Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bachelor Loop and Creede

Creede, CO, is the only town in Mineral County.  It has a year round population of about 300, but swells to several thousand during the summer with all the people who travel hear for the hiking, atving and wonderful scenery and climate.
The fire department is now located inside the mountain in a cave.  It is a constant 50 degrees.

This is at the end of Main Street, and it is also the start of the Bachelor Loop.

The Creede Hotel, now a Bed and Breakfast and restaurant, it was built back in the late 1800s.  Creede was a mining town, and the population swelled to over 10,000 after silver was discovered in 1891.

The Creede Reporatory Theator is known beyond Creede.  They have a professional cast come every summer and provide broadway quality plays.

The Amethyst Vein is the largest in the Creede area.  It runs 4-10 feet wide for several miles and consistently assayed at over 200 ounces a ton, which was considered quite good.  The Bachelor Loop is a 17 mile dirt road which allows you to see the many mines which worked this vein. 

At the start of the loop are the remains of the Humphrey Mill, built in 1901.  At its height in 1904 it employed over 1,000 men.

The Commodore Mine, one of the first in the area, made by John C. Mackenzie and several of his friends. Here they discovered the famous Amethyst Vein.  This is one of the greatest silver mines and was operated from 1891 to 1976.  It has almost 200 miles of tunnels and underground workings.

The Commodore Ore House and Chutes.  Ore was loaded on wagons and taken to the railroad where it was transported to distant mills.  The Commodore did not use the Humphrey Mine.

Weaver Town site, where at one time several hundred people called this home.  Weaver City is located at the base of the richest producing mines, The Amethyst and Last Chance mines.

Looking beyond Weaver Town site to the Amethyst Mine and up on top of the hill is the Last Chance Mine (which I will visit more later).  The Amethyst Mine had 12 levels and at one time they produced 1500 ounces of silver per ton.

What is left of the Midwest Mine.  Although a vein was never found, they did find high grade ore.   No ore was ever shipped from this mine, even though it operated from 1911-1970.
The Equity Mine is still in operation today, although it was only in operation on and off from 1912-1970.  I believe it has started up operation again just recently.  The Equity Mine reopened in 2011.

With this snowcat they are prepared for the winter weather.  I understand it can get down to 20 degrees below 0.  Way too cold for my taste.

Just a sign that fall is on its way, some Aspen leaves have already changed to gold.

Looking down on the mines below from up above.

At the site of the Last Chance Mine, you can browse through old mining equipment, look at the extensive rocks for sale, wonder at the beautiful rings and jewelry for sale, or even go dig your own ore (for $2 a bucket).

Bachelor Town Site.  During the 1890s this town was larger than the current town of Creede (which at that time was called Jimtown) and did 2/3 of all business of the area.  

This deer watched us, but wasn't concerned enough to move.

There is no denying the beauty of the area.  This is looking down on Creede.

The Bulldog Mine is new (compared to all the old mines we viewed).  It was built  in 1969 and uses all modern mining and milling technology.

Bob Ford is no longer buried here, but he was.  Bob Ford is known as the man who shot Jesse James in the back.  After he shot Jesse, he headed west to avoid revenge from Jesse's friends.  It worked for several years and Bob Ford became a wealthy man by supplying liquor, cigars to the miners.  He eventually opened a saloon and gambling hall.  But a friend of Jesse's, Ed O'Kelly, came into the area and was elected sheriff of Bachelor City.  He heard that Bob Ford was running a saloon in Creede and went to check it out.  Two months later he confronted Bob Ford and shot him.  Bob Ford was well liked and his friends gathered a lynch mob to hang O'Kelly.  O'Kelly was saved from the lynch mob, but was convicted of the murder of Bob Ford and spent 10 years in prison.  Several months after Bob's death and burial here, his widow had his remains returned to Missouri, his home.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

We attempted that loop when we visited Creede, but decided it wasn't meant for a Saturn. Thanks for showing us what we missed.