Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Tag: Stamp Mill (page 1 of 3)

Par Value Mill

Late autumn of 2017 found us tracking down a very unusual stamp mill high in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The mill was a unique hammer design called a Pratt Ideal Stamp Mill. Very few of these mills were ever put into use and even fewer (if any!) still exist in the wild, so we were very interested in finding it.
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Mayflower Mill

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

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

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

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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“Piute” Stamp Mill

With a tip from our friends at Explore Historic California, we found a small three stamp mill in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not much is left but it is an interesting little find. I haven’t found much history on it.
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“Mystery” Stamp Mill

This remote stamp mill site was a great find. The mining district was formed in the 1880s and this was a major mine of the district. Early work on the mine probably started in 1882-3. It continued to be a gold and silver producer up until about 1925. There is an interesting contradiction in reports about this mill. It was said to have two Huntington roller mills, but we found an eight stamp mill instead; hence the ‘mystery’. Was the original mill removed or destroyed? Perhaps they had poor performance with it? Or maybe we have just not located it yet? One of these days we will get back out there to find out. It is amazing anything is left here. If you find it, please respect it.
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Herman Mine Stamp Mill

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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“Squaw” Stamp Mill

In 2004, I met up with Morgan and Ric to do some mine exploring in the Stanislaus National Forest (in the Sierra Nevada mountains). I couldn’t find much info on this operation. I’ll have to research it more. If you know something about this stamp mill, feel free to contact me.
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