of the wye cut a sharp left.

The site can be easily found today, and there are numerous cinders on the grade.  The tail of the wye ended at a rocky outcrop located almost immediately above the East Whiting Mine.  The two legs of the wye contained a total of 437 feet of trackage.  I paced off the wye, and it is about 160' from the main line to the tail of the wye.



The wye was also located on a sharp mainline curve and steep upgrade, where track wrapped around the brow of Gunnell Hill, and began heading more westerly towards Dogtown (Nevadaville).


Standing on the main line looking northeast.  The main curves from foreground to the left - the south leg of the wye is covered with aspen trees at right.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
M.P. 40.63 Gunnell Hill Siding:  On the south side of Gunnell Hill, there was a runaround track  which was connected at both ends, and had a total of 331 feet of trackage – enough length for about 19 ore cars. 


A loaded ore train downgrade at Gunnell Hill siding.  Note the coal car tacked on at the rear of the train.


This is the same location today - nothing to mark the Gilpin Tram, except a few cinders

This location can be found today, as a wide and fairly level spot with numerous cinders on the grade.  This siding would have been convenient for assisting with car switching movements in the Gunnell Hill area.  Interestingly, the Concrete Mine switchback seems to branch off at the middle of the siding, although the mileage chart shows the Concrete switchback branching off past the west end of this siding.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Great stuff, Keith. That casino in Blackhawk needs to be taken down, it is an affront to the mountains and to history. Keep going, maybe I can use photoshop on that ugly casino...

Woodie

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Hi All

I am posting a few photos of my new On30 Gilpin layout.

Handlaid code 83 stub points and track.

Keith please keep posting things like you have, great info

Regards
Greg Hiley

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Wow Greg, very nicely done! Are you using Keith's plans for the engine house? And will you have the track on a trestle coming around it? Those GT ore care sure look familiar also.

Woodie

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Woodie
Yes I am using Keith's plans, although I am not happy with styrene as all 4 walls have bowed.
I still have to cut away the foam to lower the enginehouse down to its correct positon
and allow room for the trestle around the enginehouse.
Right now I am working on a 3 way stub to connect the top end of the yard together.
Regards
Greg Hiley

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

That's some nice looking model work! Those Gilpin Tram coal cars are particularly nice - love the weathered wood look.

The enginehouse model looks like it is coming along nicely. I built my enginehouse model in 1993, and the styrene walls also developed some warpage, probably due to the "scale" walls that ended up without much bracing.

A friend suggested building styrene walls with plastic-compatible ACC instead of solvent glues. Compared to models built with solvent-based adhesives (like Tenax), the ACC-glued structures seem a lot more sturdy.

Looking forward to seeing more photos of your progress.

Keith

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Keith

I prefer to model using wood and so I am rebuilding the engine house with a 0.7mm 3plyshell the laminated on in the inside with the usual stubs and noggins.

After some experimentation I am using the same 0.7 mm plywood cut into3ft x 1ft pieces then laminate onto the exterior shell then gray primer over all and then drag wipe the exterior with oxide red--this the same way I do the final colour on my coal cars.

I will post more photos as I go along

Regards

Greg Hiley

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

Can you recommend a brand of ACC for plastics?  Google only showed 2 part Loctite in my search.

Thanks Cameron

Scott P
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status: 
Offline
Hi Folks,

I've been a long time Gilpin modeller and recently found this site. I'm quite humbled to be in the ranks of a few of you who have provided so much information to all of us, and here's a big Thank You!

My scale/gauge of choice is On2 based on the OMI Shays and Grandt cars with Coronado trucks.  I'm actively working towards getting a prototype of the prototype built this year; this is a shelf-type module to explore modeling the unique features of the Gilpin. I hope to be able to share some progress soon.

I do have a few questions and hope these haven't been covered elsewhere but I have seen it.

How do we know the color of the ore cars and the trucks? The photos show distinctly that they are not likely the same black as the locomotives. But I wonder why Lima would make them otherwise. Were the trucks black?

Second, in the photos, the ore in the cars appears to be white (must be all the gold reflecting! :cool:). I've been told it was not white. Could someone clarify on what the color might have been?

Thanks!

Scott P

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Scott

Speaking as a once 'fingers in the trays' photographer...
...it doesn't surprise me that the ore might be a strange shade of grey (white).

I think the colour rendition is to do with the differences between 'Panchromatic' & 'Orthochromatic' films; or glass-plates in this case.

I honestly can't recall the correct science here...
...DOH...
...but intuition tells me the ore might well be RED-ish (orange).

Which in orthochromatic rendition (glass-plates), comes out WHITE (or at least, light).

Come on vintage-photographers; tell me I'm nuts !!

All the best.

Cheers

Si.

Ortho is not sensitive to red/orange...
...so renders as white. (I think !)

Pretty freakin' stunning science huh?

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Howdy Scott, welcome to Freerails! An On2 modeler? Far out. Send photos when you can, we love em'. The GT is one of my loves also but her poor relative, SCPA&M is my favorite.

Woodie

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Gudday All

Thought I would post a few more photos of the construction work.

One switch to make then the dreaded 3way--for the second time

Regards

Greg Hiley


W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Nice work Greg. I just love handlaid track, I can't lay flex worth a durn anyway. When I mentioned a three way to my lady friend...she slapped me!

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Nice looking trackwork - it looks like smooth transitions and joint work - probably better laid track than what the prototype had! I like the color of the crossties, too.

Thanks for continuing to post photos.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I recently came back from a vacation in Colorado.  Of course, part of the trip was spent exploring Gilpin County and the Gilpin Tram right of way.  As usual, I was not disappointed with what I saw.


I visited a site I had been to many times before - the Federal Mine near Russell Gulch.  This might look familiar, because Wild West Models sells a kit of this mine.  However, the ore sorting shed in the foreground is part of the complex, and someday I hope to model this scene.


One day, I got to explore the area with Joe Crea, who has a wealth of information about the area.  We looked at what was left of the Anchor Mine branch.  A lot of reclamation or groundwater runoff work has been done in this area, and this has altered the landscape somewhat.  However, the Hazeltine Mine is shown here, and many of the stone walls remain  The wood frame shown here is part of the Cornish pump.

Also, for the first time, I found a railroad spike on the switchbacks to the mine.



Across the gulch from the Anchor Mine is this old ruin, which might be the Iriqois Mine (I think this was called something else in later years - all I had to go by was the 1912 USGS Special map).  This is the remains of a very narrow stamp mill located just below the mine site.  This was not served by the tramway, but is a magnificent ruin well worth admiring.


I got a glimpse of the Pittsburg Mine and Mill location - it is surprisingly close the Central City Parkway, but hidden from direct view by the road embankment.  This looks like it was a sizeable operation at one time.  It was never served by the tramway.

Seeing these mines and other sites, and getting to hang out with Joe Crea, Darel Leedy, Dan Abbott, and Doug Heitkamp gave me another boost of enthusiasm to get more modeling and posting done!

Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith

Great holiday, by the looks of !

Fantastic photos from the expedition.

That last photo is a nice size operation to model...
...great character; not too much real-estate.

All the best.

Cheers

Si.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
It's been a while, too long actually, since we took a closer look at parts of the Gilpin Tramway's route.  I visited Colorado in late September, and hiked again some parts of the grade, including Gunnell Hill.  That visit reinvigorated me and I launched new modeling plans.  Unfortunately, life got in the way, so between a busy time at my real job and other stuff, not as much has been accomplished lately as I'd hoped.  So, with that in mind, I'll take some small steps, and continue the closer look at the branch spurs and mines served by the Gilpin Tram on Gunnell Hill.

First, here's a look at what remains of the Gunnell Mine today - some impressive stone and wood framed ruins.


Above, here is the boiler room area and the back of coal bins (where Gilpin cars dumped from a trestle).  The folks in the photo were part of a Gilpin Railroad Historical Society Tour in August 2004.


The above picture might look like some Roman or Greek ruins, but it's what remains of the west and north walls.


Above, we see the business side of the mine, the south side, where the Gilpin had a trestle to dump coal into bins for the boilers.


The grade is clearly visible, passing below the large waste rock dump on the right - the mine was out of sight, at the left.



Previous posts looked at the route up Chase Gulch, around Winnebago Hill, and onto Gunnell Hill.  We took a closer look at the Woods and Gold Collar Mines, Prosser Gulch, the Gunnell and Grand Central Mines, Quartz Hill Wye, and Gunnell Hill Siding.  But, as the map above shows, there was lots more trackage in this area.  Using the "official" mileage designations, let's follow along as we start the climb up the Concrete Mine switchback.

[img]">M.P. 40.74 Concrete Switchback:  On the north side of the mainline, the track began a steep climb on the first of several switchbacks to serve the Whiting, Grand Army, Concrete, and Hubert Mines. 

The Straub Mine was near this switch, and some sources list it as a mine shipper, but we don’t know if the Gilpin Tram ever laid a spur to it.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Doggone it, the FreeRails software did it to me again - it truncated my previous post.  For some reason, I guess I'm limited to 5 photos per post.  Hopefully, the wording will be a bit better as I type this a second time!


Shortly after the Concrete Mine switchback diverged off the mainline, it ran past the Whiting Mine.  The Whiting is seen just above and to the right of the Gunnell Mine.

The "official" mileage and description of this location is:

M.P. 40.93 Whiting Mine Spur:  The Gilpin Tramway reached this mine by October 10, 1887, and this mine was regular shipper.  The spur to this mine was 400 feet long.


The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows a lot of trackage here.  The track at right is the ore loading spur.  I believe the spur was laid in runaround track fashion, and empty cars were coasted down from top (north) to bottom (south).  The far left track was the Concrete Mine switchback, and the track at right diverged to the Grand Army Mine. The GT also shipped coal cars on the left (west) side of the Whiting Mine.  I don't know if they unloaded from the Grand Army spur, or if there was another track not shown here.


This photo shows 2 or 3 Gilpin cars.  The lower car is sitting on the ore loading spur, presumably empty. The upper ore car is sitting on the Concrete or Grand Army spur.  There may be a coal car peeking out behind the left back corner of the mine.


No rolling stock visible here, but the ore loading spur and its stone retaining wall can be clearly seen, plus another nice view of the Gunnell Mine.


A century or so later, we see many, many trees have grown up on the hills.  This is about the same vantage point as in the previous image.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Fortunately for us modelers and historians, there are some remnants of the Whiting Mine left to view.  Above, we see the north side of the mine.  The side walls and back wall were constructed of rubble stone, about 2' thick.


Here we are looking at the business side - the east side where the ore was loaded.  I think this wall was wood framed, and was torn down or burned sometime ago.  The spur ran below me - I'm standing on top of the waste rock dump in this image.


The roof remains are held up nicely by some hand-fabricated trusses. On the ground, we can see the foundations for the hoist and compressor.


The ore spur was partly supported by a dry-laid rubble stone wall, so typical of Gilpin Tram construction.  This same wall shows up clearly in some of the contemporary photos from GT days.  This image is looking south, towards the Whiting waste rock dump.

Keith

jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana USA
Posts: 1000
Status: 
Offline
This was in Northeastern Clear Creek County correct? I'm doing research for mines around Georgetown, although Idaho Springs and Blackhawk are certainly considered.

Thanks,

James :java:

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Back in 1999, I built a model of the Whiting Mine for my HOn30 layout.  I used styrene and the stone walls were cast in urethane resin from a master I had made.


On my model, the track arrangement was not prototypical - I had only a single mine spur.  This layout was eventually torn up, and the mine model is now owned by John Niemeyer.


Looking back on Gunnell Hill on a snowy November day, we see the Gunnell Mine and the Whiting site behind it.  But there's a lot more to see here, and we'll go to the Grand Army, Concrete, and Hubert Mines next.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
James -

No, the Gunnell Hill area was located in Gilpin County, more or less immediately north of Idaho Springs, at about the south central portion of the county.  Or, about 1/4 mile west of Central City.

Keith

jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana USA
Posts: 1000
Status: 
Offline
Thank you for that clarification. Still within my sights for possible modeling projects though, I'll have to look at a couple local museums and perhaps a mine or two next time I have the chance.

--James:java:

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Hi All
Is it possible to still get a copy of Gilpin Ghost by Joe Crea???

Does any one know were to get a copy?

Regards

Greg Hiley

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Hello Greg:

Regarding the availability of "The Gilpin Ghost" - I'll contact Joe Crea and see what the current situation is (Joe was the narrator and creator of the original video).  My recollection from a conversation with Joe a year or so ago is that the company that produced the video is no longer in business.  I had emailed Joe about transferring my copy (VHS) to DVD.

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi Everyone: Wishing all a happy and healthy new year. Finally moved into the new house, did all the chores that the "boss" demanded, and even got into the basement too! All the bench work is up and I have put together 2 more sections. This gives me 7 now which includes the 5 I built (quietly) in the apartment. I wonder if anyone knows where I might locate a Gilpin caboose kit once manufactured by Int. Hobbies in On30. Foothills Models has a similar caboose, but I understand it is now out of production. Also...Keith, surely you have some new photos of your progress, and Greg, you should have some for us too! Dan.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Hello Greg:

I heard from Joe Crea regarding his Gilpin Ghost video.  This was produced in 2000, by Digital Video Images, and that company went out of business.  Joe said I had his permission to copy my VHS copy to DVD.  But Joe said he was unaware of how anyone could get a copy of this today - they are no longer produced.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Howdy guys. I have a copy of the VHS tape with a friend who will put it on DVD for me. I don't have any VHS player and want to be able to see the tape again. I won't sell anything like that but if Mr. Crea would permit it, I might be able to get another copy. This has been "in the works" for months so I have no time frame. I also have a tape of the Alpine Tunnel to be transfered also, it is about some folks going inside before it was permanetly sealed.

Woodie

pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1999
Status: 
Offline
Woodie:
get a VHS at the Salvation Army/Goodwill/whatever close to where you are for about $5. Jose.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
It's OK, VHS tapes go south quickly and I have enough electrical crap in the house. I can wait a while longer. Besides, you know how much $5 can go for basswood supplies?
LOL

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I do want to transfer the Gilpin Ghost tape to a DVD.  My own VHS recorder failed a couple of years ago, so I either need to pick up an old one or take it in for transfer at one of the commercial shops.    This situation reminds me of my 1996-vintage Alps printer, which I am nursing along to print decals.  Someday that will fail, and will have to revert to letter-by-letter decaling again - ugh! 

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Well, it's been a while since I posted on a closer look at the Gilpin Tramway (or as detractors call it, "the Neverending Story").

We last left off at a tour of the Whiting Mine.  Prior to that, we'd looked over the Grand Central, Gunnell, and other mines.

But, as they say in the infomercials, wait - there is more!


Above, a quick look back and a look ahead.  From left to right, we see the Gunnell, Whiting, and Grand Army mines.  These mines were spaced relatively close together!


From the Whiting Mine, the trackage continued to switch up the hillside to reach the Grand Army Mine, Concrete Mine, Hubert Mine, and maybe others.  So, going back to the milepost designations, let's look at the Grand Army Mine next.


The Grand Army mine seen from the Gunnell Mine, around 1900.


M.P. 40.95 Grand Army Sidings: The Gunnell-Grand Army combined mine was one of the larger and steadier shippers in the district. Mine.   The Gilpin Tramway shipped its first train of ore from this mine on December 12, 1887, to the Meade Mill in Black Hawk.  The siding length at this mine was 804 feet.

M.P. 40.96 Concrete Switchback No. 2: 
Trackage at the Grand Army Mine was relatively congested, and the second switchback branched off almost right in front of the mine building.


More of the well constructed Gilpin Tram grade winding up from the Whiting Mine towards the Grand Army mine

M.P. 41.00 Grand Army Mine Shafthouse:  At the mine, the track ran beneath a covered ore loading track that dumped ore into cars from small side-loading bins.  There were probably two tracks here, as the grade is relatively wide here, and study of old photos suggests there was a short spur here.

Today the Grand Army Mine is derelict, but it is an impressive ruin.  The rear and side walls are constructed of the typical Gilpin County style rubble stone, and are about 2’ thick.  Much of the roof framing still stands, some still covered by corrugated metal roofing sheets.


The Grand Army mine in its glory years.  You can see the ore loading spur to the left of the mine, in front of the retaining wall.  There is a grade above and behind the mine for coal unloading, and to feed the tail track for empties, which were then dropped by gravity under the mine loading  (the lean-to on the right side of the building)

The first shipment of ore was from the Grand Army mine, on December 14, 1887, from the Grand Army shaft at the Gunnell to the Meade Mill of William Fullerton. 


Sandborn Insurance map of the map, about 1895 or 1900

The Grand Army Mine was operated jointly with the Gunnell Mine and Concrete Mines (after the Gunnell Mine owners prevailed in a lawsuit). I always wondered if they took ore out of all three shafts after that, or just one or two - I've never seen any records to confirm either way.

 There are paper records of this mine shipping on the Gilpin Tram from 1887 to 1904.  In 1904, a pump house fire destroyed the pumps, and parts of the mine filled with water, halting operations.  This shaft was 1,200-feet deep and operated as late as 1917.  Although mining resumed in this mine in later years, the ore was hauled out through the Newhouse/Argo Tunnel, and this was after the Gilpin Tram was abandoned.

About 15 years ago, the wooden enclosure over the ore loading track mostly collapsed – the top level likely contained a machine shop.  Extensive wood cribbing lines both side of the ore loading track, and was needed to hold back the mountainside above, and the large waste dump on the downhill side.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Continuing on with our look at the Grand Army Mine, here are some more images.


We are looking east over the grade of the ore loading spur.  Behind the people from the 2004 Gilpin Historical Society Convention the grade winds down to the Whiting Mine.  There may have been two tracks here, based on some very sketchy evidence - the grade is certainly wide enough


This image is looking almost 180 degrees from the photo above.  The wood debris is the collapsed remains of the ore loading shed, and is also partially washed in from the waste rock pile. A fair amount of the mine building stands today, thanks to the very sturdy stone walls and robust roof framing and headframe construcction.


And here's the other west side of the mine (opposite side shown from the previous photo).  This photo I must have taken in the mid-1990s, before the wood ore loading shed had collapsed entirely.



A couple of hundred feet west of the mine was this little lean-to - a powder storage shed.  This convenient distance was in case of a whoops! accident around the explosives.  Several years ago, Lane Stewart wrote about this structure in the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette.


Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
And, to wrap up with the Grand Army Mine, let's look at some historical views.


Another view of the Grand Army, maybe 1890-1900  Notable are the three loaded GT ore cars on the loading spur.  The contemporary photos I posted previously show the waste rock dump was later extended to in front of where the ore cars are seen.  Note the outhouse perched on the waste rock dump - a handy location.


And just to review, a little map showing where we have been, and where we are going to visit next - the Concrete Mine.


This photo from the "Glimpses of Golden Gilpin" souvenir book shows the close proximity of the Gunnell, Whiting, Grand Army, Concrete, and Woods Mines.  The Concrete Mine was no slouch, and was a big producer in its day.


Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

RE: GILPIN TRAM CABOOSE KIT

You recently posted regarding whether a certain caboose kit was available for your On30 line. Check out this posting, on the On30 newsgroup, and this person mentions a Chivers brand caboose that looks similar to a Gilpin Tram caboose. A link to this posting is here:

http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=5794&forum_id=4&page=2

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Great stuff, thanks for posting it!

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
But, as they say in the infomercials, wait - there is more!

Hey Keith--we ordered before midnight last night--don't we get double pictures?


Great stuff--If I was out there I would be crawling through every ruin and abandoned building that I came across. Probably end up falling down some shaft, or having something collapse on top of my head.

Herb

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Sorry Herb, no two for one pictures for this informercial - just the basics!

Back to the tour; we'd left off at the Grand Army, and were setting our sites on heading up to the Concrete Mine.  Using our handy, dandy Gilpin Railroad milepost markers, the Concrete Mine switchback actually began near the Gunnell Hill Siding, back on the southerly slope of Gunnell Hill.

M.P. 40.74 Concrete Switchback:  On the north side of the mainline, the track began a steep climb on the first of several switchbacks to serve the Whiting, Grand Army, Concrete, and Hubert Mines.  You can see a picture of this siding on the 299th post of this thread, back around September 19, 2013.

The Straub Mine was near this switch, and some sources list it as a mine shipper, but we don’t know if the Gilpin Tram ever laid a spur to it.


I posted the image above before, but the GT mainline is at left, and the Concrete Mine switchback/branch diverges off to the left.


This image we had seen before, back when we were touring around the Eureka Gulch water tank area.  The Gunnell, Whiting and Grand Army Mines can be seen here, on the north-facing slope of Gunnell Hill.  But, getting back to the infomercial theme again, "Wait - but there's more!"  There is a very faint, grainy smudge near the upper right corner, could it be....?


Greatly enlarging the image previously shown, we that yes, there is a train here.  A shay and probably 3 ore cars are either going up or down the switchback leg to the Concrete Mine.  Some of the other switchbacks used to reach the Hubert Mine are also seen here.


Joe Crea and I explored this area about 14 years ago.  Here, Joe is on another of the characteristic dry-stacked retaining walls on the switchback to the Concrete Mine.  You cannot duplicate the view from 100 years ago today, because of all the trees that have since grown.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

At center right is the Concrete Mine.  It looks like there is a short string of loaded ore cars that have been rolled under the loading bins and are awaiting pickup.  There was a short runaround track here - I think the GT pushed empties up to the far end of the switchback (behind the mine), and then empties were rolled down the other runaround track to the mine for loading.  The Grand Army Mine had a similar arrangement.


The 1895 or 1900 Sandborn Fire Insurance map shows the simple layout of this mine, not unlike other mines in the vicinity.  The area labeled "tunnel" might be a covering over the track where empties rolled down to be loaded.


Looking back at the easterly face of Gunnell Hill, I traced in red where there is Gilpin Tram grade shown in the photo.  I like the stair-step character of the branch, starting from down near the Gunnell Mine in the foreground, and working its way back and forth to gain elevation.  The Concrete Mine is out of site to the right.  The top 2 or 3 layers of track are parts of the extension to the Hubert Mine, which is where we will be heading to next.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Amazing how much mining and railroading was packed into such a small area.

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith. Dan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
This post is loosely Gilpin Tram- related.  I model HON30, and besides the Gilpin Tram, modeling the paper railroad (chartered but never built) Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park Railway allows me to run equipment the GT never owned.  Just too much fun stuff out there to buy!

Recently, Minitrains came out with a set - a loco and four passenger cars.  This is quite a novelty for me - ready-to-run passenger cars.  The loco is a real gem - based on a caricature originally drawn for the Fiddletown and Copperopolis Railroad cartoon series, this is a pretty close-looking replica.  The best part is performance - I don't know if this has a coreless motor in it or what, but it very smooth and crawls along at very low speed.  And, this is fresh out of the box and not broken in.



On my layout, the fictional G, JP, & MP Ry trains basically run from Black Hawk to hidden staging, but they pass through prototype-based scenes as shown above.



These products are put by a very small company in Germany, but they sell direct to US customers.  If interested, check out the Minitrains  website.

Well, it's been fun with this so far, and I am sure more will be heard about this equipment someday...

Keith

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
Hi Keith,
I had a couple questions, what kind of wheel sets do you recommend fe tebe's Gilpin trucks?
Also I thought I saw a 3D printed model of a Gilpin ore car on this thread, but I can't find it on shapeways. Are you aware of any commercial options for these cars?

Thanks Buck

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

In the Shapeways 3D printed Gilpin trucks, I used the Intermountain N scale metal wheel sets, 33" diameter N scale size, or the similar wheels from I think Atlas. EIther worked well. I liked the weight of the metal wheels and axles.

I purchased one Gilpin ore car printed in 3D from Shapeways about 2 years ago. The designer agreed to sell me a copy, but I believe he did not offer it for regular sale at all, or if he did, very briefly. I also purchased some trucks from him that were similar to Gilpin small trucks, but not exact copies. I did not notice until your post today that he had withdrawn these products from being offered at Shapeways - too bad, because I thought they had a lot of potential. The designer is still active in modeling, but seems to have migrated to HO standard gauge.

The only HOn30 Gilpin ore cars available are from Railway Recollections.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
I built several HOn30 GT "Phase 3" ore cars for a friend and they are VERY TINY (of course you know that). He wanted "Phase 1" and I built one at first and then told him to change eras...I wouldn't build any more of those. Somewhere on this site is a photo of 3 GT cars, HOn30, On20, and 35n2. The HO cars look like amusment park rides next to the 35 scale one. I think that if I was building the GT, I would do On2 (or On20 with HOn3 trucks) due to the availability of the fine little Grandt Line kits. I still have a couple of each phase in my "stuff" box.
I have a couple of Shapeways' (Teebee) On30 GT trucks and they are very nice. I do know of a fellow who cast some HOn30 cars for himself...don't remember his name however (wink, wink)

Woodie

titus
Registered


Joined: Thu Aug 21st, 2008
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 222
Status: 
Offline
The half-chord GT car in HOn30 is unbelievably small. I didn't appreciate the size until I actually saw it myself.



The car in the back is a HOn3 30' reefer, for reference. My design even had a smaller coupler pocket to fit McHenry knuckle couplers, but I think even if everything would have worked out the weight of the car would have made it a poor operator. You can see it's sitting on prototypical gilpin trucks. The models used the dimensions published in the gilpin book, so as far as I know they were pretty spot on for 1:87 scale.

I removed the HOn30 trucks because Shapeways basically emailed me and said the model was technically within the tolerances but was pushing the boundaries so far they had trouble printing it every single time. I believe Ken owns the majority of the ones that printed successfully. The 3D models for the trucks are still all set up on Shapeways, so if they ever introduce a newer material that can handle supporting walls of under 0.3mm then I'd put them back up for sale again.

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
Keith, thanks a bunch. That saved me some heartburn. I'm hoping to get my project started here soon and I'd much rather spend my energy on scratch building loco's than those tiny little cars.

Woodie, if you ever remember who made those cars for him self, Mebbe we could talk and see if he might still have the masters and would unload them?!

Titus, do you have the ore car available?

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Buck-yes, I do remember who made those little cars...but if I told you, he would surely kill me! I believe that the ore cars were offered through Shapeways from Tebee (Tom Bell) a friend here on FR.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The cast metal ore cars were made by some idiot in Minnesota ….wait! that would be me!

I hand cast cars for my layout in white metal, and they turned out very well. These were hand cast in RTV rubber molds using a bullet caster, and a tin-bismuth alloy. This was strictly a hands-on operation, and not by any means mass-production.

I eventually made 12 of the first version ore cars, about 8 of the version 1b cars (first version with sides extended 10"), and about 15 of the version 2 ore cars. I had plans to do the 3rd version, but then Barry McClelland came out with his car kits in resin, so I didn't need to make my own. All of these cars were in HOn30.

I can post some photos and such later tonight about what I did. These cars cannot be offered commercially, because of the hand methods used to make them and relatively short life of the molds (lots of undercuts).

Keith

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
Well shoot, thanks Woodie

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
Ok Keith, I guess no shortcuts for us narrow minded folks! Thanks for the insight and photos will be appreciated, but only if you feel you don't have enough!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Titus - it's good to see you posting on this thread.  I did purchase from Shapeways one of your designs of the Gilpin early ore car, and the very early style trucks.  The trucks were very fine cross section, and I think if I'd tried to operate them, the plastic would not have held up and broken.  However, I intend to paint these one day as a "scenery" piece.

I also purchased several of the trucks you designed, the ones that had extended sideframes and resembled Gilpin trucks.  These I put under the early style Gilpin ore cars that I had cast for myself.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Titus - it's good to see you posting on this thread.  I did purchase from Shapeways one of your designs of the Gilpin early ore car, and the very early style trucks.  The trucks were very fine cross section, and I think if I'd tried to operate them, the plastic would not have held up and broken.  However, I intend to paint these one day as a "scenery" piece.

I also purchased several of the trucks you designed, the ones that had extended sideframes and resembled Gilpin trucks.  These I put under the early style Gilpin ore cars that I had cast for myself.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I had promised earlier today that I would post some photos of my metal casting efforts.  I did much of this casting around 2003 - 2006, and just haven't done much recently due to house moves and other projects.  However, I still have all the equipment to resume again someday.

I published an article in Light Iron Digest on how I did this - I forget which year it was, but probably was around 2006.

The whole process is very simple, and was based on methods used by friend Greg Scott.  Greg is owner of GHQ Miniatures, and has been commercially casting railroad and military miniatures for probably decades now.  Anyway, Greg explained he had sometimes used a simple mold to cast several masters, which were then assembled and ganged together in vulcanized rubber molds on some large-sized spin casting equipment.

I adapted Greg's suggested method, and found it surprisingly easy to use...



Above is the bullet casting apparatus.  It's basically an electrically heated insulated pot that has a small spout on the bottom controlled by a knob (which you can see above my hand, the lever with the wood knob).  In this photo,  I am pouring metal into a mold and all over the workbench, because I got distracted while pouring metal and taking a photo with my other hand at the same time!


Here are a bunch of simple RTV two-part molds for ore cars.  You can see they are simply held together with rubber bands, but next time, I would use a jeweler's mold box which would work better.


Each mold has a port on top for metal to flow in.  Each mold was vented by poking a #78 drill through the mold at all corners, nooks and crannies where air bubbles could be trapped.  Here, I just opened two molds - the part at left is the end platform for a type 1B car, and the part on the right is the ore hopper body.  These were the original cars with sides extended 10".  The end platforms also were different than the earlier version ore cars.


In a short time, you can make a pile of castings!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Once I had the bullet caster "fired up", it was easiest to cast a lot of parts.  Rotating through groups of molds, I could prep molds, fill molds, and demold pretty efficiently.  I used a tin-bismuth alloy that melts at about 285 degress F, which for me was a whole lot simpler and safer than using pewter, which melts at a much higher temperature. 

When casting, the first part or two cast usually is incomplete, because the mold is still cold.  Once the mold is warmed up, you can cast a lot of parts.  Eventually, the mold gets too warm and the metal never cools down to strip the mold.  You then have to wait for it to cool.

The photo above shows the successful results from a partial Saturday afternoon of casting. I have made two types of ore cars and their end platforms, plus the flatcar frame for Gilpin Railroad flat car #4.


I also cast a group of the "type 2" ore cars.  Here, I am in the middle of painting this group. Once I set up for one car, it was just as easy to do a whole bunch of them.


This is one of my "type 2" ore cars on the left, next to one of Barry McClelland's Railway Recollections "type 3" ore cars.  I noticed when preparing this post that Barry's kits have already been on the market for 10 years now.  Wow!


Here are a bunch of my completed cars.  From left to right: #92, a "type 2" car, #23, a "type 1" car, #2, the early style flat car, #60, a "type 1b" car (extended sides), and caboose #400.  All the cars have Shapeways 3D printed trucks.  Most are the "Teebee Gilpin Trucks", but under car #23 are some of Titus' "arch bar with pointed ends" trucks.  The cars are all cast metal except for the styrene caboose.



This image of a short ore train passing through Eureka Gulch shows two of the cast metal "type 2"cars at the end of the train, and two cast metal "type 1" ore cars next to the shay.  The brake end beams are part of the Shapeways printed truck part.

So, that's all it takes to make a roster of ore cars for an HOn30 line.

Keith

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
That's all!!??

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
I told you that he'd kill me!

Woodie

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
G'by Woodrow

It's been nice------





Herbie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I decided that if I couldn't dazzle you with brilliance, I would baffle you with bulls_ _ _ :)

Should be a good weekend for getting some modeling done. 10" of snow last nice, over ice, temps below zero, so a good excuse to stay home and off of the roads.

Keith

tebee
Registered
 

Joined: Sat Jan 1st, 2011
Location: France
Posts: 447
Status: 
Offline
I too, tried to the Gilpin Phase 1 trucks, though in WSF as that was all that was available at the time. It looked far too chunky and out of proportion as I had to stretch the length too much to get our overscale model flanges to fit. I re-designed them into the type 3 truck, which while still a little over length, I think look much more in proportion.

I also tried trucks in FUD and decided, although it looked much better, they were far to brittle for general use.

I've stick with the strong nylon for trucks, even though the surface finish is a little rough in HOn30. I've broken both my test pair now of FUD trucks, whereas I've managed to stand on WSF ones with out breaking them.

Also, the current design rules mean that a FUD truck has to be almost the same section as a WSF one, unless you have a design that is grandfathered in.

Tom

Buck
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 26th, 2013
Location: Roscoe, Montana USA
Posts: 72
Status: 
Offline
Well Keith, It looks like the effort was worth it

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Tom - I've used mostly the "tepee" designed trucks on Shapeways, and they work very well. It will be fun to see what advances come in 3D printing in the future, and I would expect more and more good stuff will become available.

Buck - the results were certainly worth it for me - I needed a bunch of cars (the Gilpin Tram was mostly all ore cars on the roster), and the weight of the all-metal cars was necessary so they would track well with the other rolling stock I had already made. Besides the ore cars, I cast 2 styles of flat cars, 2 free-lanced caboose frames, and some locomotive parts (cylinders, domes, and stuff). I plan to cast some of the Gilpin Tram coal cars, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Keith

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, How about letting us in on your ground cover. I have been looking at your layout photos, including the ones on the 2013 Sn3 symposium. I am amazed at how closely you have matched the prototype Gilpin photos...is it likely that if I go out to your garage I will find buckets and buckets of COLORADO out there...Dan.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thank you for the nice comments about the scenery.  That got me thinking about how I have been making scenes on past and the current a'building layout.

Nothing I do is original - it's all taken from other published articles by others.  Of course, Frary and Hayden's scenery books and articles have given me a lot of ideas.  Harry Brunk's articles in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette have given me lots of ideas, too.  Lane Stewart helped me a lot, also.  He published an article several years ago in Gazette about using a palette of ground cover materials when doing scenes.  At one of the past narrow gauge conventions (Colorado Springs in about 1992, I think), he gave me several suggestions about painting scenery and models based on some of the techniques he was using at the time.  So, using a variety of techniques seems to help.


Scenes like this are what have always inspired me.  When I visit Gilpin County, my trip usually starts in Denver and head up through Clear Creek Canyon.  Views like this, with rugged rocks, rushing water, and  mountain vegetation are all things I have tried to model.


I tend to have free time in September, so when I visit Gilpin County, it's definitely near the end of the growing season, but early enough that many aspens haven't turned color yet, nor is there snow.  The image above shows the variety of textures that to me are typical of this area.  The ground itself is very rocky - everywhere!  Where vegetation grows, it is in spotty patches, usually not a carpeted lawn.  The "underbrush" is a variety of shapes and textures - some bushes are kind of round-shaped, some are wild and scraggly, and others.  The trees come in a variety of shapes, too - not all the classic pine tree shape - some are round, stunted, or deformed.  There is a lot to consider when modeling scenery along the Gilpin Tram, but fortunately, it's pretty easy to do.


I've learned the hard way to paint a backdrop first, otherwise, I tend to put it off and never get around to it.  I prime sheet styrene that I buy in 4' x 8' sheets and cut into strips, and prime with white and sky blue latex paint.  I then paint very crude backdrop scenery with artist's oils.


Following the KISS method of scenery (Keep It Simple, Stupid). my HOn30 layouts are rigid foamboard (extruded polystyrene to those of you not living in northern climes) cut or sanded to shape.  Textured areas are built up with thin plaster of paris rock mold castings (homemade or purchased from Bragdon Enterprises), then later colored with washes of diluted artist's oils.


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The ground seems to often be gravelly and rocky soil everywhere.  Over the carved/sanded foam, I paint a diluted layer of textured ceiling plaster (this is a gypsum plaster with styrofoam beads in it, intended to be air-sprayed to texture residential ceilings).  This stuff is cheap, and a large bag can be had for less than $20 and lasts forever.  I simply paint it on, and when dry, give it washes of diluted oil paints.

Then basic cover goes on.  I collect dirt samples from a variety of places - Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and other places I have forgotten.  After a while, you build up a palette of a variety of colors.  I do collect some dirt on every trip from along the Gilpin Tram - this gives a color like the prototype because it is from the prototype.  Above, I am putting gravel and sand textures in an earlier version of Black Hawk yard (since replaced).  The more variety, the better the results seem to be.  You want to avoid building scenery where the ballast or ground foam material you used can be instantly identified - instead, use lots of different sources like the prototype.


In this image, the future enginehouse area (in a Black Hawk scene that preceded the model shown in the previous image), the basic sand and gravel textures are down, and now I am putting vegetation that is fine ground foam, sawdust, and flocking.  Then, bushes and trees will be glued on.  Everything is adhered with white glue and wetted with sprayed rubbing alcohol (a technique published by Boone Morrison in Gazette years ago).


Again, a variety of bushes, grasses ,and trees abound in the prototype. What I have yet to model well are groves of immature aspens, as shown here.  Something I still need to figure out.


The lightweight foam scenery is lightweight and easy to build and tear out.  I guess I tend to start and modify layouts a lot.  This image is a layout from 1998, which was later torn out and replaced with the versions shown in previous photos.  But, this and the other layouts were torn up due to house moves, not completely due to my changing my mind again...

So, there is a long-winded summary of how I do my scenery.

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Thanks, Keith!


Herb

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Yes, masterful work from a true master. Always a treat to see Keith's layout. We are blessed to have him here on this site.

Thank you, sir.

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Thank you Keith, I have been in this hobby for a long time, and have seen a lot of layouts. You hit it on the head when you mentioned easily identifiable materials. The "loose" look you have is great. I agree that it is too easy to pick up bags of scenery material at the hobby shop. I have almost reached the scenery stage (on blue foam). The sad part, this is layout (probably number three hundred and six or so..) needs to get past the blue foam! Dan.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Last year, I moved to a new home, and in the process, had to discard much of my previous layout.  Fortunately, I was able to salvage the more crucial sections for reuse.

In the past year, I didn't get as much layout-building done as I would have liked, but I did get unpacked and organized, the shelving for this shelf layout built, roughed-in backdrops built, and lighting set up.

The new main part of the layout will feature the Buckley Mine branch - I will reuse the structures and scenery base around the structures on the new layout.  The track plan looks like this:



This part of the layout will have 3 major scenes: the Quartz Hill mining area, which will feature the Buckley Mine branch structures, Chase Gulch, and the start of Black Hawk.  The tail of the wye is intended to be the start of Black Hawk, with more to be built.

The layout will have continuous running, but I will operate it point-to-point.  The rear of the loop is hidden by a low ridge and trees, and will be used for staging.



The layout is rigid foamboard over wood framing, and built in 3 sections - each small enough to easily handle and will fit onto a portable workbench.  The image above shows the rough foam contours and basic wood base for the trackwork.



Today, I started carving the foam base in the Chase Gulch area.  I used the techniques shown by Dave Frary in a video I purchased from his website.  Here, I am doing rough carving with a serrated knife (cheap steak knife from a Dollar Store).



About an hour later, this is how this end of the rocky scenic ridge looks.



Here is another view of the same rocky ridge, which will represent Chase Gulch.

More will follow as I continue with the scenery and trackwork, but so far, things are moving along well.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Very nice. Like the rock carving. Your modular approach is something I am really beginning to think about and the ability to work on a section at bench is a big plus in my mind.

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
In previous postings, we started an intermittent tour of the Gilpin Tram, beginning at the enginehouse, climbing up Chase Gulch, winding through Winnebago Hill, Eureka Gulch and Prosser Gulch, and ending up at the mining district on Gunnell Hill.

Earlier postings had information on a bunch of mines on Gunnell Hill: the Woods, Gunnell, Grand Central, Whiting, Straub, Grand Army, Gold Collar, and Concrete.


A last look at the concrete mine, showing a string of loaded ore cars that coasted under the ore bins and awaiting to be brought down to Black Hawk


There is still another section of this branch we haven’t explored yet - the Hubert Mine branch.

Little is known about this branch - according to records, it actually was built to the Hubert Mine, a large ore producer on the north side of Nevadavile, close to and perched on the hillside above the town.  For what years this mine shipped ore, how much, and when the branch was torn up seem to be undocumented.


View looking north - the Hubert Mine is on the left end of the large ore dump - the Gilpin Tram trackage ran along the top of the dump


In May 1888, rails were extended to the Hubert Mine branch.  This branch was described as branching off of the switchback from the Whiting Mine and working its way up to eventually reaching the Hubert Mine.  

The mine was managed by Henry C. Bolsinger, who not only was a prominent citizen and state senator, but was President of the Gilpin Tramway in 1886, and a Gilpin Tramway director in 1887 and 1888.


A photo of a portion of a map in the Colorado School of Mines, showing the cluster of switchbacks at the upper left, which was the Hubert Branch trackage



The branch to the Hubert eventually required seven switchbacks.  The first three, because they also served other mines, were documented in the Colorado & Southern mileage charts. These were:

M.P. 40.74 Concrete Switchback:  On the north side of the mainline, the track began a steep climb on the first of several switchbacks to serve the Whiting, Grand Army, Concrete, and Hubert Mines.  

M.P. 40.96 Concrete Switchback No. 2:  Trackage at the Grand Army Mine was relatively congested, and the second switchback branched off almost right in front of the mine building.

M.P. 41.23 Concrete Switchback No. 3:  The tail track of this switchback was 236 feet long, and this switchback was located immediately downhill of the Prize Mine, on an open, grassy slope.  The tail of this switchback is at about the same elevation as the wagon road that serves the ore bins for the Prize Mine. 


A contempory view of Nevadaville.  The Hubert Mine dump remains, and the white dotted line shows where the Gilpin Tram came in from the east slope of Gunnell Hill

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Darel Leedy, a Denver-area narrow gauge modeler and Gilpin fan, is exploring a typical stone retaining wall on the switchback grade off of the Concrete Mine spur


I speculate that the Concrete Switchback No. 3 was built here to be a convenient location to extend a spur to the Prize Mine if ever needed.  However, it appears the Prize Mine was never a shipper on the Gilpin Tram.  TGhe May 1888 newspaper said the branch was being built to the Prize and Hubert Mines.  Joseph W. Bostwick, who owned the Prize Mine, was also a Director of the Gilpin Tramway from 1900 to 1904.  The Prize Mine also owned the adjacent Seuderberg Shaft, which was shown as being on a spur off of the Hubert Mine Branch.  Although I have never seen any paper records of this mine shipping on the tram, it is possible the ore was shipped out at the Seuderberg shaft.  By 1914, this mine was connected to the Argo Tunnel, and ore was by then presumably shipped out to the mills in Idaho Springs.


Overall view of the southeast side of Gunnell Hill. The Prize Mine is seen at center right


The Prize Mine today is in excellent condition


The Gilpin Tram switchback at this elevation ends in the grassy area where the photographer (me) is standing.  A Gilpin Tram spur could have been easily extended to the Prize Mine ore bins, but there is no record that this ever happened


A little closer view of the Prize Mine, with a nice look at the ore loading side.  The backside of the mine more or less disappears into the hillside - the roof dives down to meet the ground.


[img]">This is the powder house at the Prize Mine - Lane Stewart wrote a nice article on how he modeled this several years ago in the Gazette

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The outhouse at the Prize Mine


So continuing up the hill, two more short switchbacks take us directly above the Prize Mine, and nearing the top of Gunnell Hill.  Track maps show a spur to the Slaughter House and Seuderberg Mines.  Again, I have not seen any paper records of any shipments over the Gilpin Tramway.


Grassy area is where the 5th switchback took off to climb Gunnell Hill, and eventually emerged above the backside of the Prize Mine


Continuing on, we finally reach the Hubert Mine.  This sizeable mine acquired a mill in Nevadaville, named the Hubert Mill, and conveniently downhill from the mine.  This was a 25 stamp mill that served the mine. Newspaper accounts describe the building of a Pickett Tramway, a bucket type tramway to deliver ore to the mill.  

Dan Abbott, in The Gilpin Tram Era, provides a newspaper account that describes the building of the aerial bucket tramway also states, “The ore in Black Hawk is transported to the stamp mills over the Gilpin Tramway. tracks and switches having been extended and put in at the Hubert Mine.”   Finally, the newspaper account wraps up with, “The mine is connected to the stamp mills by two tramways, the company’s mill being supplied by a bucket tramway...and by the Gilpin Tramway, over which the smelting ore and stamp mill dirt is transported to Black Hawk.”

By 1900, the first Hubert Mill had been replaced with a new, larger mill adjacent to the old building.  The aerial bucket tramway was replaced with a 4-rail funicular railway (loaded car descends on one track while the empty car ascends on the other side).  Perhaps with the enlarge milling capacities and new milling equipment the Gilpin Tramway was no longer needed, and this was the end of the branch.  But, this is speculation only.


Dan Abbott and Joe Crea checking out a retaining wall on the topmost switchback - no spikes found today!


I have walked the Hubert Grade with Dan Abbott and Joe Crea. Despite looking hard, and Dan is the luckiest man I know when it comes to finding spikes, no solid evidence of trackage has been found on the grade. 


Some of the ruins of the Hubert Mine in Nevadaville


I would strongly recommend that if you are more interested in this branch and mines, that you obtain a copy of Sundance Publications’ The Gilpin Railroad Era.  The book has tons more information, and many sharp pictures showing the mine, mill, and its tramways.


Ore bin ruins of the Hubert Mine

Well, that wraps our look at Gunnell Hill. Next, we’ll stumble on down to the main line, and make our way towards Quartz Hill.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Yes, the GILPIN ERA book is a must for the great information and photos it contains. I love all the Gilpin books that I own. If more are written, I will have them also. Thank you Keith for this thread, what a wonderful thing it is.

Woodie

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith-





Herb

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

Excellent info as always.  Thanks for posting these.

Cameron

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Keith, Not too long ago you posted some photos of your Polar Star Mill. I wonder if you found any way that the prototype mill disposed of the tailings and other waste. I see that the 50 Gold Mines Mill had a huge tailings pile supported by poles. However, all of the other mills in Blackhawk don't show any such tailings. Any thoughts? Dan.

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Darn! now I have a second question...how do you get rid of two similar posts!!! sorry about that...always have had fat fingers! Dan.



by the magic powers entrusted to Mods and Admins-----

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The Polar Star Mill, along with pretty much all others, dumped the tailings into Clear Creek.


The above photo shows the east (C&S side) of the mill. The man-door in the center of the wall used to have a small bridge, because this is where the water exited the mill into Clear Creek (out of the photo, but in would be near where the photographer is standing).  That cupola on the roof, right above the man-door, is where the wooden water wheel was formerly housed. The tail race for the wheel was where the tailings from the mill also were dumped.  The water wheel was used to operate the mill during high water and steam power was used the remainder of the year.


I don't think Clear Creek was too clear back in mining days.  The interesting thing is when you poke around the area today, you don't see sand bars in the creek, either.  It must have all washed far downstream.

I read a mining document about milling practice.  In stamp mills, the screen in the stamp mortar needs to be changed out periodically due to wear and corrosion.  The mining document showed how the average life of a screen dropped off dramatically the farther downstream the mill was.  As the mills all dumped waste into the creek, its  chemistry  must have been pretty nasty!

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Keith Pashina wrote:
As the mills all dumped waste into the creek, its  chemistry  must have been pretty nasty!


Not only that but in the old days it was common practice in many mining towns to build outhouses over creeks.

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith, and Ray, your website is great. I hope everyone will advantage of this great resource. Dan.
\

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
My Gilpin Tram layout has a subsidiary, the Gilpin, James Peak & Middle Park Railroad, that has and will continue to have an eclectic collection of locomotives and rolling stock.

Helping feed my addiction to HOn30 are some recent products from Minitrains.  This week, I acquired another 0-4-0 loco from The Original Whistle Stop, who is the new U.S. distributor of this stuff.  These locos are based on caricature cartoon drawings by Carl Fallberg for the Fiddletown and Copperopolis Railroad.  I like the looks of this stuff!





I intend to give it a new two-trucked and bigger tender, and change several details, and I think it may occasionally be  seen in the mining district, too.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Cool. How's it run?

slateworks
Registered


Joined: Wed Oct 6th, 2010
Location: Twickenham, United Kingdom
Posts: 984
Status: 
Offline
Reports on NGRM-Online in the UK suggest they run beautifully, smooth and slow. Also Toma Model Works are offering a neat body upgrade - at a price!


Doug

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Cool lokie Keith. I wonder if it can be reguaged to HOn3, thereby converted to On20!!?? BTW, congrats on being lured to the "dark side". Keep me posted.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The new Minitrains loco runs very well.  I have not taken it apart yet, so I can't say what the mechanism is, but it runs very smoothly and at low speed.  At a full 12V, the top speed is still acceptable.  The current models are nothing like the mechanisms from the AHM Minitrains line of the 1960s.

I intend to add a two-truck tender and other parts to it.  I have seen the Toma conversion, and it looks very good.

And, this loco also may be a candidate for other modifications, too.  I intend to experiment with radio control, and just received some components from the The On30 Guy:


In the photo above, the battery is leaning against the green loco.  The actual RC receiver is the small chip between the two locos.  The RC throttle is also shown for size comparison - it's very compact, and smaller than my Digitrax DCC throttle.

And Woodie asked if this could be converted to On20?  I'm sane, so I can't really answer that :)

Keith

rmontgomery
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Dec 5th, 2010
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

I too have a soft spot in my head or heart for HOn30. I have been eyeing the 2-4-0 mini trains engines. Your thoughts on them, running quality, details, etc. Thanks in advance.

Ray Montgomery

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

For running qualities, the Minitrains 0-4-0 locomotive runs very smooth and at low speed - it is not broken in yet, so it probably will improve over time. I will convert it to DCC, but right now, in regular DC, it runs very well.

The detailing from the factory is basic. The paint job is very neat and crisp. I will want to add many other details, such as handrails, grab irons, piping, etc.

I also have earlier versions of the 4-wheel Diesel and 0-4-0T tank loco. These were replicas of the 1960s AHM Minitrains line. These also run very well, but not as sophisticated as the new F&C 0-4-0 engine, which seems to have a better motor, better gearing, and outside frame.

Overall, I am happy with these products and would recommend them to other modelers.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Also, check out this Youtube Minitrains link to see one of these locos run.  Also, this video shows some future HOn30 rolling stock - WWI "Pershing" flatcar, gondola, boxcar, and a D&RG style caboose.

Some interesting happenings in HOn30, many of which will somehow find themselves in Gilpin County in my model world!

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith, that's a cool little lokie. You might consider a "tourist operation" which runs on a Sunday when the Tram is not operating (they need a day off!) and uses the new loco and maybe a couple of Tram open cars. That's what happens on my layout when new visitors drop by, they can run the line with a tourist train and not have to worry about switching the mines.

Great fun.... Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

A definite possibility. I have least 4 excursion cars already that could be used: a Gilpin Tram excursion car, and old Joeuf car from the 1970s, a Silver City, Pinos Altos & Mogollon car (flat car with benches), and a Railway Recollections kit (freelanced).

Wow! I have a lot of kits to build.

Keith

Lind W
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 23rd, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
Hello Keith,

I joined the group last week. Love the images your Gilpin Tram layout.

Lind Wickersham

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Glad you joined the group.  Maybe I could talk you into posting some photos of your excellent On2 Gilpin Tram models?

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
In previous postings, we started a tour of the Gilpin Tram, down near the enginehouse, and climbed up to the mines and switchbacks on Gunnell Hill.

Now, we’ll head out through Dogtown and work our way around and up Quartz Hill.


Before we leave the Gunnell Hill area, here is a look back at the Gunnell Hill. This is an enlargement from a photo of the Chicago-Carr Mine, which was on a hillside high above the south side of Central City.  In this enlarged area of that photo, many of the Gunnell Mines are visible - this photo distorts the view much like a telephoto lens might, but it gives a good idea of how close the mines were.  From left to right are the Whiting, Grand Army, Gold Coin, Gunnell and Grand Central - looks like a model layout, doesn't it?

Last time, we left the mainline at the switch to the switchbacks to the Whiting, Concrete, and Hubert Branch mines.  As we trek westward, we soon cross the road between Central CIty and Nevadaville, and enter a broad curve that crosses over Nevada Gulch.

M.P. 40.74 Concrete Switchback No. 1:  Continuing westward, the mainline grade ran along a mild, grassy slope along Gunnell Hill.


This image is an enlargement of a photo showing Central CIty - that's the Schoolhouse (now known as the Couer D'Alene) Mine in front.  In the top left background are 4 or 5 homes, which are part of the Dogtown area. Note the Prize Mine to the immediate right of these homes.

Above the mainline was the area know as “Dogtown”.  I don’t know the origin of this name, but it’s colorful!  Several residences were built on the hillside in this area, and 3 of them exist today, but in very poor shape.  Dogtown probably was part of Nevadaville, as that town gave permission for the Gilpin Tram to cross Main Street “in Dogtown.”


Although abandoned for some time, some of the Dogtown homes are still standing.  The weathered walls and roofs on these structures look a lot like an On2 of 35n2 model!

In 1891, the location attained some notoriety one night when Nevadaville fireman were roused after several residents called the alarm.  Rushing to the scene, it was found a Gilpin Tram ore car had derailed, and the stopped train’s headlight was shining on the side of a house, the glow giving the appearance of the fire!  Embarassed, the firefighters helped the Gilpin Tram crew rerail the car, and both the train and firefighters went on their way.


Another view of one of the Dogtown homes, with a rubble stone foundation.

Alongside the mainline here, a pipeline was laid for the water supply for the Avon Mill in Nevada Gulch.  Water pumped from the Gunnell Mine was the source of this water.  You can see this pipe in the photo below.


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

A closer view of the previous image, showing the Gilpin Tram mainline bridge over Nevada Gulch, and note the water pipe supply line supported on simple "X" supports beyond.


The Avon Mill was a shipper on the Gilpin Tram, receiving coal and shipping concentrates.
 

This mill was prominently located next to the Gilpin Tram mainline near Dogtown and would make a very interesting model. There is only limited information about this mill.  What makes this so intriguing to me is that the Climax Mine atop Quartz Hill fed the Avon Mill through an aerial tramway - this might be the only aerial tramway in use at that time at the mining district along the Gilpin Tram.  Later, the same company also leased the San Juan Mine - both the San Juan and Climax had spurs to them on the Gilpin Tram.


This photo is a current view of the location of the Gilpin Tram bridge crossing Nevada Gulch - this area has been greatly altered in recent years, for the construction of a new access road.  The original bridge was still partially in place until about 10 years ago.

The reports from “The Economic Geology of Gilpin County,” published in 1917, report that the Avon Mill was used for processing ore that was not high grade enough to be sent directly to the smelter.  It reported the mill (in 1916) had 30 rapid-drop stamps (not the slow-drop Gilpin County type typically used), 6 Gilpin County bumping tables, and 1 Wilfley table.  The mill was able to attain a 10:1 concentration with this equipment.  The average value of the concentrated ore was $20 per ton; most of the precious metals were recovered on the amalgamating plates on the stamps and concentrating tables.

I have seen a Gilpin Tram report showing 2 cars of concentrates being shipped to the Tucker Mill for further processing. I never have seen where else the concentrates might have been shipped - maybe to the Sampling Works or Ore Chutes in Black Hawk.


In the image posted above of the Avon Mill, a coal car, #11, can be seen on the left edge of the photo - here's an enlargement.


On my models, I try to mimic the lettering styles used on buildings - always a period at the end of the name, and big, bold letters.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

In this image, we get another view of the mill.  This image was made at a date later than the previous mill image, because now the second spur at the front of the mill is in place. An ore car can be seen in from of the chute to load mill dirt that would be sent to another mill for further processing.


This view shows a stairway at the door, but the loading chute for concentrates is in place.


This image is an enlargement of photo, which explains its blurriness.  What is special about this image is it shows the east side of the mill, and the ore loading trestle that fed the backside.  The mill follows a typical ore mill profile, following the slope of the hillside  to take advantage of gravity when handling the ore processing steps.


Unusual for most of the mills in the area, the Avon Mill was fed by an aerial tramway from the Climax Mine at the top of Quartz Hill.  This photo enlargement shows two of the tram towers and the ore loading bins at the Climax Mine.  We'll see more of the Climax Mine in future postings as we start exploring the various branches on Quartz Hill.


This aerial tram tower is on Quartz Hill, but was not part of the tramway that fed the Avon Mill.  This tram line is of more modern construction, and built in the 1940s or so.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

This is the Avon Mill site today.  Only some of the stone building foundations, and some of the Gilpin Tram spur grade remains. 

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith, your Gilpin thread just keeps getting better & better. Thank you for all the information and photos. Of course, we can all stand much, much more.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks! I'll be posting more soon on the three branches that served the Quartz Hill area. After that, I'll either move on to Russell Gulch, or look at the mills in Black Hawk.

I am spending time getting ready for a look at ore handling - I'll be co-presenting a clinic with Lind Wickersham at this year's Narrow Gauge Convention in Kansas City.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Wow, more great pics and info! Thanks!

I'm surprised they had the water supply pipe above ground and unprotected like that. Seems like it would freeze up in the winter.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The whole water line looks kind of temporary and light-duty.  I wonder also how it performed in cold weather.

On the other hand, it would be a fun detail to include on the layout somewhere. It would also be an excuse to use a bunch of the pipe fittings and valve castings I have accumulated.

The photo below is of a more modern line on the east side of Quartz Hill, and post-dates the Gilpin Tram.  But, I like the rusty metal look.  This can be seen alongside the original mainline right-of-way.



Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Excellent research, really appreciate all your hard work. I'd like to vote for Black Hawk, laying track there now and your expertise on the mills sure would help!

Hand-laying HON2 track onto HON3 track for dual gauge and the turn-outs are taking some "figuring" to get them to work.

If I ever remember how to load pictures I'll put in a few with your permission.

Thanks Cameron

PS - Will you in the KC for the NG Convention?

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Question - Beaver Brook Station.

Getting ready to add windows. What are your thoughts on main color os boards and trim? Thought ox blood (I think that was right for section houses) but pictures seem to suggest something lighter. Would depot buff be a better choice?

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I don't know much about the C&S - it was wide gauge (3' and not 2'), and not Gilpin Tram!  So, I contacted one of the gurus that does know, and here is Joe Crea's reply to me about the Beaver Brook depot color scheme:

Keith,

There may be a photo out there somewhere of the building in a darker color, which would be the red.  But this photo shows it as obviously a light color, and it is also an early photo.  That said, this could be before they did any standardization of colors, and it may even be painted white.  But my guess would be a light gray.  Paul Schenk and I did some research (scrapings) of the Alpine Tunnel Depot and the first color on it was light gray, with dark green trim.  And I believe that's what it is painted today, after its restoration.

Joe


Have you seen a photo of the depot in a dark color? I don't have the Sundance book on the Clear Creek line handy right now, and an quick online check seems to show only a light colored depot.

Hope this helps,

Keith

Lind W
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 23rd, 2014
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

I really enjoy the thread on the mines and tram.

How is the rough draft coming on the N.G. clinic?

I thought I would provide images of actual mill and mine equipment and also corresponding models of the equipment. I have prototype images of stamps, wilfey tables, separators, feeders, jaw crushers, air-compressor and hoist. I have model images of stamps, amalgmation tables, ball mill, dorr thickener, cyanide tanks, jaw crusher. I also have drawings of pumps, hoist, air-compressor, etc.

What do you think? Other suggestions? What can I help you with clinic wise?

Lind

Will be getting some model images on-line later.

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith,

Never met Joe but heard a lot about him. Tell him thanks for me. Was reading Como workbook from Mike Blazek and he mentions gray and green also, so I guess that is on the list.

Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
MORE ON THE BEAVER BROOK STATION PAINT COLORS

Cameron:

I also heard back from Doug Heitkamp, a very knowledgeable C&S person.  His reply to me that he gave me permission to pass on regarding the color of the Beaver Brook depot was:
I would agree with Joe, light gray with green trim. I took another look at pics on the DPL site of early CCRR pics. The pics show a light colored depot with dark trim. Since the RR was under U.P. control at that time, and those were the standard colors for the era, it seems logical. I'm not sure when the depot was removed, but if it was later in the C&S era, the depot could have been painted red with green trim. I'll have to check my books at home to see if there are any pics of a "dark" colored depot. Best book would be the Sundance book on the Colorado Central.

Doug
So, the story continues... If you have the Sundance book, there are many pages showing the Beaver Brook area.

Hope this helps,

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Before we leave Nevada Gulch, we should stop and take a look at Nevadaville.


In the above photo, we are looking south over Nevadaville at Quartz Hill.  Many miners that worked on Quartz Hill lived in thriving Nevadaville at this time.  There is a lot of GilGilpin Tram trackage that we'll start exploring next - all three branches!

Nevadaville predates the Gilpin Tram era.  First settled about 1859, it was originally Nevada City, but the U. S. Post Office thought the mail might get mixed up with Nevada City, California, so the USPS changed the name to Bald Mountain (a nearby mountain, a few miles west of town).  The residents didn’t like the name change, and referred to it as Nevadaville.


A real gold boom town, Nevadavile was at first bigger than Denver, and was nearly the same size as Central City, but only for a while.  Nevadaville was and is not favored by readily available water supply, so the town eventually capped out at abotu 6,000 population.  The town grew and bust, depending on the mining activity.  There was a lot activity in the 1870s and 1880s, then a decline, and regrowth in the late 1890s when many of the deeper mines on nearby Quartz Hill were developed.


Nevadaville also had several stamp mills at one time (only two, the Gold Coin and Avon Mills were served directly by the Gilpin Tram).  The mill in the center of this image was the Hubert Mill, which was served by its own dedicated aerial tram, and later a funicular tram.  The mill's development may have coincided with the demise of the Gilpin Tram's Hubert Branch.


Here's what's left of Nevadaville today.  The dashed white line at upper right traces the route of the Hubert Mine branch.

Even though Nevadaville was pretty sizeable, the Gilpin Tram did not serve it directly - the railroad was built to haul ore, not passengers!  Mine spurs were all over Quartz Hill, on the south side of the town, and we previously looked at the Hubert Mine branch, high above on the north side of town.

Most of Nevadaville’s structures are long gone, but there are still several interesting remaining buldings, and a few people still live here.


If you ever visit the area, Nevadaville is about 1 mile up a well graded dirt road from Central City.


Above, another view of Nevadaville looking towards Quartz Hill.  Most of the structures visible in the photo have not survived to today.  Don't worry though, there are still several interesting structures and remains left to explore, and we'll see some of them next.


This view taken about 10 years ago is from a similar vantage point as the previous photo.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Down in Nevada Gulch, the Pozo Shaft still stands. This was immortalized in a kit from Link and Pin Hobbies (I think I got the name right) about 20 or so years ago.  This structure has been preserved, and appears to be in decent condition.  Note the numerous mine waste rock dumps on Quartz Hill - many of these locations were served by the Gilpin Tram.

A view of the north and east sides of Pozo Mine, and one of its outbuildings.  With all the regrowth of trees since mining days, the hillsides are beautiful when the aspens turn color.

[img]">
A closer view of the Pozo Shaft.  This mine was not served directly by the Gilpin Tram.  In fact, the closest any track got to it was about halfway up the Quartz Hill mountainside.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
We are looking south over "Main Street" at Quartz Hill.  A few structures in town remain, and there are many stone foundations remaining where structures have been torn down.


A closer view of one of the structures shown in the preceding photo.  This was the Bon Ton Saloon, one of 13 saloons in Nevadaville at one time.


At left foreground is the former CIty Hall/Jail. The red brick building across the street was and is the Masonic Building.  I believe that the Masons hold events here still a few times each year.

The former City Hall/Jail is a really interesting structure.  All four sides differ in construction, and the building itself is set onto a steep hillside on a rubble stone foundation.  I always have wanted to model this, but have not gotten around to it yet...



Unfortunately, this nice photo of Nevadaville is marred by the train cluttering the front of the photo. You can see the Hubert Mill has been expanded, and has a funicular tramway from the mine to mill.  Don't worry about the train in the photo - we will be exploring the Kansas-Burroughs Branch in detail in future postings.

Keith

pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1999
Status: 
Offline
Very nice pics. If somebody wants to model them better rush, looks like most of them are ready to collapse. Jose.

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Fantastic pics! Too bad about that train in the last shot -- ick! ;)

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
Your researches & photos are a fascinating study of mining & railroading history, thanks Keith. I like your mix of "Then" & "Now" photos.

As I'm sure you know, Pozzo (Italian) or Pozo (Spanish) is the usual generic term for a mineshaft rather than being a specific name for a particular mineshaft - unless they were short on imagination !.


Regards                   Michael

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thank you for the information regarding "pozzo/pozo". I never knew before the origin of the name.

The Pozo Shaft name does show up in turn-of-the-century maps, so it's not a newer name for a pre-existing mine. Other than perhaps the San Juan Mine, there do not seem to be many mine names based on the Spanish language.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The roster for the Gilpin, James Peak & Middle Park Railway expanded today - I got a Minitrains HOn30 Brigadelok.  This is a model of the WWI German trench railway loco, and it's an 0-8-0 tank engine.

I like the outside frame, and runs extremely well.  With some cosmetic changes - modified cab, domes, stack and pilot, I think it will fit in quite nice on the layout.



Ketih

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
What is that thing between the steam dome and the stack??

Helmut
Registered


Joined: Sun Feb 17th, 2013
Location: Friedberg, Germany
Posts: 1180
Status: 
Offline
That is the same thing as the one between steam dome and cab, only that the water sucking hose of the pulsometer is wound around it - a sand dome.

Last edited on Tue Jun 24th, 2014 07:34 am by Helmut

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Thats a neat little loco---I'm a sucker for anything WW1 trench railway.

Source and price?

Herb--who keeps threatening to build a one cylinder Deutz with the big flywheels. But anymore Herb is more threat than action---alas--

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
Keith, that's cool as heck! I'd keep her as is and run a tourist operation with her.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Herb and Woodie:

The locomotive manufacturer is Minitrains (the new company, not part of the 1960s labeling), and the U.S. distributor is The Original Whistle Stop in Pasadena, CA.  They are very friendly and service is prompt.  If you call to inquire, I suggest you talk to a gentleman named Martin.

The loco costs about $150 USD.

And Woodie, I probably keep the first loco "original", because I just ordered a second one to butcher up!

Keith

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
Perhaps someone in charge at the mine at the time of sinking the shaft had Latino or Latino language connections.

p.s. ... your new loco looks too good to butcher, even got the correct type of German inclined slide valve chest.

Regards                  Michael

Helmut
Registered


Joined: Sun Feb 17th, 2013
Location: Friedberg, Germany
Posts: 1180
Status: 
Offline
How about an F&C 0-4-0 from the same manufacturer?

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Yes, I already have two of the Fiddletown & Copperopolis 0-4-0 tender locomotives. Like the Brigadelok, they run beautifully.

The loco also nicely proportioned, and has a lot of potential for my layout. See my post on 5/14/14 for a photo of the "green" style engine.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Lately, I have been working more on basic scenery for the present layout.  I have been building the present layout in 3 sections.  Each is lightweight, and mostly rigid foam braced with 1x2 wood.


I  posted on 3/23/14 the carving of the foam to basic shapes.  To do this, I used ideas from Dave Frary's Blue Ribbon Models. Dave sells a video for download, Carving and Painting Foam Rocks, which is a short and informative way of painting carved foam to look like rocks.

First, I put down a basic diluted coat of black over everything.


At this point,  I had black lumps of foam.  I wasn't so sure about this process at this point, but continued on.


After brush painting everything black, I touched up the foam with a flat black to get the spots I'd missed with the brush.

Next, the foam got an overcoat of a lightened burnt umber - starting to look better.


On top of the burnt umber, I sprayed a yellow ochre type color, but from the top downwards, leaving undercuts and recesses untouched.

To do this, I used spray cans purchased from a local arts supply store.  This was the Liquitex brand of spray paints, and the manufacturer was helpful in verifying for me that the paints would not etch the foam (they are more of a water-based style paint, but I'm not really certain what's in the can).


The last step today was to give a light overspray of a light gray. This brought everything together, and the carved foam now looks like rocks!  The next step will be to touch up individual "rocks" with my airbrush, using a variety of suitable colors.  I'll post photos of that work when I start that - hopefully this weekend.

Keith

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

:cool: Cool tutorial Keith.

Si. :thumb:

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

Looking good, would like to see how you built your frame work.

If ok wanted to share a few photo's of Beaver Brook Station.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118121937123147672466/albums/6031864158021761185

More details at http://DGCCRR.blogspot.com and on Facebook at Denver-Golden-Clear-Creek-Railroad

Not sure how to get picture to display.

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Awesome modeling on your Beaver Brook station! I like the nice weathered pain job on the exterior. The LEDs and interior details are a nice touch.

I like the windows on your models - how did you build them?

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

Thanks, the weathering is Pan Pastel and Bragdon for Chimneys.

Used Tichy and then built the top piece by trimming scale 2x8 and topping with 1x4 laid on top.

How do you get a picture to show? Tried 1/2 a dozen things and nothing worked.

Thanks Cameron

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Hello Cameron:

If you're having trouble posting photos, check out the topic here. that Woodie Greene posted. 

The procedure took me some trial and error to work, but basically, you need to register, set up a photo gallery, then upload to that.  Also, I found I cannot get things to work on a Safari browser, but things work fine in Firefox.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I've been working on further painting of the carved foam "rocks" on the layout.  Now, the carved foam looks like this:



My goal was to have scenery that eventually looks like this:



The above image is taken somewhere in Clear Creek canyon.  I was hung up for a while trying to figure out what colors to use, until I did this:



The above image is a partial enlargement of the previous image.  Once I enlarged the photo so that it pixelated, I had a palette of colors to use - a lot of very light grays, some darker brownish grays, some browns, and black in shadows. After the basic coloring using spray can colors, I mixed up craft paints and airbrushed to foam.



Next step - touching up tie colors and building some Gilpin Tram style bridges.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith,

Giving it a go, here's hoping!

Picture should be below if it worked.

Thanks Cameron

Attachment: Visio-RGMB Front 1 - Print_Page_1cropped.jpeg (Downloaded 146 times)

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

That seems to have worked. So adding a shot of the Station at Beaver Brook. Found 1 picture of station between 1890-when destroyed that has it repainted in what is said to be red oxide. Also had addition on the left side and stairs made much narrower.

Here is a picture as I build it.

Attachment: 101_0491resize.JPG (Downloaded 149 times)

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith--

Great idea for getting the rock color !!


Herb

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Looks good! Where did you find plans for the Beaver Brook station? IT's a very interesting structure that was in a very confined and scenic setting.

Thanks for posting this!

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

I designed the plans from photos and references stating the dimensions for the building.

I have a new booklet that BHI Publications will have at the Narrow Gauge convention. As a Bonus the publisher asked me to clean up my plans and post a 4 side diagram for people who are so minded to use to build from. Lots of work but the picture I posted is the first one.

Thanks Cameron

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
I've always been interested in the Gilpin, thought about a On2 layout at one point. However, when Wisemann came out with the Resin/metal Gilpin style conversion for the Bachmann shay, I decided to jump into On30 for the project. Its not my main modeling interest but I've always maintained an interest in the Gilpin. Keith's modeling and this thread have certainly influenced my decision to put something together.

I built a 18 x 96 inch layout in On30 years ago called the Arroyo Mine RR, modeling Nevada mining RR's.

https://sites.google.com/site/deercreekandlaurelry/Home/arroyo-mining-rr-on30
 
I've taken a similar approach and started a 24 x 96 layout with three mines.

Here's the Bachmann shay conversion almost done, needs a few more details, lettering and weathering.

Keith, thanks for all you've put together in this thread. Great stuff.

Brian

Attachment: photo.JPG (Downloaded 186 times)

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Brian-

"Bucking" on the downgrades is invariably caused by endplay in the shaft with the worm on it--most times this is the motor. Use washers to reduce this endplay --making sure that you dont use too many, and cause a bind.

Herb

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Herb,

I knew it was in the drive somewhere. There are a lot of gears in that gear tower. Never thought about slop in the motor itself, that makes sense. I had thought of trying a better motor. Interesting that this is the first time I have hear of this as a solution.

THANKS!!

Brian

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for the tip on the gearing and kickback on slopes. I have that problem on more than one loco, and now know of a way to fix it.

Keith

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
I might chime in here also. If you are talking about Bachmann On30 Shays, there may be more to the problem. My Shays have the problem(s) and one got a nice SAGAMI motor to replace the old Bachmann job. The Shay STILL has the same problem, a new and better motor made no difference! The gear tower is probably at fault due to plastic gears and too many gears at that. Older brass Shays ran fine but they had just 2 bevel gears from motor to driveline...the Bachmann has 6 or 7 pieces of s#@#$% and I believe there is the real problem. Bachmann made these locos to look nice but long term operation seems to be forgotten.

Just my dos centavos...my advice is to run em' as switchers and not as road locos.

Woodie

Dan Graham
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 25th, 2012
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 30
Status: 
Offline
Hi All, Good stuff on the Bachmann Shay problem. I already have a four percent grade in solid...Woodie's advice on using them for switching duties is a good idea. Before I rush out and buy a Heisler or Climax for the "high country", should I expect any of the same problems? Also is it possible (or too expensive) to replace the gear tower? So sad that such a great engine has this problem. Thanks, Dan.

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
I wish NWSL made replacement gears for the Shay gear tower. The Climax seems to be a bit better, I have no experience with the Heisler...maybe somebody out there?

Woodie

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

My experience, the Bachmann shays will back down a 4-5% grade but buck like broncos on larger. I have one converted to On3 no problem on 5.5-6% grade. Climax, have two, both can handle the 7.5% grade but there is some noticeable bucking, not as bad as the shay, slight but there. No problems at all on 3-4% both types of engines. Can't say for the heisler but assume the same.

Brass shays and climaxes using the German micro motor with extra gearing do Not have any issues. No slop. Lots of slop in those Bachmann gear towers. Yeah, you could re gear it. not worth it.

4% grade is good enough for what I'm doing with this stuff.

Brian

W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
Status: 
Offline
OK then, let's see more GILPIN TRAM history/modeling. I am sure everybody has had enough of Bachman Shay probems. I KNOW that I have.

BTW, my buddy brought back my copy of GILPIN GHOSTS and I have since watched it a couple of times more. Such a great video. I can't remember whether it was VHS tape or DVD (which I have now). If you can find a copy, it's well worth including in a GT collection.

Woodie

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I can appreciate the Bachmann shay gearing discussion. I use HOn30 mechanisms, and some are modified N scale mechanisms (such as the Atlas scale shay). Many of them have problems, too with bucking on grades.

Is anyone else going to the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Kansas City this year? I'll be going, and co-presenting a clinic on Mines, Mills, and Samplers of Gilpin County with Lind Wickersham.

Keith

CBryars2
Registered


Joined: Tue Feb 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Status: 
Offline
Keith

I'll be there, presenting rivers, rapids and rushing water. Hope to spend some time talking Gilpin with you.

Cameron

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Keith,

What paint type and color did you use for your structures? I noticed you used paper for the siding, wondering if you used acrylics or solvent based.

Also, your red looks a little darker than an oxide ready, maybe? I know when it comes to color, everyone has their own idea, mix etc. just curious what you used.

Making the convention this year isn't looking too good for me. Bad timing, looks like it will be a good one as usual!

Brian

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Just found these pictures of Keith's layout. Had to post the link. He's been modest and not sharing! ;)

http://www.frolin.net/sn3-2013/layouts/pashina/page.html

Also, a bit more about the Sn2 Gilpin that I always admired:

http://coloradosouthern.blogspot.com/2013/11/more-memories_23.html#comment-form

Since there is some talk about the convention, check out the two pictures of Lind [size=Wickersham's On2 Gilpin at http://www.kansascity2014.com/index.php?q=node/8 . You will need to scroll to the bottom.

Brian
]

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
I wish I could make it to KC,I would enjoy watching your presentation on the mines and mills. I have a lot of questions about them.
Keep up the good work, I read your thread often!
Duane

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Cameron, Brian and Duane -

It's been a while since i posted, but thanks for the nice comments.  I'll continue posting more as I have time.  I also look forward to meeting those of you attending the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Kansas City.  For those of you that can't make it to the convention, we can continue sharing information on this forum.

Well, most recently we were taking a look at Nevadaville, and the Avon Mill.   But, as they say in the infomercials, wait, there's more!  We'll start looking closer at Quartz Hill.  This was the epicenter of the Gilpin County mining at one time, and was the site of such fabled mines as the Cailfornia, Fourth of July, and many others.


In this image, we're standing on Gunnell Hill, not too far from the Grand Central Mine, and looking southwest towards Quartz Hill.  Like most of the terrain in this area, the tree growth drastically changed how the area looks.  Hidden amongst the trees are the grades and mine remains, that we'll be taking a closer look at.  Hard to believe now, but at one time, three different levels of Gilpin Tram trackage would have been visible from this vantage point.


The area circled in blue outlines the Quartz Hill area.  Three separate mine branches veered off of the mainline, and we'll look at them one by one in coming posts.


First, we'll examine what's left of the former main line where went from the Avon Mill to the south side of Quartz Hill.  In this photo, I was standing up near the top of Gunnell Hill, looking southward. The red arrow points to the mainline, which was graded into a substantial dirt road sometime in the past.  The mainline very gradually climbed around the east nose of Quartz Hill, where two of the mine branches climbed at a much steeper grade to reach the mines. 


Here, I'm standing on the Pease-Kansas Branch grade. The dirt road along the east margin is the former mainline.  The branch grade is still readily visible, more of a well-used footpath than a road.  There is a significant height difference between the branch and mainline.


As you walk around the road that is the former Gilpin Tram mainline, you encounter these mill remains near the southeast corner of Quartz Hill.  The mainline grade is hidden in the trees behind and slightly above the top of the mill.  This mill post-dates the Gilpin, and I do not know much about it.  I am guessing it was built in the 1930s or later.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

On the south side of Quartz Hill, we come to Leavenworth Siding.  This siding would have been handy for doing runarounds of cars, and getting some switching done before the steep climbs up the mine branches. This wonderful old photo shows I think Shay #3 pulling 10 or more loads and 5 empty cars eastward, towards Black Hawk.  Note the other details here - a harp stand at the mainline turnout, the cattle guard (at the double track portion just this side of the harp switch stand) and fenced-in right-of-way.  Of course, this view is all overgrown with trees today.


I snapped this image during the 2004 Gilpin Railroad Historical Society get-together.  Dan Abbott guided everyone to the site of Leavenworth Siding (today's Central City - to - Russell Gulch is graded over part of the siding).  I climbed a bit downhill from the road, and saw this low rubble stone retaining wall that supported the original siding located here.


Shay #3 is starting to ascend the Quartz Hill Mine branch with a load of empty cars.  The mainline to Black Hawk is the track in the foreground. Not the harp switchstand (left margin) for the mine branch.  Leavenworth siding was behind the last car in this train.

Next, we explore the interesting Pease-Kansas Branch, and the three mines it served. I seriously planned to model this branch at one time, and may still do some day!

Keith

Ron Knepp
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Feb 1st, 2013
Location: Mohrsville, USA
Posts: 11
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for your continued effort in posting the prototype photos Keith.
Please keep them coming.

Ron Knepp

Last edited on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 11:01 am by Ron Knepp

Shoulders
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Nov 26th, 2013
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 536
Status: 
Offline
Nice photographs

Hope you get up and running again soon.

Cheers Dan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
It's been a while since I posted last, but now, I want to share some photos of the Pease-Kansas Branch on Quartz Hill.  Previously, we looked at the mainline as it wrapped around the hill, from the Avon Mill near Nevadaville, to  Leavenworth Siding on the south side of Quartz Hill.

M.P. 41.41 Pease Kansas Branch Connection to Mainline

Quartz Hill was at one time called “the richest hill in Colorado”, with many large producing mines.  The mines here were not all developed at one time - the Pease-Kansas Branch, one of three branch lines, was the last to be built and the first to be pulled up.  This was the shortest of the three branches on Quartz Hill, being about 3,800 feet long.


Concealed behind the trees on the hillside is the Pease-Kansas Branch. In Gilpin Tram days, the hillside was bare, but 100+ years later, they have grown back.


The map above shows the Quartz Hill trackage, which was near the center of the Gilpin Tram's route.  This important mining area was criss-crossed by three levels of mining branches, which we'll explore in upcoming posts.

On the east side of Quartz Hill, the branch split off and gradually climbed the hill on a gentle grade (at least for Gilpin Tram trackage, perhaps 2% or so.  The hillside hill was mostly soil covered, with only a few rock outcroppings.  The grade was often sculpted into the hillside, or on low dry-stacked rubble stone walls.

At one time, there were two bridges in this area.  As I write this, I am in Minnesota, and looking at my notes, don’t recall if these bridges were on the branch grade, or the mainline immediately below it.  It appeared that water runoff from the upper parts of Quartz Hill would run down a narrow channel, and rather than risk a washout, the Gilpin Tram built two bridges in this area.  Today, there is no evidence of the bridges, but the narrow channel is still there.


An extreme enlargement of a Central City photo reveals these two bridges.  Both are a somewhat longer span than the short bridges we looked at previously at Prosser, Nevada, and Eureka Gulches.


From the same photo as shown previously, this area has been built up with tall wood cribbing, not the rock we typically see.  Note the wood box culvert to drain away the mine runoff.  This would be an interesting scene on a model layout.


This photo is a reminder of how close together everything was along the Gilpin Tram. This view is looking west, from Central City.  The lowest waste dump in the center of the photo is the Pease-Kansas mine, and lowest level of trackage.  The next tier above it was the Phoenix-Burroughs branch trackage.  Finally, the third and highest trackage is the Quartz Hill branch, the upper grades of which can be near the top "bump" in the hill.
  Almost all of the mines shown in this image were served by the Gilpin Tram.


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Much of the grade is built on a gentler slope, and the rock retaining walls are fewer and shorter than along parts of Gunnell Hill.  The trees are gradually taking over the right-of-way, but the robust stone retaining walls remain.


Near the beginning of the Pease-Kansas Branch, the mainline passed below the Gauntlet Mine.  This mine did not ship on the Gilpin Tram, but was a landmark on the upper east side of Quartz Hill and can be seen in many photos.  This mine has the typical barn-like structure of Gilpin County mines.


This view looks southwest from Central City. The lowest grade is a wagon road - the GT mainline was about where the Gauntlet Mine was, near the top center of the hill in this photo.  The branch grade extends off the right side of this image.  The big mine at the center right margin is the OK Mine.

The OK Mine was not a shipper on the Gilpin Tram, but I believe it was located below the branch near the northeast corner of Quartz Hill.


The OK Mine wasn't a GT shipper, but is an interesting structure. Ore was shipped by wagons to the mills or samplers.  I could not find out any information on the years this mine was active.


If we hiked from the mainline towards the Pease-Kansas Mine, about halfway down the branch you can see this tram tower, which once served a modern (as in post-Gilpin Tram days) mining operation.  In GT days, a simpler tramway also ran down the hillside from the Climax Mine to the back of the Avon Mill.



Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The map highlights the location and trackage of the Pease-Kansas Branch.

Three mines were shippers at one time or another on the Pease-Kansas Branch. The first spur was the English Kansas Mine (milepost 41.63).  I’ve hiked this grade, and it diverges off to the right (north), and descends the hill on a steep grade, maybe 4% or so.  

The English Kansas was on the Kansas vein, which extended roughly east-west and had at least three major mining operations on it, the English Kansas being the easternmost and smallest.  This mine had at least the northwest-facing wall constructed of mortared stone - it still stands today. The few blurry images of the mine seem to show a different shape than most of other Gilpin County mines - to me, it looks like like a barn-shaped structure with clerestory on the roof peak.  One of the photos show the building either under construction or burned after a fire.  I have not found any shipping records of this mine, nor any clear idea of what years it was in operation.


This panoramic photo shows all three mines on the Pease-Kansas Branch.  Location #7 marks where the English-Kansas Mine was located.  The Fourth of July is #4 location in this photo.  The large Pease-Kansas mine is location #6.  Notice how close to "suburban" Nevadaville this mining activity is!


[img]">

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The crappy, blurred image above shows the English-Kansas Mine, enlarged from the background of a photo of buildings in Nevadaville.  There are so few images of this mine that I will take anything I can get!  The main building is a typical barn-like structure. There are lean-to additions on the side and rear, and the clerestory runs down the peak of the roof - not typical of mine buildings in this area.


This photo, also enlarged from the background of another image, shows the English-Kansas Mine either after a fire, or perhaps while under construction.  There are definite records showing a spur to this mine, but I cannot tell from these photos where the grade was relative to the building. I also have seen no records of when this mine was active, but have the impression it either was not in operation for long, or was consolidated with and operated with another nearby mine.


Today, the northwest wall remains, and ruins of the built-up wooden hoist drum.  The actual shaft (a depressed, caved-in pit today) is on the left side of the wall.  Notice all the trees in this photo, and compare that to the barren hillsides prevalent during mining days.

Next stop - the Pease-Kansas Mine!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I've been working lately on a clinic presentation for the National Narrow Gauge Convention this week in Kansas City.  This will be on the topic "Mines, Samplers, and Mills of Gilpin County" that will be co-presented with Lind Wickersham.

While preparing the material, I was going through some of the older mining production records, and noticed some surprises I hadn't noticed before.


We saw the picture above last year, and it was taken in Chase Gulch, looking at the Oliver Mill (foreground) and Bonanza Mill (left rear). The Gilpin Tram business report for April 1914 shows that the Bonanza shipped 3 cars of ore that month to the Iron City Mill.  The Bonanza was a mill with an adjacent adit or horizontal tunnel entrance nearby.  I don't know when the mill operated, but perhaps the mill was shut down but the mine was reopened?  Anyway, there was not a dedicated Gilpin Tram spur here, so I wonder where they loaded the ore?


The next surprise was that the Castle Rock mine shipped 10 cars of ore that month - 5 to the Iron City, and 5 cars to the Polar Star mill.  This mine was at the head of Chase Gulch, just above the junction to the Tucker Mill Branch.  The mine sites 75 ' above the mainline, and there was no dedicated spur to the mine that I know of. 

That's all for now,

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Very interesting. My guess would be that if they didn't have a siding they would have sacked the ore and carried it to the nearest spur on the Gilpin. I've heard of that on other shortlines including the SC & PA & M.
You would only do this with high grade ore, or to run a enough ore through a mill to see what kind of returns you were getting before investing in a spur and loading facilities. It was also pretty common for small mines to run their ore through several custom mills to see who was giving them the best returns-ore dressing was as much art as science.
BTW, after reading your thread and other online sources I was tempted to hop in the car and drive to Central City and Blackhawk to check out some of the sites, will probably have to wait until next summer though. Thanks again for sharing.
Regards, Duane

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Your mention of shipping sacked higher grade ore is interesting - the Gilpin Tram only had open top freight cars, so if they did that, it'd have to be on a flatcar or in a coal or ore car. Would be interesting to model.

Was there a standard size for sacks used for stacking ore? Since ore is so dense, would it be maybe 1/2 cubic foot bags?

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
If I were to guess I would say that flatcars would work best.
Here is a pic of ore sacking on a mine near Tonapah, Nevada. Really quite common on smaller mines throughout the west.

http://users.tinyworld.co.uk/ainskip/ThievesBridge/Images/CMp264c.jpg

The ore sacks are pretty good size-I imagine that it would take a pretty good size ol' boy to lug one around or pack it on a mule or burro.

As a footnote ore is nowhere near as heavy as a sack of concentrates. Concentrate sacks are small because the specific gravity is so high (7-8 to 1 iirc) The specific gravity of quartz is only around 3 to 1, and unless the ore is really rich it is mostly rock.

Last edited on Tue Sep 2nd, 2014 04:30 am by elminero67

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
I wonder if those mines might have had an ore chute running down to the level of the tracks?

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Wow!  September sure flew by fast.

I attended the 34th National Narrow Gauge Convention in Kansas City this year.  As usual, many friends, old and new, attended.  It was nice catching up with everyone again.


That's Mike Pyne on the left, Joe Crea in the center, and me on the right.

Mike Pyne of Wild West Scale Model Builders was there - if you follow Mike's product line, you can tell he is a big Gilpin fan, and has released several kits based on prototype structures along the Gilpin Tram.

Joe Crea needs no explanation - he's the author of many drawings, articles and videos, an excellent modeler, and a huge Gilpin fan. 

It was fun catching up with all the fellow Gilpin Tram fans there.  Lind Wickersham and I presented a clinic on Mines, Samplers and Mills of Gilpin County.  That was fun, and a great way to meet other modelers with similar interests.


Here's Lind Wickersham on the right admiring the O scale offerings from Anvil Mountain Models.  I hope Lind had enough cash left after visiting the manufacturer's room to buy gas to get home.

Over the next several months, I'll be posting material from parts of the clinic - we've been away from Black Hawk and its mills for too long in these postings.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Cool! I sure hope I can make it to one of the narrow gauge conventions someday.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Well, it's time to get back to exploring Gilpin County.  Previously, we looked over the Pease-Kansas Branch in August 2014.  This was the shortest of the three Gilpin Tram branches on Quartz Hill, but it directly served three mines, including the large producer and namesake Pease-Kansas Mine.

Now, we'll start a look at the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch.  This was the "middle" branch on Quartz Hill, and a little over a mile in length. This important producer served at least 7 mines directly with spurs, and maybe more - this branch was not that well documented with photographs.


View looking west at Quartz Hill (left margin and center of photo).  That's the Gunnell and Whiting Mines at right foreground on Gunnell Hill, and parts of Nevadaville (Dogtown area) behind it.

M.P. 41.85    START OF THE PHOENIX-BURROUGHS BRANCH

The Phoenix-Burroughs Branch veered off of the mainline about ½ mile further southwest of where the Pease-Kansas Branch (which we took a look at in posts in August 2014).  This branch wound its way around the east side of Quartz Hill, on a steady climb to to the mines.  The branch eventually extended to about 1 mile.

Considering how important this branch was to the Gilpin Tram in the before 1900, there is not a lot of photographic coverage of the mines.  With the exception of the Gold Coin-Kansas mine and mill, images of all the other mines are taken from a great distance.  However, by careful study of the backgrounds of several images, we can piece together what the branches’ mines and trackage looked like.

[img]">

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Odd, Freerails truncated my last post, so here's the rest of it.


Map from Frank Hollenback's Gilpin Railroad, published in 1956 - worth getting a copy!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Gilpin Tram trackage on Quartz Hill in the early 1900s.  This may have been taken on the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch - the view is generally looking south.

M.P. 42.26 BARNES MINE

After climbing Quartz Hill to gain about 50’ in elevation, the Barnes Mine was reached. Records show the Barnes Mine had a 300 long spur serving it.  The mine was located just above the branch grade, and from the remains, it looks like the spur ran under the main building and ore cars were loaded by a small bin.

The Barnes Mine was one of the regular customers of the water car after 1902, when the water tank car went into service.  For $10.00, the Gilpin Tram would deliver 2,200 gallons of water.  Records show this mine was in operation from about 1893, and at least until 1917.


All that remains of the Barnes Mine today.

August 1907 was a busy month - the Barnes Mine shipped 9 cars of ore to the ore chute transfer to the C&S, 4 cars to the Chamberlain Sampling Works, and 12 cars to the New York Mill. But, September 1907 was even busier, with 12 cars going to the New York Mill, 1 to the ore sampling works, and 5 to the Rocky Mountain Concentrator.

In April 1914, this mine shipped 14 cars of ore in month: 6 to the Polar Star Mill, 6 to the Iron City Mill, and 2 to the Chamberlain Sampling Works (C.D. Ore Co.) in Black Hawk. The same month, the mine received one water car.

In September 1914, this mine shipped 15 cars of ore to the Iron City mill in Black Hawk, and, that same month, 5 cars of water were shipped to it.

Interestingly, this mine did not always ship ore down to Black Hawk - in October 1907, they shipped 4 cars of ore to the Tucker Mill in Chase Gulch.


This view looks south, and the branch grade heads through the gap in the waste rock dump at left. The ruins of the Barnes Mine can be seen at right.

I have never seen a good photo of the Barnes Mine - it only shows up in the distance on some photos, and it appears to be the typical barn-like structure, made from wood.  Only portions of the base of the mine building remain today.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Great post as always, every time I get a notification that there's been an update on your thread I look forward to reading it-and I love that picture of Quartz Hill-not a single tree in site!
I have seminar in Denver in early November, and will hopefully I will have an extra day to sneak up to Gilpin country. Could you recommend a few stamp mill sites worth visiting?
Thanks, Duane

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

As always, great to hear from you .  I am glad you enjoy these postings - a lot more to come!

There are 6 mill buildings still standing, and they are:


Polar Star Mill

Polar Star Mill 
It's on private property, but easily viewing from the main road in Black Hawk.

Golden Gilpin Mill
This mill is 2 blocks north of the Polar Star, and is a modern structure that post-dates the Gilpin - I think it was built in the 1940s or 1950s.  On private property, but visible from the road and it's across the creek.


Little Red Mill

Smith & Sons/Little Red Mill
This is on the south side of the road between Black Hawk and Central City  - you can't miss it.  This small mill dates from Gilpin Tram days, and is empty side, but you can park next to it and walk around it.  This is the same building Wild West Model Builders has produced a kit of.

Boodle Mine and Mill
If you go up Eureka Street in Central City, and follow it to the top of the hill where all the cemeteries are, you'll see it on the south side.  It is fenced off, but it operated I think until a decade or two ago. This was never served by the Gilpin Tram.

Illinois Gulch Mill
The correct name escapes me now.  It is located halfway between Central City and Russell Gulch on the north side of the road. It served the gold mining operation at the Glory Hole on Quartz Hill until the 1940s or 1950s.  It is a partially demolished empty shell, with no equipment inside.  It is on private property, and was never served by the Gilpin Tram.

Chain of Mines Mill
This mill is right next to the road between Russell Gulch and Central City, about 1/2 mile west of the Illinois Gulch Mill.  This mine processed ore from the Glory Hole and worked until the early 1980s.  It is a modern structure and was never served by the Gilpin Tram.  It is on private property, but you can see some interesting stuff from the road.


Iron City Mine Site


This structure disappeared about 10 years ago, and was a modern structure built near the Wheeler Mill site.  This building was built after the GT was abandoned.

All of the other mill sites in Black Hawk are completely gone, covered over by highway and casino construction.  Nothing remains of the Wheeler, Fullerton Upper, Humphrey, Meade, Eagle, Gilpin, 50 Gold Mines, New York Concentrator, New York, Russell, Chamberlain, or Penn Mills.  The Iron City site is occupied by a water or sewage treatment plant, but remnants of retaining walls that supported the GT grade remain.

Other GT-era mines are also all gone.  The Oliver, Bonanza, Tucker, Avon, Gilpin-Eureka, Kansas, Hubert, and Banta Mills are all gone.  The Banta site is on private property and inaccessable.

If you have time for a nice hike, you can walk to the Tucker Mill site - it is now county property.  You park on top of Winnebago Hill by the old town dump, and can walk down the grade to the junction in Chase Gulch, then follow the grade to the mill site.  Only old foundations remain today.

Keith


Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Keith - I've been eagerly looking forward to your next episode !.

Regards                     Michael

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Continuing on with a look at the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch.

As the grade steadily climbs around the northeast corner of Quartz Hill, we reach the closely-grouped mines on the north side of the hill.


View of grade heading west and upgrade.  Many sections of the grade are supported on low dry-stacked retaining walls, as seen here.



[img]">
Going a little further, we cross under the abandoned aerial tram line from modern (as in 1940s) mining operations.  This tram tower is also in the general vicinity of the former aerial tram line that ran from the top of Quartz Hill to the Avon Mill.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The Phoenix-Burroughs branch is outlined in red.  The large  dump at the center of photo is the Pease-Kansas Mine, which we looked at previously. The Phoenix-Burroughs mine can be seen at right center.  The mines at the top of Quartz Hill were reached by the Quartz Hill branch.

M.P. 42.62    PHOENIX-BURROUGHS MINE ORE SIDING (east switch)

The Phoenix-Burroughs Mine has always intriguedme, but there is very little information about it that I have found.  The mine was a large producer, as seen by the large waste rock pile, and important enough to have this railroad branch named after it.  The Burroughs Vein was served by the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch. This half-mile long vein had many mines along its length, with the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine seemingly the largest one served by the Gilpin Tram.


Here is the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine going full blast.  Note the string of empty cars to the right, and the loaded ore cars on the left side of the mine. The mines behind the Phoenix-Burroughs are at the top of Quartz Hill and served by the Quartz Hill branch.

A fuzzy outline of the mine is visible in the backgrounds of some photos, and it shows a lengthy, barn-like shaft building that is similar to other mine buildings in the area. There appear to be several shed-like additions to the building.  This mine had a runaround track for coasting empty ore cars under the loading bins and feeding the opposite end of the siding.


Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine and Mackey-Burroughs Mine, circa 1900.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for the reply, Keith!

Is the Polar Star currently a residence? hmmm, wonder if I can arrange a site visit, would love to see the interior.

As a footnote, I just returned from Grass Valley, Ca, one of three places in California that claim to be the site of the first stamp mill in the western US. It was a brief visit, but it didn't look like many of the early mining landscapes or structures have survived. In my travels over the last few years to other early mining sites I haven't found any pre Civil War era mills (or ruins), so it is safe to say the Polar Star (1867) is one of the oldest surviving stamp mills in the states.

Carry on!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

My understanding is the Polar Star is owned by Kent Blake.  He is the son of Norm Blake, who was part of a long-standing family in the area (old nickname for the town was "BlakeHawk"). Kent Blake is a great guy, but I do not have any contact information for him.  If you are in the area, and see him at the mill, he is friendly if you explain who you are and why the interest.


The Polar Star Mill in 2004, before restoration

The mill is privately owned, but not a residence - it is mostly vacant. Kent has about a 20' x 20' shop area at one end.  The mill is on either the state or national historic register.  Kent got a grant from the state, I think, if he agreed to restore the mill.  All the masonry was repointed, a new roof put on, several structural issues fixed, wood additions rebuilt, etc.  Kent told me he insisted on a new concrete slab being put in for his shop area.

From your research, it sounds like the oldest mill around.  I don't know if Georgia has any mills from their 1830s gold rush.

By the way, if you have seen posts or the website by Ryan Moats (lives in Omaha), he has researched this site, and is modeling it in HOn3.  He gave a presentation on his findings at the 34th NNGC last month.  According to Ryan, the Polar Star was the stone wall rebuild on the same site as the Kimber mill, a wood structure occupying the same site previous. Since my interest is in what was around when the Gilpin Tram operated, I have never researched this before - interesting information!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
I thought I would post some contemporary photos of the remaining stamp mill remains in Black Hawk, or the lack thereof!


This is the Golden Gilpin Mill, which was built after the Gilpin Tram quit running.  Nevertheless, it is an interesting building to view.  It's private property, but you can view if from the public highway 119.


This was all that remained of the Fifty Gold Mines site in 1989 - just old cribbing along Clear Creek.  My understanding is this was an environmental Superfund cleanup site, and a now occupied by a casino.  Bah!  a little heavy metals never hurt anybody... :-)


This shows why so little remains in Black Hawk today.  I am standing on the former C&S grade to Central City, looking east.  The main road running left to right is built over some of the mill site.  The parking ramps, casinos, etc. have removed the remainder. The building at upper left in the photo is on the site of the Rocky Mountain Concentrator.

Keith

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
I'm surprised at how nearly flat the Polar Star Mill is. There's not much change in elevation from one end to the other. Since mills are usually gravity-fed, most mills are much higher at the "input" end.

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Your correct Ray-the early mills really weren't true gravity mills-they had little or often no slope. These early mills were obviously very labor intensive, the ore was unloaded from wagons by hand, broke by sledge hammers into a size the stamp mill could handle (by hand), fed to the stamps by hand-then only recovered 1/2 the gold or silver...

Keith-Ill see if I can make a few phone calls, thanks for the info.
btw, the recent picture of Black Hawk captures how much the historic landscape has changes-if we didn't have historic photographs, you'd never know there was once a bustling community and railroads there. Of course we have your railroad to remind us...

Last edited on Tue Oct 14th, 2014 01:44 am by elminero67

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Duane and Ray:

I was surprised at the ore handling methods in the Polar Star Mill when I first learned about them - so much hand labor. This type of mill is a nice contrast to the more traditional mill configuration, such as the Avon, Tucker, Iron City, Kimber & Fullerton Upper, Banta, and Gilpin-Eureka. Wish I had room to model all of these mills, but then reality sets in…

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Re Stamp mills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxnisQoMTJ8 operating 10 stamp mill model


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdsPE62Ivvs 6 floor level operating stamp mill building model.

Built by Mr Morris Jackson, who builds model stamp mills in three different scales.

For more information, Mr Jackson can be reached at
623-877-288 (didn't want to put his Email addy on line.   H )

Herb

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Here's a demonstration of a restored two-stamp mill in Goffs, CA:

http://youtu.be/P3rrbZWOMHA

And a much shorter video of their operating ten-stamp mill:

http://youtu.be/KM1MqTYPgS8

Just imagine what a complete mill building with 100 stamps or more must have sounded like!

Just found a much better video of both mills, showing more operation and more of the details:

http://youtu.be/NbSoyCauNaI

Last edited on Tue Oct 14th, 2014 04:47 pm by Ray Dunakin

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Ray and Herb:

It would be an awesome model to have an animated stamp mill.  Maybe it's doable in larger scales.  I think about 10 years ago I saw an S scale partially operating mill model by Jerry Wilson, at one of the National Narrow Gauge Conventions - that looked very good.

For my little HOn30 empire, all I was planning on doing was adding sound.  I purchased a Fantasonics CD of stamp mill sounds.  I recall they offered 10-, 20-, and 40- stamp mill sounds.  The sounds were not that repetitive, in that the CD runs for a half hour or more with different cycles (stamps, mill whistles, belts flapping on overhead drives, etc.).  Really, quite nice, but I haven't set it up on the layout yet.

Keith

Fred M
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Oct 17th, 2014
Location: Loveland
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
I am new to the forum and another of the fans of the Gilpin 2' line and the mines and mills it served. The Polar Star is under construction in 1/4" here, and sound is an area that I agree would be fun to incorporate so I look forward to the ideas in this topic. I will try to post a photo of the model when/if I can locate the files on the hard drive, or can locate the camera and get a new photo, whichever occurs first.

Fred



Fred M
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Oct 17th, 2014
Location: Loveland
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
Found the camera first, so here are current pictures of the Polar Star served by the O & BM and the Ophir Tramway:

Attachment: 10-14 Polar Star 2.JPG (Downloaded 226 times)

Fred M
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Oct 17th, 2014
Location: Loveland
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
Second attempt to display the south wall

Attachment: 10-14 Polar Star 1.JPG (Downloaded 229 times)

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Nice!

vamodeler
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Sep 15th, 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 25
Status: 
Offline
Fred,

Looks great! That's a large structure in O scale. Two questions:

What did you use for the stone siding?

Will you share more pictures of your layout?!

Thanks,

Brian

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Nice job Fred!

Looks a little ''new''. You planning to do a little weathering to tone it down a little?

Other than that, it's great, particularly the covered ore dump shed.

Herb

Fred M
Registered
 

Joined: Fri Oct 17th, 2014
Location: Loveland
Posts: 7
Status: 
Offline
Thanks, I appreciate the interest in the PS model. The walls are paper images from BRICKYARD software glued to sub walls. The innards are built of 1/4"foam board on a skeleton of 3/4" sticks.  A little weathering has been applied but the paper must be sealed better to protect the printer ink before the grime, soot, and dirt really fly.

The attached photo of the prototype taken a couple years ago shows a clean, sparkling structure rather than the drab mill that appears in the historic photography. I am delighted this piece of the Gilpin history can be seen today.

Fred

Attachment: Polar Star E wall 1.JPG (Downloaded 183 times)

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5606
Status: 
Offline
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

MOOSETASTIC masonary Fred :cool:

Cheers.

Si.

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
I don't wish to hijack your subject Keith but here is a photo of a 48 Head Cornish Stamp to give you an idea of the size of a larger stamp battery.

Ray: I've worked on a restored 4 Head Californian & that was loud eneough on granite feed ! Easily audible from well outside the covered mill.





Copyright  : Trounson/Moorland Publ.

Regards                  Michael

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Fred, I think the rock work on you model looks pretty good. Paper siding materials are getting to be so realistic - I need to try it on a model.

And Salada, that Cornish stamp mill looks impressive. I wonder what type of tonnage one of these mills could handle on a daily basis? The exposed workings are pretty impressive.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Continuing the tour of the Gilpin Tramway, we'll take a look at more of the mining activity on the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch.

Back on October 10, I posted some photos of the large and prominent Phoenix-Burroughs Mine. 


The Phoenix-Burroughs Mine is numbered 10 in the photo above.  This images shows how the Quartz Hill mines were very close to Nevadaville, seen in the front at the base of the hill.


An enlargement of a photo of the Avon Mill shows some details of the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine.  The shed enclosure at front center appeared to have doors at each end, as empty cars were coasted into the loading bins.  This photo also shows the numerous additions to this building.  At times, I have thought of building a  model of this mine, as a shallow partial structure against the backdrop - it would make an interesting scene.


A photo enlargement from a 1908 souvenir booklet shows more details of the mines on the branch.  The Phoenix Burroughs Mine is at the left end of the red line, and the red line shows the branch grade heading westward.



Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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


M.P. 42.67    MACKEY-BURROUGHS MINE ORE SPUR


Near about the centre of the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine runaround track, a short spur plunged into the hillside to serve the Mackey-Burroughs Mine.  I have not located much information on this mine, but it did ship one ore car in September 1907 to the Hidden Treasure Mill.

M.P. 42.72    PHOENIX-BURROUGHS  MINE ORE SIDING (west switch)

The runaround track at this mine was about 0.1 mile long.


This contemporary view is looking southeast at Quartz Hill, from Nevadaville.  Quartz Hill looks so very different today with all the tree regrowth!

M.P. 42.74    PHOENIX-BURROUGHS MINE COAL SIDING

Like many of the large mines, this mine also had  a short spur that extended into the backside of the boiler area for coal deliveries.


Today, the grade remains, and a few ruins at the site of the Phoenix Burroughs Mine.


Pivoting 180 degrees. we can clearly see the Phoenix-Burroughs branch grade, looking towards the Ophir-Burroughs Mine.

M.P. 32.88    OPHIR MINE SPUR

This was  280 foot long spur to the shaft house.

M.P. 42.91    OPHIR MINE

The Ophir Mine was a shipper on the Gilpin Tram, but I don’t know for how steady and for how long. There is an Engineer’s Report from August 9, 1904, reporting that John Tierney picked up 2 cars of ore from this mine.


The Ophir (Ophir-Burroughs
) Mine, enlarged from a photo - the mine was at the margin of the original image, hence the blurred left edge of this photo.  This mine has the common look of mines in the area.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
With a look at the Ophir-Burroughs Mine in the last post, we came to the end of what many maps show as the Phoenix-Burroughs branch.  However, there were three more significant mines that were served directly by the branch.


Looking southwest over Nevadaville, we see Quartz Hill in the background. The big waste rock dump at left center is the Ophir Mine.The dark building with stacks at right center is the Kansas Mine and Mill, which is where we're headed.


The above map is typical of many that show the branch - not all mines are shown, as we shall soon see


Kansas-Gold Coin Mine and Mill, shown in better days.  This was on the outskirts of Nevadaville, and at the base of Quartz Hill. Oh, and served by the Gilpin Tram, of course!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
The official mileage tables don’t show the remaining mines at the west end of the branch, but there were at least three of them.

The Kansas-Burroughs Mine was a shipper on the Gilpin Tram, traffic records I have seen show it was a shipper each year from 1898 through 1904.  There areEngineer’s Reports from August 8 and 9, 1904, reporting that John Tierney picked up 6 cars of ore from this mine, and 3 more cars the next day.


The back, or south side of the Kansas-Burroughs, or Kansas Gold Coin.  The Gilpin Tram apparently switchbacked down the hill, and then had a trailing point spur on a trestle for unloading coal.  The track continued to the left, to the mine, which is not in the view

[img]">

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

A circa 1895 Sanborn map of the mine and mill


Here is one of Mike Blazek's drawings of the Kansas Mill.  Drawings are still available direct from Mike - contact him directly for details


Near the west end of the branch, the Gold Coin-Kansas Mine and Mill is an intriguing complex.  I have not been able to find out much about this mine, but the few photographs available show some intriguing buildings.  The Gilpin Tram served this mine on the backside, or south side, and photos show an elevated trestle - this may have been used to supply coal. This mine was reported to have underground connections to the California-Hidden Treasure vein and the Burroughs vein.  The shaft here went deep, down to 1,350 feet.

This mine used for its office building an old house built in the 1860s.  This interesting little complex of small buildings can be seen to the lower left of the main mill structure.


This is the south side of the Kansas Mill.  The Gilpin Tram served this by a switchback spur off of the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch, seen here at the bottom of the photo.  There was a spur serving a coal dump trestle for the mill.  The spur continued to the left, to the mine, which is out of sight in this photo


This mine cross-section is from a 1917 technical paper on the mine, and shows the extensive workings.  By this time, the lower depths were tapped by the Newhouse Tunnel coming out of Idaho Springs.  This tunnel drained water, hauled ore, and effectively ended the need for the Gilpin Tram!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I don't know what the occasion was, but here are miners and other workers posing in front of the mill office and mill.  The mine office is at upper left - I like the porch on the simple structure, and think that this would make a great model.  Note the mill building at upper right - there is a coiled steam condenser pipe mounted on the exterior wall, and this would be very interesting to model

Track maps show less trackage than was built at one time.  The photo shown here is an enlargement of a photo showing mines along the west end of Quartz Hill.  In this photo, there is clearly a spur to the First National Mine - note the Gilpin Tram coal car parked at the top of the coal chute leading into the mine below.  Mike Blazek sells drawings of this mine, and he graciously allowed me to show one of them here. 


This enlargement shows the whole complex.  The mine office is the structure with the porch at front center.  Note the trestle at left center - it sure looks like a railroad trestle to me, but does not show up on maps. There is already a large waste rock pile in front of the mine by this time.  Also, I like the ramshackle cluster of small wood frame buildings to the left of the mine office - it looks like at least 4 separate buildings to me, and is something I would like to model someday


This photo shows the trackage winding down to the Kansas Mill.  Note how the grade extends onto the wood trestle in this photo

From that same spur, there seems to be a spur heading over a trestle to the backside of the Gold Coin-Kansas. This trackage does not show up on maps, but some of the photos clearly show trackage running to the adjacent First National Mine, and then switchbacking across a trestle to the Kansas Mill.

The Mining  Investor magazine from October 1907 gives a brief description of the operations at this mine and mill complex: “The Kansas mill is located 200 feet east of the Kansas shaft with which it is connected by a tramway, and is of the usual type. It contains 40 stamps and eight Gilpin County shaking tables.  The expense of milling is about $1,20 per ton of ore, which also includes the concentration of the tailings.

The plant and buildings of the Kansas Mill are: Mill building 60 x 100 ft.; one 80 h.p. boiler; one 120 h.p. engine, one No. 6 Knowles fire pump; one upright boiler-feed pump; four 700-lb.. stamps; eight bumping tables.”


Interior view of the Kansas mill.  You can see stamps and amalgamating tables at the right and Gilpin County Bumping Tables at left. I intend to cover this equipment in detail in future posts



Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Of course, like most mines and mills served by the Gilpin, most traces have vanished. This view looks towards the Kansas Mill site today - the big dump at right margin - no structures remain here today. By the way, this was taken from the Hubert Mine branch grade, and the wood box in front is the shaft collar for the Jones Mine.  Once again, this photo illustrates how close everything was in this bustling mining district

[img]">

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Ouch!  I hate it when FreeRails does that - I type a whole bunch of information and include photos, but only a little bit gets uploaded.  But, as they say, "it's not a bug, it's a feature!"

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Here is GT shay #3 switching the Kansas-Gold Coin trackage, and probably switching the mine.  The Hubert (or Vendome Mining Co.) mill is in the background, and so is Nevadaville



This is the First National-Kansas Mine.  This mine was served by the Gilpin Tram, and reached by one of the two switchbacks off of the main branch grade.  You can see a GT coal car - its end boards have been lowered to allow easier shoveling when unloading the coal.  The coal was likely shoveled into the wooden chute to the right of the car.  That chute allowed coal to slide down to the mine's coal bin.  This mine was served by the GT for coal unloading, but had no spur to the ore loading bins, which were served by horse-drawn wagons only. 

[img]">
Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

This is one of Mike Blazek's magnificent drawings, this on the First National-Kansas Mine.  Contact Mike directly if you are interested in purchasing the full set...


Now, we are standing back on the main Phoenix-Burroughs branch grade, just uphill above the Kansas-Gold Coin spurs, and about where the spur branched off to the left. We're looking eastward, and the grade is supported here on the common dry-stacked stone walls


Now pivoting 180 degrees, we see the grade still remains, but on a gentler slope.  From here to the end, the grade will be located on the more gently-sloping hillside.  What's at the end of this branch?

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

This enlargement of a photo shows the unidentified mine at the very end of the branch.  Note that at least 4 Gilpin Tram ore cars can be seen at the end of the trackage.  My hunch is that these cars were being loaded at the mine, and not stored for the Kansas-Gold Coin, because that trackage is several hundred feet further south and east.  This mine has the typical appearance of the mines in this area.  Interestingly, there is what appears to be a cylindrical tank on the ground on the right hand side of the mine building - perhaps a water tank? Compressed air tank?

There was more trackage, which on most maps, never shows up.  The Phoenix-Burroughs Branch did extend west for about ⅓ more mile, to reach one more mine.  I have only seen the one photo of this mine.  The trackage to it and some photos of the right-of-way show up in Dan Abbott’s The Gilpin Tram Era book.  This mine is always referred to as “unidentified mine.”  In fact, the Sanborn 1900 map for the area shows what may be this mine, also not identified.


1900 Sanborn map showing the un-named mine - I believe this is the same mine as shown in the photo above


I have hiked the Phoenix-Burroughs branch, and there is an extensive mine building ruin at the end of the line.  The branch, which runs mostly east-west along the north slope of Quartz Hill, makes nearly a 90º turn to the north here - this matches the grade seen in old photos.  This photo shows several ore cars parked near the mine.


Contemporary view, looking southwest towards the same general area.  Compare this heavily forested view with the photos from a century ago!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

This is I believe the site of the unidentified mine shown in the previous photos.  The branch grade seems to end here, and local topography seems to match the older photos.  There is only this large ruin remaining here today

But, as they say in the infomercials, wait - there’s more!  A short distance from the end of the Phoenix Burroughs branch is another wonderful mine ruin - the Flack Mine.  This mine is old enough to show in some old photos of Quartz Hill.  It was not served directly on the Gilpin Tram, and there are no records it ever was a shipper.  It is not big as far as mines in the area go, and that is what makes it so interesting - I think it would be an interesting model on a model railroad.  Wild West Scale Model Builders offers a kit of this mine in several scales - check it out, it may find a home on your layout.


Here is the Flack Mine about 10 years ago.  A compact mine, and a little different architecturally than most mines that were in the area


Joe Crea proudly resting in front of the Flack Mine after exhaustively measuring the structure with Mike Pyne of Wild West Scale Models

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The Flack Mine has this interesting combination hoist and air compressor still inside


The Wild West Scale Model Builders kit, available in several scales


Also, I notice that we're now over 500 posts on this thread now - this has and continues to be a lot of fun!

Well, that’s the end of the tour of the Phoenix-Burroughs Branch.  Next, we’ll head back to the mainline, and trace the route of the Quartz Hill Branch - the longest and highest of the three Gilpin Tram branches on Quartz Hill.

Keith

Herb Kephart
Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 5981
Status: 
Offline
Keith-

Glad that it is still fun. What a wealth of info!

Keep it up--Think of putting it in book form once you cover all the Gilpin.

Herb

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Really great stuff, thanks for posting it! Very enjoyable as always!

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
As always a well researched study Keith & fascinating to read.

That cylindrical tank at the "unknown mine" doesn't seem to have domed ends so unlikely to be compressed air, more likely water ?.

You say the Newhouse Tunnel was for drainage & ore haulage - I wonder how they combined/separated the 2 functions ?. One old UK lead mine that I know sent ore out in small barges (boats) along a long distance drainage adit.

The grade on the coal dump trestle at the Gold Coin mill appears very steep ?.

You asked re: the output of Cornish type stamps. Unfortunately that is a subject where there are few, if any, accurate remaining records that I know of.  When we were setting up a restored Californian we found it very difficult even to determine the correct 'drop rate'. It was allegedly said that a Californian could stamp approx 30 - 40 % more than a Cornish but so much would depend on the feedstuff hardness, what size the feedstuff was dressed to prior to stamping, ore particle size etc. Overstamping could cause very fine grained ore to be lost on the separating tables.    


Regards               Michael

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Hey Keith: Do you know anything about this mill, or possibly when this photograph was made?

http://cdm16079.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/70218/rec/76

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Well, it looks like winter is coming to Minnesota - getting colder and snow probably isn't too far away. Just means a good excuse to stay indoors and do some modeling!

Salada - that air tank on the side of the "Unidentified Mine" is pretty neat. A detail I need to include on one of my mine models. I did it on one mine, and used the air tank from Rio Grande Models for the "Roundhouse Air Compressor and Tank" kit.

Duane - I am not by my book resources right now, but I think that is the Running Lode mine, which was on the Colorado Central between Black Hawk and Central City. The upper switchback grade can be seen in the foreground of the photo. I think there was a 3' gauge spur serving this mine, too.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
d'oh!!! The freerails "auto delete" feature got me after I posted a long reply...

I was able to sneak away from my training seminar in Denver and visit Gilpin country last week. I guess I've always been a little lukewarm on Colorado narrow gauges because they've been over-researched and over-analyzed. Having said that, Gilpin country is special-a spaghetti bowl of narrow gauge railroads, stamp mills, mines, haulage tunnels and several communities chock full of surviving Italianate and Gothic Revival architecture all crammed into a handful of gulches.

as mentioned in an earlier post, the Polar Star (aka Kimber & Fullerton) mill appears to be the oldest surviving mill in the district, and may prove to be the oldest surviving intact stamp mill building in the Western states-depending on what your interpretations of "surviving."

Based on what I knew from the internet, I could see that the Polar Star is a unique, almost peculiar building, so I wanted to visit the site to see if I could make sense of why they chose the materials and forms we can see on your model and historic photographs.

The first thing that jumped out at me was why they would build a broad, almost flat roof in an area known for heavy snow?
we have to step back a bit to understand why this is unusual-through the 1850s and early 1860s, stamp mills looked little different than an average Pennsylvania grist mill. Most were simple, gable-roofed structures clad in vertical board and batten siding-which may have been fine along a creek in Pennsylvania, but was not suited for hardrock milling in the Rockies or Sierra Madre.

The site visit solidified my theory on why the Polar Star has a nearly flat roof while its contemporary mills in Nevada and California did not: Before every tree within ten miles of Black Hawk was cut for stulls and fuelwood, the mountains were covered in Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir with spruce and aspen at higher elevations. This timber is small diameter, and produces a poor quality lumber-more importantly, you'd have a heck of a time trying to froe a decent shingle out of the local wood, its just to small and knotty. This may explain the early use of iron roofs, like the one originally installed at the Polar Star. For comparison, millwrights in California and Nevada preferred wooden shakes until much later.
The use of iron roofs freed early millwrights from needing steep gable roofs because iron roofs don't require a steep slope like shake shingle roofs. In a nutshell, the lack of good trees may have changed the shape of mill buildings, and the Polar Star is a good example of this evolution.


The second mystery was the local masonry: Early photographs of the Polar Star or Iron City etc. mills show a, to put it kindly, a second rate quality of masonry...

I wanted to visit the area to see if the local gneiss/granite used in those mills was difficult to work or otherwise unsuited for masonry, but this wasn't the case. There are much better examples of masonry in Black Hawk and Central City with the same rock even some of the mortarless retaining walls along the Gilpin Tramway were constructed better! As a footnote, mills of the same era in Nevada have exquisite masonry, while California and Oregon mills rarely used any masonry.

So goes that theory! What is clear from a site visit is that the Polar Star mill was not likely built by a professional masons, as evident in the wandering, uncoursed (and out of square) gneiss/granite rubble walls with crude wooden lintels. No self-respecting mason would build a wall that had more mortar than rock. The carpentry in the mill is consistent with the masonry-its very sturdy, but doesn't appear to have been constructed by professional carpenters-and although heavily built, the years of snowload have taken their toll and most of the beams have been sistered with new beams to help carry the weight.

Attachment: Polar star (640x480).jpg (Downloaded 135 times)

Last edited on Mon Nov 10th, 2014 07:35 pm by elminero67

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Status: 
Offline
Great info, very interesting!

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Ray, I agree with you, Duane's post had a lot of interesting information.

Regarding the flat roof architecture, this was not the only mill built that way - the Midas Mill was similar.  You posted:

The first thing that jumped out at me was why they would build a broad, almost flat roof in an area known for heavy snow?


And, the Hidden Treasure was similar:



I wondering, were the low-slope buildings constructed this way because it was a low cost option?  There would not be any complicated trusses to fabricate.  Also, the roof could be supported by simple posts on ground supporting very simple framed roofing.

So, were these just a cheaper way to build a structure?

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

You also got me thinking about stone masonry construction in the area. You had posted:
The second mystery was the local masonry: Early photographs of the Polar Star or Iron City etc. mills show a, to put it kindly, a second rate quality of masonry...There are much better examples of masonry in Black Hawk and Central City with the same rock even some of the mortarless retaining walls along the Gilpin Tramway were constructed better! ...What is clear from a site visit is that the Polar Star mill was not likely built by a professional masons, as evident in the wandering, uncoursed (and out of square) gneiss/granite rubble walls with crude wooden lintels. No self-respecting mason would build a wall that had more mortar than rock.

Perhaps the mills were built using inexpensive masonry methods - not too much fabricating of the stone for quoins or lintels or other "fancy" stonework.  Or, could the cruder stonework reflect the expectation that this would be a short-term structure?  Or a rush to get a building into operation?

Duane's post pointed out a lot of interesting differences and quirks of the stone on the Polar Star Mill compared to other construction in the area.


Here is a close-up of the Polar star, showing the plain, heavy wood framing around doors and windows.  Note the stone wall - there is almost as much mortar showing as there is stone.


Here is a Polar Star small window, taken before the recent restoration of the walls.  The stones at the window jambs are crudely fashioned, as Duane pointed out.


Other structures in the area were built much nicer.  This is the Rocky Mountain Brewery as it looked 25 years ago.  Even this building is mostly ruins, the stone still looks much better compared to the Polar Star.


Or, for that matter, here are stone ruins of the Gunnell Mine, which burned down twice in its history - notice the nicely squared off stones at the corners.

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
And, since I'm really enthused about this stone work thing, here are some more photos:


This never-completed mill in Russell Gulch has stone arches above doors, quoined corners, and looks a lot better built than the Polar Star.  On the other hand, the Polar Star operated successfully for decades, whereas this one failed and never was completed!


The Grand Army Mine has nicely trimmed stonework at corners and doors. This photo taken during a Gilpin Railroad Historical Society tour about 10 or more years ago.


The Justice Mine over in Hangman Gulch (yes, those are the real names) has nicely built stonework on its foundation.


This beautiful stone wall is a retaining wall for a front yard in Central City for a long-demolished home.


The high stone wall in Chase Gulch looks pretty nice and this was dry-stacked with no mortar, as experts Joe Crea and Dan Abbott (pictured) can attest.


And, another pretty shot of Chase Gulch and the GT grade that I couldn't resist posting.

Keith

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
I'm glad you don't mind the minor thread hijack-it is Gilpin related. There are just not enough crazy folks who appreciate this type of stuff outside of narrow gauge mining-type folks!

As for the mortar on the Polar Star, a good portion of it is not original. Based on what I saw (and I know the company that did it pride themselves on being experts in historic masonry preservation...), I suspect they used basic Portland cement for mortar-which is exactly what you are not supposed to do! Portland cement based mortars are harder than most rocks, so when heating/cooling/frost cycles impact the wall, the rock will crumble rather than the mortar. The first pic is a detail of the new mortar, which some mason felt compelled to embellish a little with the trowel...
The second pic is a mill in Nevada which I chose as a comparison as it is also built of granite: Note how tight the joints are and how much work went into shaping them:

Attachment: PS masonry.jpg (Downloaded 193 times)

Last edited on Tue Nov 11th, 2014 02:01 am by elminero67

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
OK, I lied. this is the second attachment of the Nevada mill, which admittedly is an extremely nice example and not necessarily representative of all Nevada mills

As for the carpentry, you are correct-a flat roofed mill like the Polar Star would not require a skilled carpenter, while a gable roof at that time would require a highly skilled carpenter. keep in mind that most 1860s industrial buildings still used heavy timber framing with mortise and tenon joinery-not the lighter baloon-framed stuff.
Maybe Mr. Kimber was a too cheap to pay a mason or carpenter?

Attachment: murphydetail.jpg (Downloaded 191 times)

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Here's an interior shot of the joists and purlins of the Polar Star that supported the roof-you can see that it isn't difficult or technically challenging carpentry. Heck, the joists aren't even consistent on spacing, some are approximately 12" apart, others nearly 20 inches. In the lower part of the picture you can see where new 2x12s have been sistered to the old ones as they had sagged or failed.

Attachment: PS interior.jpg (Downloaded 192 times)

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
And one last one, an example of mortise and tenon construction-using this technique a master carpenter could frame an entire building without nails-and it would last centuries as seen in this 1860s example:

Attachment: mortise and tenon.jpg (Downloaded 190 times)

GilpinFan
Registered


Joined: Fri Jan 22nd, 2010
Location: Clayton, New Mexico USA
Posts: 15
Status: 
Offline
Duane,

Thank you for the great info, on the Polar Star mill. I'm building a model of it in 1:35, and I really appreciate the photos of the walls and windows.

Ken Mannes; aka Gilpin Fan

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Keith-do you have any other pics of the mill in Russell Gulch? that one is a beauty!

I didn't address you comments well, but I don't suspect that the Polar Star it was intended to be a temporary building. If I were to guess Mr Job Kimber was just a practical, if frugal, person, as evident by the fact miners so preferred his ability to handle ore that he was swamped with custom ore orders while other mills were idle. If you do research the mill, use caution as Job Kimber and his partner, Fullerton operated at least three mills, so that the "Kimber & Fullerton" mill may-or may not refer to the Polar Star.
Another interesting footnote is that Mr Kimber worked on steamboats for many years prior to purchasing the mill in 1868, but chose to employ water power rather than steam...by the mid 1870s accounts suggest that the mill had both water and steam power.

Ken-if you plan on doing any interior detail, let me know, I'm working on sketches on the interior layout based on descriptions of the mill.

GilpinFan
Registered


Joined: Fri Jan 22nd, 2010
Location: Clayton, New Mexico USA
Posts: 15
Status: 
Offline
Duane,

I am definetly interested in seeing your sketches of the interior layout of the Polar Star mill. Whenever you can find the time. Also more photos. Thankyou.

Ken Mannes, aka Gilpin Fan

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

I have not taken many pictures of that mill - I looked briefly, but could not find any right now. I'll check and post if I can find any!

Keith

Marsh_Creek
Registered
 

Joined: Sat Nov 24th, 2012
Location: Wernersville, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 159
Status: 
Offline
That's a really neat Fill. I guess being an East Coast guy, I didn't realize they built them up with blocks like that.

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
I agree-that picture of the mortarless retaining wall on the Gilpin is a beauty. In my travels I don't know if I have seen many taller dry-stacked retaining walls. Thefact that it has stood through over 120 Colorado winters is a good testament for the builders skill.

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
I would feel bad about hijacking Keith's Gilpin thread, but since he is partially responsible for spreading the Gilpin virus...

A closer look at the Polar Star history shows that several of my early theories don't hold water. Interestingly, the site of the Polar Star, or very near the site of the Polar star, may be the site of the first stamp mill in the state of Colorado, which in turn was the second western state to have that technology, predating stamp mills on the Comstock and in Oregon by several months.
Evidence suggests that throughout the 1860s a series of wood framed stamp mills occupied this site. The failure rate of early mills was high-one account suggest that there were 60 mills on the Gilpin by 1861 or so, but with the exception of 3 or 4, they all failed by the mid-1860s. Hence the high turnover of mill owners, and names making it difficult to track specific mills (or mines).
In 1868 a man named Miller built a wood-framed, gable ended structure at this site, which was bought by Jobe V. Kimber about a year later. Mr. Kimber had previously operated a mill on Eureka Gulch and was one of the few men who was able to successfully recover gold from ores of the Gilpin.
At that time, the mills in the Gilpin area were not efficient: Accounts suggest that most mills could only recover 30-50% of the gold-and made no attempt to save the silver or copper. The remainder went down the creek...along with all the mercury and other heavy metals-right towards the Coors brewery in Golden...

the name "polar Star Mill" doesn't appear until about 1869, at which time the mill was a 12-stamp mill powered by a breast wheel. This is where it gets confusing: Over the next 10 years or so Kimber constantly tinkered and improved the mill, at different times is was a 32 stamp mill, other times a 35, even listed as a 40 stamp mill in some accounts. Sometime during the early to mid-1870s Kimber removed the wooden structure and replaced it with the stone structure we see today. When the Polar Star became a steam mill is not known, but it appears the mill operated on water during the summer, and steam in the winter. One drawing of the area at the Denver Public Library website shows the Polar Star before the Gilpin Tramway, which confirms the belief that the loading facilities for the Gilpin were somewhat of an afterthought.

This is roughly the same time the Colorado Central railroad built to Black Hawk. And this is where my research of early mill architecture is stuck. My early theory of the lack of access to shingles being the catalyst for using new forms and materials for stamp mills in Gilpin country is, at best only partially correct, as a basic google search shows there was a shingle mill on Chase Gulch as early as 1860. However, looking over the historic photographs, it is evident that metal roofs are virtually non-existent prior to the arrival of the railroad, but are dominant on industrial buildings in the area afterwards. Coincidence?

in a nutshell, the Polar Star stone building itself only dates to the mid 1870s, which may end up removing it from the 'oldest extant stamp mill' in the west category. Still a beauty though!

Last edited on Fri Nov 14th, 2014 04:47 pm by elminero67

elminero67
Registered


Joined: Sun Dec 27th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 970
Status: 
Offline
Thought some of the Gilpin modelers might appreciate this pic: This a sample of the ore the Gilpin would have carried. The owner of the mill found a few pieces during the remodel, and set them aside. As a footnote, ores served by the Gilpin Tramway were rich: they averaged anywhere from 1-4 oz of gold per ton over the lifespan of the Polar Star Mill. This 20lbs rock probably contains about 1/100th to 4/100ths of an ounce, while a full tram car could carry 10-40 ounces of gold. Those little shays brought lots of $$$ down Chase Gulch!

Attachment: DSCF0247 (640x480).jpg (Downloaded 180 times)

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thanks for sharing that information about the Polar Star Mill. Have you looked at Ryan Moats' HOn3 website? He is modeling the area, and researched the Kimber mill, the predecessor building to the Polar Star we see today. Ryan built an HO model and gave a clinic on it at this year's NNGC convention. He has a webpage, but I don't have the URL handy right now…

That is some interesting digging of facts you came up with on the Polar Star mill. Always wondered about what went on at that site over the years - the mill site is not far at all from the center of Black Hawk - lots of things happening down in that little valley.

Thanks for posting the picture of the gold ore - I found it useful to hear from someone that knows what the actual ore looked like, and I can compare it to the samples I collected for future ore car model loads. The sample looks more "greenish" than I expected.

Actually, your ore sample prompted a thought - I have some spare old thermometers laying around - I can collect the mercury in them, and you can mail the ore and I the mercury to Woodie Greene. Maybe we can talk him into building an operating ore mill on his new layout! :-) Seriously, though, what a dirty, noisy mess those stamp mills must have been.

Please continue posting more about the mills - I am learning a lot and looking forward to more!

Keith

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
They are certainly noisy & dirty !.

Obviously I've never seen the Polar Star mill but I am very familiar with random rubble & coursed stone construction - & the correct type of mortar to use !. The pattern of stone laying & mortar work looks very amateur to me. Could it be that the place became very dilapidated & that some previous but more recent person then did  a lot of "restoration work" ?.

There is a very cheap way to support a shallow pitch roof, as below in the pictures of our 'own' restored mine :

Photo 1, view from inside:




Photos 2 & 3; the main mill roof is the larger roof at the rear. Breakfast is being cooked/burnt :







This is a much lower snowfall area than CO but we can have up to a couple of feet; the roof has never given way.

Please excuse the hijack; now I know why I don't like the taste of Coor's stuff.

All photos by Salada

Regards                              Michael

Now I know why I don't like the taste of Coor's !

 

pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1999
Status: 
Offline
Look ma: they use Kadees!. Jose.

chasv
Registered


Joined: Mon Oct 24th, 2011
Location: Riverside, California USA
Posts: 882
Status: 
Offline


my brother Tom at Columbia Calif  holding a 23 pound rock that has about 12 pounds of gold in it valued at at least $250,000 found in the area







pipopak
Moderator


Joined: Wed Apr 13th, 2011
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1999
Status: 
Offline
Rock is so heavy that tilted him.... Jose.

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
Very good Jose, 10/10 !. Now back to Modelling the Gilpin Tram.

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

Thank you for posting the photos of the mine/mill. What state is it located in?  To me, it looks like somewhere towards the east coast.

The interior shot of the mill is interesting - very muted colors.  If I were modeling that scene, the brightest color seems to be the green window frame, and everything else shades of brown/dirt/dust.

Charles,

That's one heckuva fine piece of gold ore in that photo. Is that a museum piece, or something you or your brother found?  The overall color of the ore sample you and the one Duane posted seem like an overall light gray color, at least in smaller scales, might work for the ore.

Keith

Salada
Registered


Joined: Mon Nov 4th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 1190
Status: 
Offline
Keith:

It is a very long way East !. In our hard rock tin/copper/arsenic/wolfram mining area of Southwest England, County Devon. Apologies for interrupting your Gilpin story (excellent by the way !) but I wanted to show how a shallow pitch mill roof could be supported very easily & cheaply by simply using notched, untreated tree trunks.

The brown/dust/dirt look is exactly how a hard rock (granite) working genuine vintage stamp & mill looks - fines & dust everywhere (even when 'wet' stamping) from the stamping,vibration & ore shovelling etc. No respirators or masks of course. The floor is mostly just hard dirt + decades of muck & rust ground in. The granite lodestuff is mostly dark grey but after stamping & mineral separation the remaining sand is a mid-dark sand colour.
Totally authentic !!. The green window frames were repainted.

Regards       Michael

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Evening All
A few a photos of my revamped Gilpin in On30
Regards
Greg H

Attachment: 003 (800x600).jpg (Downloaded 254 times)

Gregory Hiley
Registered
 

Joined: Fri May 17th, 2013
Location:  
Posts: 23
Status: 
Offline
Here is another shoot of my re amped Gilpin.
Sorry for multiple posts but can't get system to post multiple photos
Regards
Greg H

Attachment: 001 (800x600) 2.jpg (Downloaded 252 times)

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Wow, I go away for a few days, and all kinds of interesting stuff gets posted!

Michael, thanks for posting the photos of your hard rock tin/copper/arsenic/wolfram mine. It is a fascinating looking operation - I hope you post more photos!

Greg, nice looking progress on your Black Hawk yard. That Gilpin Tram roster you are building is looking pretty impressive. Did you scratch-build the GT coal car? It looks very good. Looking forward to seeing more photos as your engine house scene comes together.

Gotta go - time to go out and do some partying with family!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
In a leisurely look at the Gilpin Tram in detail, we started last year by the Black Hawk enginehouse, worked our way up Chase Gulch and Winnebago Hill, explored the Gunnell Hill mining area, and then have been snooping around Quartz Hill’s Pease-Kansas and Phoenix-Burroughs branches.  There was a third branch on Quartz Hill, called the Quartz Hill branch. This was the longest of the 3 branches, and served the greatest number of mines.

So, with that, off we go again!


Quartz Hill, with its three branches, was a central piece of the Gilpin Tram.  This segment will explore the longest - the Quartz Hill Branch.

M.P. 42.13    START OF QUARTZ HILL BRANCH

The Quartz Hill Branch diverged at the end of the 278’ long passing siding. Photos show the steep upgrade started immediately on the branch.

The branch grade climbed steadily up the south side of Quartz Hill, but the grading was fairly easy, compared to other locations along the Gilpin Tram.  There were no large rock walls on this section, and the grade is somewhat hard to find today as a result.


This photo, taken from Central City, is a reminder of how close the mining areas were to town. Many, many waste rock dumps can be seen in this photo.

Shay #3 is starting up the Quartz Hill Branch with a string of empty ore cars.  The steepness of the grade can be easily seen

This is the same area today - the red line marks the track location, and the gentle grading can be seen heading off into the now-wooded hillside. This is on the road between Central City and Russell Gulch.


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The branch grade up Quartz Hill, although steep, is gently graded - no large stone retaining walls here. Red line marks location of branch grade

M.P. 42.71    QUARTZ HILL WYE

After a steep climb up the hill, the top was much more gently sloped, but rocky.  The Gilpin Tram found a small area large enough for a very compact wye.  This wye make a shallow cut through a rock outcropping, and the tail track was built up from stones over a slightly depressed area. 

This trail track area is interesting today, because long-abandoned mining tunnels have partially collapsed around the grade, making exploring the area interesting. As I walked the area, once again I was surprised and how compact the wye really was. The curves must have been close to the 66’ minimum radius.


This is the Quartz Hill wye today.  We are standing on the north leg of the wye, looking towards the tail track. The track curved through the small rock cut, and just beyond, a spur diverged off the wye track to reach the Climax Mine

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

The distinctive Climax Mine headframe is seen at the right rear of this photo, along with an enlargement at left

M.P. 42.95    CLIMAX MINE

Even though this mine eventually built an aerial tramway directly to the Avon Mill, there are surviving traffic records showing this mine also shipped ore on 1898, 1902, and 1903.  This mine shaft eventually extended to 532’ depth, and had 11 levels.  

As we had mentioned in earlier posts, later development resulted in the construction of an aerial tramway to the Avon Mill (located on the north side of Quartz Hill, near Nevadaville).

One of the photos shows a sprawling bin-like structure, presumably a part of ore bucket loading for the aerial tram.  Interestingly, this same photo, from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, faintly shows a harp switchstand on this spur.  Perhaps this switchstand was for another, unmapped spur, or even a derail.  

The mine headframe itself is unlike most of the mines in the area - instead of the typical low-roofed structure, this enclosed headframe is tall and narrow. 


[img]">A greatly enlarged view of the Climax Mine ore bin (top of photo), and the aerial tramway down to the Avon Mill


Keith Pashina
Registered
 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
Status: 
Offline
Here is the Avon Mill, near Nevadaville. The aerial tram from the Climax Mine can be seen along the left edge of this picture. The mine with the smoke coming out of its stack is the Phoenix-Burroughs Mine, which was covered in previous posts

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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

This photo is significant for many reasons.  Besides the interesting string of ore cars, (from front to rear) the Modoc, Rhoderick Dhu, San Juan, and Gardner mines can be seen in the are know as the patch


No intact structures remain on top of Quartz Hill today, in fact, large parts of Quartz Hill itself don't exist anymore! This will be covered in excruciating detail in future posts.  This view is looking southeast, showing weather-worn waste rock dumps, old foundations, and not much else.  The Glory Hole, which we'll look at later on, is off to the photographer's left

M.P. 42.92    SAN JUAN MINE SPUR

This spur was 393’ long.

M.P. 42.99    SAN JUAN MINE

This mine was an active shipper on the Gilpin Tram.  It first was operated in 1888, and there is a report of extending its siding in 1890, to give it a capacity of about 12 to 16 cars (as reported by Dan Abbott in The Gilpin Tram Era, published 2009). I have seen traffic records from 1898 through 1900 - these records are incomplete, and I have not seen records prior to 1896, and there are many gaps after 1904. We do know this mine was still shipping ore in April 1914. One report states that the main period of activity was  1890 to 1894.

One characteristic of this mine was the unique properties of the ore bodies.  The sketch shown here is from the 1917 Economic Geology of Gilpin County report, and shows the very winding nature of the tunnels at this mine. This mine had 11 levels and the shaft reached a depth of 916’ - a pretty substantial operation. This general area was called “The Patch”, and included the Egyptian, Rhoderick Dhu, Gardner, Hawley, and mayber others.  From my understanding, the ore is not continuous, predictable-shaped veins.  Instead, the ore in this region is very fragmented, and mining it must have been hit-or-miss operation trying to follow the ore veins.  It certainly made mining difficult, and hard to make a profit.  These problems led to the famous Glory Hole operation, which will be discussed in future parts of this Quartz Hill tour.

Assuming my photo interpretation is correct, then the mine would have been a stone-walled low building, with no headframe protruding above the roofline.  In all the photos I have seen, the mine appears derelict - the windows are either boarded up, or distant images seem to show an partially ruined stone structure, and there is no smokestack for the boilers.


In this enlargement from a photo showing the top of Quartz Hill, the San Juan Mine is at lower left.  The mine does not appear to be in operation - no smokestack!

Keith

Keith Pashina
Registered
 

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