Thursday, June 26, 2008

20 June 2008- Magnolia Mill, Colorado, Part 1

First expedition! This is what's left of Montgomery, Colorado. Located in the mouth of a valley approximately 20 miles south of the popular ski town of Breckenridge, Montgomery was created in early 1861 after gold was discovered nearby. As an honour to then-president Abraham Lincoln, miners from the area named a nearby peak Mount Lincoln, and presented a bar of gold to the President. By 1862, a sizeable town had sprung up with a peak population of over a thousand- but when the mines played out sometime around 1866, residents packed up and moved to nearby towns. Many of the buildings were moved to nearby Fairplay (10 miles south). In 1957, Montgomery Reservior was completed and the remains of the town were forever left underwater, leaving the sole survivor the Magnolia Mill. Sitting in a suspicicously photogenic location next to a cascading stream that eventually makes it's way into the resevoir that devoured the town where the miners once lived, the mill contains a well-preserved picture of industry in the mid nineteenth century. Inside are the remains of boilers, ore converyers and bins, some sort of Ball Mill, empty concrete mounts for what may have been a Stamp Mill or some sort of steam engine as well as the mill's old office on the top floor (with desks still there!). An enclosed walkway connects to a large ore chute and an aerial tramway which once transported raw ore to the mill. The tramway towers still stand and stout steel cables still run from the mill up several miles of rocky forest past several smaller digs to a ridge of nearly 13,000 feet- the highest mines were well above treeline.

Details- All pictures taken with Pentax K1000. Lenses used were 28mm with R2 filter and 50mm with Circular Polarizer filter. Film was Ilford HP5+/ASA-400. Light meter on camera set at ASA-200 to over-expose for higher contrast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wonderful photos! I actually met my first love while 4 wheeling on the trail, he didn't have enough clearance on his jeep, so we (my stepdad and I) offered him a lift up to the Lake, on the way back down, we stopped to check out the mine, and we shared our first kiss inside, and if I remember correctly, the 4th picture on your blog was the spot of that first kiss. Seeing these pictures brings back a bunch of happy memories!