Cripple Creek-Victor Mining District
This area today is being heavily mined by what is known as the Cresson surface mine. Because of this, the historical structures in the area are moved (the best they can) so where you find things one year might be different the next. This was very true on this trip as we found various things moved again…
After crossing 250-foot bridge over Arequa Gulch that was constructed by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company we head into the next section. We are expecting to stop to take photos on structure on the left side of the road but are surprised to see a Headframe on the right. After a bit of research, I determine it’s from the Golden Wedge Mine. This headframe was originally at 38.727941° N / 105.157534° W but it’s been moved to 38.724918° N / 105.167238° W now.
Beacon Hill Phonolite Plug
To our left we find the Nichol’s Mine as expected at 38.722430° N / 105.165642° W
Next down the valley is the El Paso Mine at 38.719252° N / 105.170454° W
Farther yet down the valley is the Mary Nevin Mine at 38.718397° N / 105.175245° W
As you continue on State Highway 67 we will reach a timber wall or cribbing on the right that supported the dump rock of the Mary MacKinney Mine. This cribbing was originally placed here to permit the passage of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad (F&CC) on what is now the highway. You can start to see how the current Cresson surface mine is pushing down hill into this area.
As we make the tight turn in the highway, this is where Anaconda, CO once stood and the railroad once also had a depot that is now in Cripple Creek used by the tourist railroad today. We will stop after making the curve in the highway where we can get more of a panoramic view of the changes that have occurred since we were last here.
As we look to our left down the highway we just passed over we can now clearly see why the Golden Wedge Mine Headframe was moved as the Cresson surface mine has pushed into that location now. We also note the old Blacksmith Shop building is missing (unknown status) and can barley make out where the old dept once stood now. What was once left of Anaconda’s ghost town is nearly gone now and what remains will be gone soon…
Rotating clockwise, the cribbing of the Mary MacKinney Mine is back in view of the camera again.
Rotating clockwise again, you can truly see between all these three photos the impact the Cresson surface mine is having now. It won’t be long and this entire area will be transformed.
Zooming in, I will also capture a closer view of the Chicken Hawk Mine at 38.726301° N / 105.163991° W. I wonder how much longer it will remain.
Here is a couple of Goggle Earth Images from 2001 and 2012 of the Cresson surface mine to show growth over ~10 years of mining operations. Anaconda, CO stood basically where you see the hairpin curve in the highway in the middle of these images