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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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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Hecla Mining Camp

20 stamp mill ruin.

In 1872, William “Billy” Spurr and James Bryant discovered the Trapper lode high in a cirque on Lion Mountain. News of the silver strike spread and soon other miners staked claims all over the mountainside. The barren slope got its name when a prospector thought he saw a mountain lion high up on the hillside. Turns out it was a white mule, but the name stuck.
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Skidoo Stamp Mill, Death Valley National Park

View of the stamp mill from across the canyon.

Much about the history of Skidoo has already been written in various books and online, so I will only give a brief summary here:

The fifteen stamp mill was quickly built in 1908 by mine developer Bob Montgomery (of Bullfrog mining and Rhyolite fame) to develop the gold ores of the Skidoo mine just behind the mill. Ore was hauled directly from the mine to the mill via tunnels in the hillside. Mr. Montgomery had significant financial backing from Charles M. Schwab (steel magnate).  A townsite sprang up a little ways to the east.
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Owens Valley three stamp mill

This used to be a house. Only the dugout basement is left.

Last year, I stopped by a forgotten and overlooked three stamp mill in the backcountry of Owens Valley. Seems like even the locals don’t know it exists.

Besides being off the beaten path, the stamp mill is unusual in that it had only three stamps instead of the typical five. Perhaps each stamp was added one at a time as funds became available for this small operation? The mine the mill served was never very big and reportedly was last active in the 1920s.
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Herman Mine Stamp Mill

Our first look at the thrity stamps at the mine.  Wow!  Ten of the stamps have fallen, but twenty remain standing.

In 2004, Alysia and I met up with Lewis, Cat and Dan to hunt for some old mine ruins nestled deep in the Tahoe National Forest of the western Sierra Nevada. Lewis showed us this great stamp mill hidden deep in the forest. The mine was fairly large at one time, but is caved now.
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Morning Glory Stamp Mill

An unstable ore trestle over the creek.

The Morning Glory mine was a small mine and overshadowed by larger neighbors. The vein had been discovered by at least 1900 but little work was done. Mining seems to have always been intermittent. There was a rich strike in 1910. It was active in 1917 for a few months and idle by 1918. In 1925, the Alleghany Morning Glory Mining Company was putting in drifts and raises in the mine but by 1928 the mine was idle again. The mine had a recorded output of $100,000 of mostly free gold in quartz. The workings consist of at least four levels, 2,500 ft of drifts and 600 ft of raises. The entrance is collapsed now.
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Golden Gate Stamp Mill

Myself in front of the 10 stamp mill.

The Golden Gate Mill is a neat site and fairly easy to get to. The ten stamp mill got its ore from a 2,300′ tramway which ran up to the mine. The gold mine was discovered in 1898, but wasn’t worked until around 1902 and probably peaked in 1913. Apparently, the mill and buildings were destroyed a couple of times by avalanches. Once in 1907 and twice in 1911!
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Sunny Slopes Stamp Mill

The Sunny Slopes five stamp mill.

I have not been able to find much information on this mill. It looks like it is an old five stamp mill that has been repurposed with some modern equipment. The stamp battery states: “Angels Iron Works. Stockton Cal 1906.” It is interesting that the stamps seem to have not been used.
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Bodie State Historic Park

D. V. Cain house and Methodist Church at the corner of Fuller and Green Streets.

Bodie might be the most intact remaining ghost town in the lower 48 states. It is preserved as a state park in California. If not for this protective status and its remote location, it would have disappeared long ago. Still, fires and vandals have removed much of what used to be here.
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