Mayflower Mill

Micah and Alysia in the works.

The Mayflower Mill is one of the last fully intact mills in the Silverton, Colorado area. Also known as the Shenandoah-Dives Mill, it was the most advanced flotation mill for its time.
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Buffalo Boy Mine

Fading sunlight on the tram terminal.

The Buffalo Boy was a small gold and silver mine which started production around 1930. The mine is caved but the interesting thing about the site is the long and steep tramway heading up to it. The tram line is over 8,500′ in length and rises 2,500′ up cliffs to reach the mine at 12,550′ in elevation.
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Underground near Silverton

A large compressor sits idle.  Photo by Micah.

These are underground photos from a mine in the Silverton area that we explored. I actually didn’t have much underground time planned for this trip, but the mines we did check out turned out to be fantastic.
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San Juan Chief Mill

Mill boilers and flowers.

This scenic ruined mill site was built in the late 1890s and never saw ore from its namesake, the San Juan Chief mine. It is the second mill to be built on this site. In 1900, it had 2 roasting furnaces and 15 stamps.
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Sound Democrat Mill

The Sound Democrat Mill is an awesome find and one of the highlights of the San Juan Mountains.  The mine was first discovered in 1899. Gold and silver ore from the mine was packed on mules over a 13,000′ ridge to the Sunnyside Mill in Eureka Gulch.
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Ramshorn and Skylark Mines

Skylark tramhouse.

I took a trip to a couple of mines high up in the Central Rocky mountains of Idaho.  I love finding old mines with tramways and these two were great.

A large silver-lead strike was made at the Ramshorn mine (and the Skylark above it) in 1877 and the rush was on. By 1882, a smelter had been blown in, charcoal kilns built and 300 people lived in the town of Bay Horse that had sprung up down in the canyon below. The smelter was closed by 1897 but mining continued until 1925.
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Bannack State Park

Approaching storm.

Last summer, we visited the fantastic little ghost town of Bannack, Montana, which has been preserved and turned into a state park. It is similar to Bodie State Historical Park but with fewer buildings and no mill tour. Still, remaining ghost towns from the gold rush days are rare and this one is worth the visit.

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