Historic Midwest Gold Mine and Camp
20 Acre Lode Claim – Creede District – Mineral County, Colorado
Overview of the Claim
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Midwest Gold Mining Claim. This is a 20 acre lode mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. The claim is located just outside of Creede, Colorado and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. All Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. claims have been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.
Updated, we have done extensive research on this site and found documentation that ties back to an 1890s discovery. There are notes of well over 8000′ of workings with the Midwest Tunnel acting as a portal to these workings. With this information and documentation, this may qualify as the largest unpatented property in the district. This is a gold and silver mine and has produced consistently while open.
The mine closed in 1965-6 when Colorado Fuel and Oil changed directions, moving out of mining properties. The claimant of the time intended to work the property with his brother, but tragedy struck as his brother was killed in a nearby mine. Disheartened, the bulkhead doors were shut and the mine was closed to allow for a period of mourning. The intent was for the mine to re-open. However, that never happened. While the mine remain sealed for the next 40-50 years, the EPA decided to remove all of the tailings from the workings. There was nothing to incite this except for a federal agency with too much money and too little oversight. The result is what you see today. A large mine that shows nearly no tailings at all.
The mine is documented as having assayed samples of over 6 ounces gold to the ton. In addition to being an exceptionally rich, and large mine underground, this claim covers a host of historic buildings that are in excellent condition.
Creede boasts a great historical society and I’m sure they would be happy to help out any efforts to revitalize a mine in this epic district. A steep and well graded road runs north out of Creede, and is signed as the Bachelor Loop Road. At about 10800ft. after passing numerous old mining artifacts, and approximately ¾ of a mile up the road, we arrive at the Midwest Mine. The site was reclaimed in 2004. All pre-existing tailings have been removed and capped. There is a grass field planted where the tailings used to be. It doesn’t look natural and definitely distracts from the historical flavor of the area. This is a wetland, nasty area full of mosquitoes, even when cold. That said, the buildings have been well preserved and while the entrance to the mine requires a dig out, the rest of the site is relatively intact. Just don’t expect to be digging up any bottles or relics. The Surveyors reported the discovery of a small creek that runs just below the mine.
With that in mind, this is one of the most impressive claims you will ever see in the area. The mine is a massive intrusion that was, according to documentation, cut in on a wide vein of gold. This was in the lower workings, which reportedly connect with the upper workings. These drifts working the top and bottom of the vein.
On the claim, at the main camp, there are three buildings and one outhouse. We found a 20’x40’ separating building. This is the Main building that the track runs into. The building is very stable, wood construction with corrugated steel exterior. Inside the building the windows are boarded up, and there are thousands of boxes of core samples. There are two separated rooms; one contains an era correct refrigerator. The core samples are stacked 2 to 4 feet deep in the building and the floor cannot be seen. It would be simple to secure the doors and this building.
We also found a smaller home type building that has a main room and a side room. Approximately 12’ x 10’ in size. This building is also in great shape, estimated build time is 1940s, judging by the door, floor and wall construction and materials. This building is also secure, with boarded up windows and working doors. This would be simple to secure as well. The building is full of Core Samples, similar to the other buildings. At least 3000 core samples, some still in boxes.
The last building appears to be a workshop of some sort. The door is loose and would need work to secure. Approximately 1960s era construction. It has a few hundred core samples in it.
All of the buildings have been reinforced with corrugated steel and are open and accessible, all in excellent condition. In addition to the buildings there is an outhouse near the existing rail line. This is original and likely 1910-1920s construction. It has not been molested and is not “dug out”.
There is a sign, noting a brief, if uncomplimentary history of the site. The main goal of the sign is to boast at the feat of how the EPA, along with the Colorado division of Reclamation removed all of the historic tailings and resurfaced the area. Basically destroying the historical landscape and violating the context for the sake of spending a few dollars on a mine that was causing no issues. It is disconcerting to not be able to examine any tailings, as the history of the mine indicates it is over 8000 linear feet of drifts and stoping intercepting gold and silver deposits. This sign also verifies a depth of 2500 feet (minimum).
There is a 1960s construction; wooden entrance 15–20 feet long over the mine portal, the back-filled dirt does not come out of this wooden cover. From the portal there is a length of track extruding almost 25 feet before it splits, continuing both south and east. The Eastern leg of the track runs to the edge of where the tailings used to be. Assumption is this was completely waste tailings. The other leg of the track runs out and into another building. Also 1960s construction. Likely for shipping of the high grade ore. There is extensive area for staging on site.
Historical Documents on the Midwest
In 1969 New Midwest Mining, Ltd. was seeking $180,000 in funds to rehab the mine and reach a proven mineralized zone. The estimated total cost of the project was $380,000. The owners, who had 67 years of combined mining experience, were committed to place $200,000 of their own funds to the project. The following are excerpts from the USGS DMEA files:
The first work of record on the Midwest fault was done in the 1890s near what is now known as the Edith shaft. A shipment was made from the structure assaying 28 oz. in silver, 1.5 oz. in gold; this ore came from a shallow shaft. In the years following a shaft was sunk on the Edith lode and the Knauss tunnel was driven to intersect the structure at a lower depth and connect with the Edith shaft. There was no production from this tunnel and assays from this highly altered zone are low in value. In the early 1920’s Elwood Neff drove a tunnel from Nelson Creek drainage at 10,460′ elevation turning on the structure and developed a small body of sulfide ore but had no production from this tunnel. With this encouragement another tunnel was driven by the Midwest Mining Company at a depth 210′ below the Neff tunnel and near Nelson Creek under the guidance of Mr. Elwood Neff. The portal of this tunnel entered the hanging wall of the fault, on a strike of 30° West of North, struck the foot-wall at approximately 150′. Then followed the footwall a distance of 900′ with steadily increasing mineralization though at its furthest point still in a highly argillized structure. At this time, 1929, operations ceased and work of any nature on the structure has been sporadic and the main tunnel has not been further extended.
King Solomon fault to the East. It has been exposed through surface trenching and shallow shafts and tunnels a distance of nearly two miles. The crushed and faulted zone is wide and highly mineralized, where exposed, with barite, quartz and limestone the main vein gangue, (barite is a conspicuous mineral in all the high grade silver deposits in the Creede area). The fault has a northwest-southeast trend with the country rock or host rock being. Campbell Mountain Rhyolite in all exposures. The displacement of the fault is not known as a contact with other flows is not exposed. The fracture produced by this fault is widesand brecciated allowing a generous passage for the mineralizing solutions. Silver values steadily increase in exposures to the North. The host rock, Campbell Mountain Rhyolite,. is the host rock of all the deposits presently being developed in Bull-dog Mountain and Emperius Mines property at this time.
Through this property runs a very well .defined contact vein between rhyelite and porphyry-rhyolite formations. (Steven* indicates two (2) parallel veins). The vein can be traced for nearly a mile,indicating it to be of major importance. The vein strikes diagonally across Nelson Mountain between the two major producing vein systems in the district…the Amethyst and the Solomon-Holy Moses. Nearly 2,000 feet of this vein is located on the Neff property and with the greatest depth of the vein. Ore, of the sulfide or oxidized types, has been found at points along the vein for 3,700 feet.
The vein explored by the Midwest Mine strikes N.46°W., dips 70°NE., and is hosted in Campbell Mountain rhyolite. The vein lies within a zone of gouge and fractured, altered host rock. Near the portal, the vein comprises white gouge with limonite stains. Deeper underground, the fracture zone includes dark streaks of sulfide-rich breccia that occasionally extend into the hanging wall. One of these breccia zones is nearly continuous for the length of the adit, varying from a few inches to a foot in width. This dark breccia zone contains brecciated and altered rhyolite fragments cemented with galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and anglesite.
The geologic probability of discovering lead-zinc-silver deposits on the Midwest vein is excellent, but the extent or grade of any such deposits that may be found cannot be estimated from present data. Where I have seen the vein underground in the Midwest mine, the wall rocks are largely highly argillized and the mineralization is spotty. The general appearance is closely similar to the upper parts of the productive zones in the Amethyst, OH, and Bulldog Mountain veins to the west and the Soloman-Holy Moses vein to the: east. This part of the vein has a good potential at depth. Farther north in the area the company proposed to explore, the metal values they report from the Knauss Tunnel and nearby shallow workings accord with stories I have heard from a number of “old timers” at Creede and appear to be well founded. The spotty high-grade ore in this area is similar to local hot-spots found above the main producing zones of Other veins in the district. I fully expect the exploratory tunnel the company proposes will intersect the upper part of a mineralized zone comparable with the producing levels of other mines in the district. Whether the mineralized zone will contain ore-grade material of minable Width and length cannot be told without actual physical exploration.
“The Midwest Mine has no recorded production despite considerable underground development.”
This vein was discovered by N. C. Creede and Charles Nelson in 1891 before Creede found the famous Amethyst vein. Creede gave up his Nelson Mountain holdings in favor of the rich Amethyst. In the winter of 1892, however, a Mr. Palmer found a rich pocket of ore at point 1 on the enclosed map. He shipped a carload of high grade lead sulfate ore which was reported to con-tain 1.5 oz. of gold and 28 oz. of silver. In order to better develop the vein, the Nause tunnel was driven at point. The vein at this level is well defined, eight to eighteen feet wide with considerable barite but little values. This, however, encouraged driving another tunnel farther down the hill at point 3. Financial difficulties stopped this work several hundred feet short of the vein.
In 1913 Elwood M. Neff became interested in the property. He decided to attack the vein where it outcropped in Nelson Creek, thus minimizing the expensive crosscutting. An old tunnel, at point 4, crossed the strike of the vein in the wash and did not discover it. Mr. Neff opened the vein with tunnel 5 and in 1921 discovered sulfide ore but not in commercial quantities. In 1924 he leased to the Midwest Mining Company and the Colewood Tunnel, later called the Midwest, was driven at point 6. This tunnel cut the vein at 166 feet and followed it for 909 feet. Ore in small quantities was found all along this vein contained galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and anglesite. The vein is from five to fifteen feet wide with the breast assaying 2% lead and 2 oz silver. Rich pockets along the vein, however, showed 20% lead, 12 oz. in silver and small amounts of zinc, copper and gold.
It’s believed the adit of the Midwest Mine was started at least by 1911. Also known as the Colewood Tunnel, it was driven about 60 to 90 feet from 1920 to 1926, and the portal was by the site of the present-day ventilation shaft. For most of the 20s, the tunnel was owned by Elwood and Pearl Neff. The Midwest Mining Company, a company from Illinois, took over the Colewood Tunnel, and worked it the tunnel for more than 1,000′. Before they went out of business in 1929 they left about 5,000 tons of tailings and had driven the tunnel to be 1,100′ long.
By 1941, the mine was part of the Gateway claims, which was staked by E.J. Dabney and John Van Buskirk. During 1945 to 1958, the mine was owned by and operated by John Van Buskirk, Verne Miller, and Emmett Dabney. In 1950, an ore zone of 60′ above the tunnel on a 70 degree incline, and 700′ feet from the portal, was stoped. The ore wasn’t mined. The soft gouge vein was continually caved and removed. It’s reported that 50 tons of this material, the most mineralized rock extracted from the mine, was buried in the tailings between the ventilation shaft and the outhouse.
From 1958 to 1968, John Jackson owned and operated the mine. In ’68, two employees attempted to reopen the mine and found the New Midwest Mining Company, aka Gateway Access Corporation. During 1969, they did some exploratory mining and drove 176′ crosscut from the main 1,750′ tunnel. In 1970, exploration continued for another 1,000′. A rig was set up to drill 750′ long angled hole from the surface to test the vein 300′ below the surface, which revealed soft vein material that was difficult to recover. Another drill hole, 1,000′ deep, hit a breccia zone cemented with galena and sphalerite. During the exploration, core was extracted by Houston Oil and Minerals, CF&I, and Minerals Engineering Company. By 1972, a new adit with rails was driven by the Gateway Access Corporation for about 2,500′ and parallel the vein of the old adit for about 1,200′ with two crosscuts driven to intersect and test the vein. A lot of the waste rock from the new adit was used by the county as road fill material.
In the late ’70s, Houston Oil and Minerals did some further drilling about half a mile north of the portal. Between the late ’70s and 1998, Sutton Resources and Homestake Mining did assessment work at the site. By 1982, geophysics and drilling confirmed vein extensions and discovered additional, previously unknown veins. Sometime before the company dissolved 1998, Japhne and Company of Denver owned the Gateway claims, including the mine.
- National Bureau of Mines Surveys, 2014, Gold Rush Expeditions Historical Research Division, 2014.
- USGS DMEA – Docket 6771 – Midwest
- History, Geology, And Environmental Setting of Selected Mines near Creede, Rio Grande National Forest, Mineral County, Colorado
[learn_more caption=”Claim Rating”]
Accessibility and Location
8000+ linear feet of documented workings. This on multiple levels and not including stopes and raises. The bulkhead was closed in 1968-1969 and the mine was monitored from that point. There was dirt pushed into the entrance in 2004. This will need to be dug out before you can access the mine, but the mine has not been visited according to history since 1969.
There is a well documented history on this mine from its date of location to when it was last closed in the late 1960s.
Accessibility and Location
A steep, but well maintained road runs right to the claim. A 2WD vehicle will have no problem as long as the road is dry.
This is a gold mine, thats the primary mineral that has been mined and worked. Any silver or copper is ancillary.
All that you could need on the claim. There are intact buildings, a running stream. Plenty of timber and reclaimed wood. Highest Possible rating. With a notice of operation it would be possible to stay on site at the claim while you work it.
[learn_more caption=”Aerial View of Claim”]
Google Earth view of claim and boundaries.
[learn_more caption=”Quick Overview of the Claim”]
|Structures||3 buildings, 1 outhouse|
|Number of Mines||3 adits, 1 shaft. All require re-opening|
|Surrounding Mining Claims||Commodore, Last Chance, Amethyst|
|Resources||Small Stream, Wood|
|Elevation||10250 Feet above sea level|
Weather data from nearby city – Creede, Colorado
[learn_more caption=”The Mine”]
The main adit on the claim is the newer (1960s) Midwest Tunnel. The Midwest Tunnel was punched in to intercept just below the rich lodes that had been discovered in the early 1900s. Another miner had tried to clear the original workings in 1945, but was unsuccessful. These old workings are on the claim, but are collapsed but not from natural means. The Midwest was sunk to intercept these rich workings. And intercept they did, the records show the hit dead on the lode and worked samples out of some of the old workings. This is the primary adit of interest on the claim with a reported large steel bulkhead that kept intruders out since 1970s. The adit is backfilled with an estimated 15ft of dirt in front of the bulkhead. It would take very little work to reopen the mine. A few guys with shovels and a wheelbarrow could accomplish it. GRE is available to open the entrance for the new claim owner at a greatly discounted rate. Please inquire if you would like to make use of this service.
The historic sign denotes a minimum of 2500 ft. of workings, but historical documents indicate it is closer to 8000 ft. The mine was noted for silver deposits but also for significant gold in veins and faults. The claim owner should expect multiple levels, interconnected with winzes and many, many stopes.
There are some samples of pure native silver and stringer gold from the Midwest Mine at a rock shop in Denver. These were collected in 1968 by Colorado Fuel and Iron Corp. The site is on the historic loop road and anyone working the site should expect some tourist traffic.
The Midwest Mines:
There are many minor fault zones at Creede Camp that are mineralized to some degree. One of these faults lies between the Amethyst and Bulldog Lodes and strikes north across the ride between Nelson and West Will Creek. The Midwest Mine was punched in on this fault. The best description we have found is from the book “A silver town called Creede”, by Richard C. Huston. In it, he recounts the firsthand account, from John Jackson:
“Steve McDermott owned several claims northwest of the Midwest Tunnel that generated much interest after a kidney of high grade gold ore was discovered on the Edith Lode. It was only 10 tons, but it sparked the driving of the Knauss Tunnel at a lower level and eventually, entry of Midwest Mining Company under the direction of Elwood Neff in 1926. Midwest Mining Company drove a tunnel northwest from Nelson creek a distance of nearly a thousand feet with 900 feet on a vein structure composed mainly of marcasite and clays enclosing crushed lead, zinc and copper minerals in appreciable amounts, but not of productive grade. The mine folded in 1929.
In 1945, John Van Buskirk and Emmett Dabney relocated the Midwest claims using the name Gateway and spent several winters cleaning up caves, stockpiling better ores and driving 50 ft. of tunnel by hand on a stringer from the fault. In the 1950s, Emmett deeded his half to John, and John enlisted his son-in-law, Whitey Miller, a veteran miner, to help in trying to clean the former tunnel to its face. The soft, argillized structure had caved too badly and they were unsuccessful.
I bought the mine in 1958 and spent every available minute and dollar in another vain attempt to reach the face. In 1968, Allan and Clara Phipps offered to help and at the same time, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation formed a mining exploration company under direction of Les Wahl. I contacted Mr. Wahl and through his efforts, CF&I agreed to join us in a well-funded effort to drive a new tunnel 2500 ft., which would place the breast (end) of the tunnel approximately under the Edith Shaft of Steve McDermott’s early prospecting.
This was the culmination of a prospectors dream. A mineralized structure to follow, new equipment, and enough funding to see it through to a productive mine. The tunnel was 6 x 8 ft. with excellent ventilation, a Diesel Trammer and the latest mucking machine and drills. The crew consisted of Charles Steele, Mechanic and outer maintenance; Mike McClure, Jim Morrow, and Sid Samuels, miners; John Jackson, Manager; Clyde Mathews, Geologist; and Davis Engineering, claim staking and mapping. Pervious to our formation of Gateway Access Company-New Midwest Mining Company, I had started the tunnel and it was into solid rock for a concerted effort in 1969. My brother was killed in a mining accident in Homestake’s Bulldog Mountain operation in March 1969. He had joined me in all my ventures and his death greatly dampened my enthusiasm.
With a spirited crew we drove the tunnel to the initial goal at a cost of less than $28.00 per foot, approximately 1/3 of the estimated cost, but the elevation proved to be above the most favorable ore horizon. We encountered good values in two areas and had planned to sink on one, but Crane Company had taken control of CF&I and elected not to fund any additional exploration. The mine closed in 1971 with no production. Allan and Clara took their loss most graciously and our friendship strengthened over the years. I still have faith in Nelson Mountain.” (letter from John Jackson to Richard Huston, dated December 17th, 2000.)
|Mine Cut||Adits and shafts|
|Average Height X Width||Unknown|
|Total Depth||BLM noted 2,500,
Historical documents state 4000-5000 on 4 levels not including stopes
|Entrance||Backfilled with 15 feet of dirt.|
|Tailings||None – tailings have been removed.|
|Minerals Noted||Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc|
|Mine Age||103 years|
[learn_more caption=”Surveyor’s Observations”]
This is a beautiful claim that someone is bound to make a killing off of. The long hisoty of the mine and the massive workings have been overshadowed by the wasteful spending that removed the tailings from the site in 2004. Tailings that no doubt had hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold.
The interest in the site is with the substantial workings that are documented underground. There are roughly 8000-10000 linear feet of gold producing workings that have been defined. This is more than most any other mine in the area. Most of the other mines are collapsed, caved or verified as worked out. The Midwest on the other hand has documented reserves and likely a lot of machinery that is ready to be put back to work.
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. 2014
- Gold – Primary
- Silver – Primary
- Copper – Primary
- Zinc – Secondary
- Lead – Secondary
Comments on Mine/Production
This mine has the potential to make a lot of money for either a small operation working at high grading, or a larger corporation mucking out large sections of the mine. The mine has documented high grade, free-milling gold in quartz with pyrites, copper and other minerals. Historical surveys indicate that gold values are approximately 8 ounces to the ton with significant silver and copper values.
National Bureau of Mines Certified Surveyors. On site examination October 2013, June, 2014 and May, 2015.
[learn_more caption=”USGS information on the mine(s)”]
Disclaimer: This MRDS information is provided for reference only and does not represent the actual mine or the current state or mineral content or value. It should not be perceived as accurate or definitive. MRDS information should not be relied on as decision data, the MRDS system has not been updated in over 20 years. The US Bureau of Mines, who was responsible for mining site assessment was disbanded in 1994. USGS and MRDS information has not been updated in over 66 years.
Host rock unit name: Campbell Mtn. Member Of Bachelor Mtn. Rhyolite
Host rock type: Rhyolite
Associated rock unit name: Campbell Mtn. Member Of Bachelor Mtn. Rhyolite
Associated rock type: Rhyolite
Structural characteristics: “San Juan Volcanic Field; La Garita, Creede, And Bachelor Calderas”, “Isolated Fault Between Amethyst And Solomon-Holy Moses Fault Zones; Creede Graben”.
Ore body reported as 2.74 meters wide.
Commodities reported as Gold (Primary), Silver, Lead, Zinc (Tertiary).
S-T-R, LAT-LONG, AND ELEV DETERMINED FROM EMMONS AND LARSEN’S (1923) TOPO MAP (1:24,000). MINE OR CLAIM LIES ON NELSON CR. 0.75 ABOVE W. WILLOW CR. CONFLUENCE ; INFO FROM LAND.ST- (1976)
I. MRDS: Deposit 10166707 – D007943 (related 10087582)
COLO. DIV. MINES REPORTS AN OLD MIDWEST MINE ACTIVE IN 1923 ON MAMMOTH MTN. A 1950 INSP. REPORT SAYS GATEWAY MINE WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS MIDWEST BUT NOW LOCATED ON NELSON CR. 2 MILES ABOVE AMETHYST. POSSIBLY SHOULD BE CALLED NEW MIDWEST MINE. “OLD” MIDWEST REPORTED TO BE 2000 FT LONG. ; INFO.SRC : 1 PUB LIT; 2 UNPUB REPT.
[learn_more caption=”Claim Photos”]
Rail lines running out of the Midwest Tunnel.
Core sample building on claim.
A very targeted, and very inaccurate lesson on the history of the mine.
Rail leading out to where the dump pile use to be.
Core samples, still labelled and mostly in boxes.
Wood still in great shape.
Plenty of staging and working room on the claim.
Well maintained historic loop road passes through the area.
An old cabin, just off the claim.
Large tailings from the Original Midwest mine, on the claim as well!
Possible collapse of the original Midwest Mine.
Claim markers fully encompass all of the mines and workings.
A huge amount of tailings from the original Midwest.
View of the claim from the road.
Cabin and possible refining area at the original Midwest.
Looks a little more complicated than just a cabin.
Old relic from the 1920s mining era.
[learn_more caption=”Mining District Overview”]
Creede District Information
The Creede District has produced nearly 5 million tons of ore yielding over 84 million ounces of silver plus substantial amounts of lead, zinc, copper, and gold. In recent years, a number of environmental restoration projects have been completed by the EPA, State of Colorado, and the Willow Creede Reclamation Committee. Fortunately, these efforts have preserved as many of the historical mining buildings and other features as possible. The rise in the price of silver in late 2000’s has once again made Creede a target for mineral exploration.
The small mining town of Creede is located in scenic southwestern Colorado, just north of the Rio Grande River and east of the San Juan Mountains. Creede owes its existence to mining. It was established in 1892 after prospectors discovered spectacular silver deposits in the area. A colorful array of characters spent time in Creede including Bob Ford who killed Jesse James, gamblers “Poker” Alice Tubbs and Martha Jane “Calamity Jane” Burke, Marshall William “Bat” Masterson, and scoundrel Jefferson “Soapy” Smith.
The Rio Grande Valley provided access to the mining camps in the San Juan Mountains, including Silverton and Lake City. In 1883, the earliest discoveries in the Creede area took place at Sunnyside, a short distance west of present-day Creede. J. C. MacKenzie and H. M. Bennet located the Alpha claim. In 1884, James A. Wilson located the Bachelor claim, north of Creede. These discoveries met with little initial success. In 1889, Nicholas Creede and his partners located the Holy Moses claim along narrow East Willow Creek northeast of Creede. His additional discovery of the Solomon claim in 1890 formed the King Solomon District. The ore values at the Holy Moses Mine gained the interest and investment of Denver financier and industrialist David H. Moffat. More major discoveries were made in 1891 along West Willow Creek, north of Creede. J. C. MacKenzie and W. V. McGilliard located the Commodore claim. Theodore Renniger and Julius Haas, discovered the Last Chance claim. Nicholas Creede staked the Amethyst claim next to the Last Chance. George K. Smith and S. D. Coffin located the New York claim, a southern extension of the Last Chance. These discoveries, along with the Bachelor claim were all along the fabulous Amethyst vein.
Creede experienced a mining boom and the population swelled to 15,000. Many miners came from other San Juan mining camps including Silverton, Telluride, and Ouray. The town, then known as “Jimtown,” expanded outside the narrow canyons to its present location then known as South Creede. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was extended west from Wagon Wheel Gap to Creede in late-1891. The old and new parts of town were incorporated as Creede in 1892. By the end of 1892, the District was at its peak and had produced ore valued at over $4.2 million. The Amethyst and Last Chance Mines were the most important producers.
The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, the Panic of 1893, and associated drop in the silver price caused most mines to close and the population of Creede to decline. In the years that followed, mining had its ups and downs as the silver price fluctuated. In 1930 all mining ceased. In 1934, the mines reopened when the government pegged the price of silver. The Emperius Mining Company and Creede Mines controlled the district. In the 1950’s, the U. S. Geological Survey announced the potential of the Bulldog Mountain Fault as a mineralized vein system. In 1960, Manning Cox and Fred Baker staked claims along the projection of the fault. The Homestake Mining Company optioned the Bulldog Mountain properties in 1963 and began an extensive exploration program. Homestake’s Bulldog Mill began production in 1969. Other companies did exploration in the Creede District in the 1970’s but did not develop any additional production.
Mining History Association Organization website – Creede
|District Aliases||King Solomon|
|Noted Commodities||Gold, silver, lead, zinc|