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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.I
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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2016 09:30 pm
   
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Herb Kephart
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Keith

A couple of quick ones probably answered here, or (perish the thought) elsewhere.

Since I doubt that the Gilpin was a common carrier, and thus lacked ''eminent domain'' did they rent, or buy ROW from the various claims that they crossed?

What was the means of propulsion for the cars in the Argo? I think that it was loads downhill, but the empty cars had to get back somehow. If mules, they had to get back to the exit---

Herb



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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2016 09:42 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Herb,

The right-of-way was generally described as having informal arrangements with the various mine property owners to get access. I would expect there was more to it than that, but I don't have that information.

The Argo Tunnel used electric-powered underground locos. The tunnel did slope down from the Gilpin County mines to the tunnel entrance. The haul back from the farthest-away mine (they reached the Gunnell Hill mines, plus the Saratoga, too) would have been a long trip - it was at least 2 or 3 miles!

Keith

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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2016 10:12 pm
   
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Herb Kephart
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Thanks Keith!

Sort of what I thought re the ROW, but surprised about the tunnel locos!


Herb



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 Posted: Thu Apr 28th, 2016 12:31 am
   
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Salada
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Herb & Keith : If you look up "argohistorictours.com" on a confuser there is a good photo of the electric rail system at the tunnel mouth. Also a different photo of same location on the Wikipedia "Argo Tunnel Colorado" Internet site (best viewed on a confuser of some sort).

I'm no expert on Western mining claim law but didn't a claim lapse if it wasn't pegged out &/or worked 'regularly' ?. Maybe that explains the overlapping claims plan - new claims laid out over older, lapsed or unworked claims ?.

Roll on the Cornish pumps in Colorado photos !. Pity I live so damn far away.

Regards,                Michael

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 Posted: Tue May 3rd, 2016 05:03 am
   
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elminero67
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In a nutshell, claims only need to have annual assessment work performed (this includes improvements such as road construction, digging a shaft deeper etc) once a year to maintain their claim. Or they could just send off a nominal fee to the feds BEFORE the annual deadline to maintain their claim. Both are cheap and easy.

I emphasized the "before" because if they are late, even one second late-they lose the claim and it is open for others to claim.

This stems from the Mining Law of 1872. Prior to 1872 each district made their own mining laws that were generally much more restrictive-some allowed a miner to only own one claim, and if they didn't work the claim for 14 consecutive days they would forfeit the claim.



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 Posted: Tue May 3rd, 2016 10:29 am
   
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NevadaBlue
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Another twist on claims is what they claim... surface claim can overlay an underground one and I think that there were even claims for different depths. The lawyers won on that stuff...



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2016 03:55 am
   
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Salada
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My thanks to Duane & Ken. Nice to know a little more about Western U.S. mining history.

Regards,             Michael

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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2016 09:11 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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Our occasional tour of the Gilpin Tram last took a look at the Saratoga. Now, we will continue on with a look at the...

The Anchor Mine Branch

One of the more interesting branches was the Anchor Mine branch, a 1 1/2 mile branch that diverged off of the Saratoga Mine branch.  This branch had 3 switchbacks, and would have been an upgrade pull for loaded ore cars all the way up the branch to the eventual connection to the main line at the Old Town Mine.  Along the way, the branch served 3, and maybe 4, mines.



M.P. 44.26    ANCHOR MINE BRANCH CONNECTION

The branch grade split off of the spur to the Waltham Mine, off of the Saratoga Mine branch. The branch grade immediately starting heading downgrade, along a gently sloping, grassy hill.  It then crossed a small, unnamed dry gulch, and reached the Two Ton Mine.


View looking northwest, back towards Russell Gulch. The Anchor Mine branch grade can be seen in the middle rear hillside. The branch dropped in elevation much of the way from the Waltham Mine to the end of track at the Anchor Mine


Standing on the same grade we saw in the previous photo, pivoting 180 degrees, we look back at the Two Forty or Two Ton mine site. We saw the upper mine ruins in previous posts. Note that little shed at left foreground - that is where the grade is headed





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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2016 09:15 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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This is the same shed we saw in the previous photo. The heavy duty construction suggests this could have been used for ore storage at one time. I think this shed may have been on the original Gilpin Tram that was once located here. Unfortunately, this little building has since been torn down

M.P. 44.29    TWO-FORTY MINE SPUR

This spur was extremely short. Originally, it was only 40’ long, and on January 5, 1911, it was extended 30 additional feet to a whopping 70’ length. That would give it a capacity of about 4 ore cars, at most.  Incidentally, 30-pound rail was used to lay the branch spur.

This is one of those sites where I wished I had paid more attention to it when I first visited the area. Today, there is a large home sitting on the site of this spur. Before the home construction, there was an old shed sitting about where the spur was located. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, but did take a couple of photos of it. One day, Darel Leedy and I were discussing Gilpin matters, and he told me he had noticed some pretty heavy floor construction timbers - not your typical light duty shed. But, by the time I went back to Gilpin County, it was gone!

Another example of why we hobbyists need to photograph and document when we see interesting artifacts, because it may be gone the next time you’re there.

When looking over this site, It is hard to tell what was here previously, due to removal of the waste dumps for reprocessing by Solution Gold in the 1990s, teardown of structures, and aging and weathering.  But, If there were two distinct mines there at one time - a Two-Forty and TwoTon mine, I cannot see evidence of it today. There are wood foundation ruins for what may be a stamp mill foundation, and other odds and ends. Michael (Salada) who often posts on this thread, reminded us in Post #849, that it probably is just a coincidence but a U.S. (short) ton is 2,000 lbs but an English (long) ton is 2,240 lbs (two twoforty).


This map shows the location of the Two-Forty Mine spur, where the ore loading shed shown above may have been located

After leaving the Two-Forty Mine Spur, we run along the south slope of the mountain, gently wooded with pine trees and aspen, until about 3/4 mile further, we near the…

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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2016 09:22 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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The branch grade is lightly graded on a gentle, tree-covered hillside in the vicinity of the Searle Mine spur

M.P. 44.94    SEARLE MINE SPUR

We previously passed by a Searle Mine spur on the Saratoga Branch, about a mile or so further west (by direct route). Why are there two spurs? I am not entirely certain, but this second Searle Mine spur is a whole lot closer to the actual mine site than the other spur that was on the Saratoga Branch. My personal guess is that this second spur was built when the Anchor Mine branch was built, and perhaps the earlier spur was then abandoned.
The 1899 Colorado State Bureau of Mines report indicated the Searle operation had several different workings, , and was being worked with 5 men. Other records notes the Druid was a very prolific shipper at times. In October 1907, this mine shipped 28 cars - 1 to the Chamberlain Sampling Works, 17 to the New York Mill, and 4 to the Tucker Mill. The next month, they shipped 26 cars - 19 to the Tucker Mill, and 7 to the C&S transfer ore chutes. The Druid Mine also received water shipments, from the tram’s water tank car.

Colorado and Southern correspondence from 1904 states that the “Missouri Switch” location was the ore loading point for both the Searle and Druid Mines - I am not certain if this was the spur back by the Twoton Mine, or this spur at Mile Post 44.94.

This mine spur was not directly served by the Gilpin Tram - the Searle location was located farther uphill from the branch grade. Also located uphill of this location, in Willis Gulch, were the Druid and Kokomo Mines, and a few others. These mines were located between the Anchor Mine branch, and the Banta Mine extension located much higher on the hillside in Willis Gulch.


This is a photo of the Solution Gold cyanide workings in the 1990s. This view is in Willis Gulch, looking eastward towards where the Searle Mine and others were once located. Because of the reworking of the tailings in this area, most of the mining operations have disappeared


This nice little mine one stood in the general area shown in the previous photo. Mike Pyne researched it, and identified it as the Old Jordan Mine. It was a small, but very photogenic mine.  In the last few years, this mine was torn down. An EPA-funded cleanup of the old Solution Gold site was underway - the workers "accidentally" knocked down this building, and the ruins remain there today. I wonder if this was the same crew that later moved on to the infamous Gold King mine cleanup north of Silverton?

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