View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Wed Nov 1st, 2017 07:13 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 781
Black Hawk (Again)

In previous posts, we looked at the huge Bobtail/Fifty Gold Mines Mill in Black Hawk. In this panoramic view, the Bobtail Mill dominates the front center of this photo. The right margin is where the Eagle Mill and Polar Star Mill were located. Along the left margin is the retail area and center of Black Hawk, which we will explore next

To recap where we have been in previous posts, here its a map showing the area that we will look at next, shown in red. The green areas are the upstream areas above Black Hawk, home of the Wheeler, Fullerton, Golden Fleece, engine house and yards, Hidden Treasure, transfer yard, Polar Star, and Eagle Mills

Black Hawk was the starting point of the Gilpin Tram, down in the canyon of the North Fork of Clear Creek and the bottom of the hill relative to Central City and where all the mines were located.
The readily available water supply prompted the construction of many ore processing mills. Once the 3' gauge Colorado Central Railroad reached Black Hawk, its status as a transportation and industrial center was further established. Black Hawk tended to be more blue collar and industrial compared to the more glamorous Central City. Whereas Central City had an opera house, courthouse and many large businesses, Black Hawk had a lot of mills and industries, and a smaller retail component. 
Black Hawk was further hampered in its development by the relatively narrow confines of Clear Creek Canyon, which crowded the railroad, mills and industries, stores and homes close together. Nearly flat real estate was at a premium, and quickly utilized with industries and stores. Everything else had to crowd in on the slopes.
The very crowded and compact nature of Black Hawk is what makes it such a great town to model. As I plan the next model railroad expansion, I realize that including parts of the town and mills is a must. The hardest part of modeling this town will be selecting which structures I want to model. I will have room for only a small fraction of the more interesting structures!

In previous posts, we left off at the Bobtail Mill. This is the mill site today, looking south along Clear Creek. The parking lot at left is where the mill buildings were. The creek bed likely has been shifted around over the decades, first with mill construction and later with road construction. In the background is the main retail area of Black Hawk

Back in 1900, the Bobtail Mill was booming, and so was the Gilpin Mill (structure at left front, with the steam plume. The Colorado Shoe Store can be seen at left center - crammed in between the two ore mills. Between the front of the Bobtail Mill and the other structures, is the dual gauge Gilpin Tram and C&S track. In the background, at top center, is the Gilpin Tram mainline up Chase Gulch, and an empty train of ore cars with two locomotives is crawling up the grade

South of the Eagle Mill, the C&S served the Black Hawk Electric Power and Light Company, which was served by a short C&S spur. Near the power company was the MacFarlane foundry and shop. This was not served directly by either railroad, but was very close to the tracks and station. This company produced many types of locally used mining and milling equipment, including stamps and Gilpin County Bumping Tables

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