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SheepCamp

SW Colorado

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Posted: 10/06/10 09:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lure of gold affects most people. What people have done to try and find some is amazing. Around Silverton Colorado there are many mines and structures that show to what efforts they will go to strike it rich.

I got an phone call a few months back from the Whazoo. On his spring trip SW Colorado he had seen something that he wanted to know more about. It was the Old Hundred Mine’s Boarding House perched high on the side of Galena Mountain.


By the end of our discussion, we both knew we had to hike to it.

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Zoomed shot from valley bottom 2,500 feet below

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Just after Labor Day, we leave La Plata Farms early on Thursday morning for our trip to the Old Hundred Boarding House. After a bit of four wheeling in full sized trucks and campers, we turn off of Stony Pass into Rocky Gulch (think there is a theme here) and find the parking spot and trailhead at 12,000 ft. After a few minutes to catch our breath and load the packs, Whazoo and Sheep Camp start the climb up the trail. Just follow the arrow and little white dots around to peak!!

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A little closer view

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The trail is somewhat narrow, but makes up for it by going up hill.
Whazoo in Wonderland

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The higher you go, the narrower it gets

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After about 1 ½ hours we knew were getting close. As you round the last bend in the trail, you get the view that takes what little breath you have away.

[image]

The sight is amazing as you look down on the boarding house and tram building (red roof). The only problem now is getting down to the level of the buildings several hundred feet below. The options are few with slow and steady being the best choice.

Whazoo creeps on down toward the boarding house because the results of a slip are severe.

[image]

The valley floor is 2,500 feet (1/2 mile vertical) down in Cunningham Gulch. A missed step may allow you beat your friends to the bottom. Tram towers are to the right.

[image]

Once at the boardinghouse, the exploring begins.

The Old Hundred Boarding House was built in 1904 by the Niegold brothers, Reinhard, Gustave, Otto, and their half-brother Oscar. It is located at about 12,500 ft and was used year round for several years. The first floor had the dinning hall and kitchen with electricity. A cook and baker keep the miners feed. The second story had 24 bunks and a private bedroom for the boss. It was heated by two potbelly stoves, one at each end of the building even in the coldest parts of winter. It would have been a tough life. They found a little gold and other minerals, but never made more than it cost to build the buildings and run the mine. This is typical for many of the mines of that time.

Enjoy a tour of the Old Hundred Boarding House with the best views in San Juan County.

View from the second floor window. Silverton is in the distance

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Better hope you do not sleep walk

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Inside the dinning room

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You can almost smell the bread baking

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Stretch out for a good nights sleep on the second floor

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The other building was the Tram House. It was an early version of a ski lift where buckets of ore were transported to the valley below to be processed at the mill and supplies and miners rode in the buckets back up to the mine after wild nights in Silverton (sure would beat hiking back up!). The machine room and equipment where in the first floor to the right, the second floor is where the Bull Wheel was that ran the cable and pulled the buckets up and down the mountain and filled them with ore out of the ore bins on each side of the building. The mine tunnel was located in the cliff on the third level. The little track running out of the third level is where they ran the ore cars out to dump the waste rock down the hill, better not slip!!

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Ore bucket still hanging on the cables

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Looking down to the valley from the tram house to where the mill was located a ½ mile lower.

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Looking back at a hundred years of history is a lot easier with a view like this!!!

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Thanks to the work of the San Juan County Historical Society, these building have been stabilized and repaired when their roofs began to collapsing the 1990’s. Their work has helped keep these important pieces of history intact.

Headed back to the trucks, the little white dot in the middle left. The road up Rocky Gulch is to the buildings at the the Buffalo Boy Mine and Tram house near the head of the valley. The tram cables ran about two miles down to the mill in Cunninham Gulch from the Buffalo Boy mine. There were many of these tram systems throughout the San Juan Mountains. Stony Pass is the valley to the right.

[image]

With the trip complete, Whazoo and Sheep Camp will leave you with a view of the San Juan Mountains on a wonderful fall afternoon.
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Matho

New Mexico Texas

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Posted: 10/06/10 10:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very interesting bit of history. Thanks for showing.

I was waiting for the 007 Whazoo slide down the cable to return to the trucks!


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RicJones

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Posted: 10/06/10 10:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW! I got vertigo just looking at the pictures!!!

cm

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Posted: 10/06/10 10:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of these "boarding houses" offered the miners more than just room and board. While there were red light districts in a lot of the old mining towns some of the boarding houses were located closer to the mines so the miners did not have to travel as far for meeting the ladies.

RickW

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Posted: 10/06/10 11:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Darn,

I was expecting a picture of an Outfitter TC parked next to the boardinghouse. [emoticon]

Great pix. Thanks for taking us along!


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 10/07/10 12:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very cool. Thanks.


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BradW

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Posted: 10/07/10 04:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

We drove those two trails back in August to the Buffalo Boy Mine and then on up to the top of the ridge and also the trail on the right to Stony Pass.

We also did the Old 100 mine tour. That was pretty cool.

That boarding house is unreal.

Thanks for posting.........I couldn't possibly be ready to go back before noon today. [emoticon]

Brad


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B. BOOMER

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Posted: 10/07/10 05:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OMG I think Pa & me just found our next summer roost!

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Tvov

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Posted: 10/07/10 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very cool!


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SWD

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Posted: 10/07/10 05:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting. Just amazing. Very similar to the Mascot mine in Hedley BC, a big must if you come through that part of Canada.

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