Colorado Midland Railway Company.

The Cripple Creek gold fields, placers, lodes online

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THERE is but one short, sure, and comfortable way to get into the
Cripple Creek district, and that is by the Colorado Midland Rail-
way, from Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Leadville, Aspen, Salt Lake
City, Ogden, Pacific Coast, and any intermediate point east or west, The
Colorado Midland runs to Florissant, at which point it connects direct
with Hundley's Stage Line for Fremont, the center of the mining dis-
trict. (A new toll road will be completed in a very short time from
Hay den Station, on tho Colorado Midland Railway, ten miles east of
Florissant, and stages will start from there when the line is ready.)

There are two daily passenger trains each way, with connections at
Ogden, from California and North Pacific Coast points, and at Denver,
Colorado Springs and Pueblo, with all lines from the east. In addition,
local trains will soon be put on to take care of the intermediate traffic.

.The stage ride is but two and one-half hours from the railway, over
as good a mountain road as can be found in any part of the country.
Coupon tickets, either one way or round trip, are on sale at all ticket
offices in Colorado and Utah, direct to the camp.

All further information, relative to the district, can be obtained on
application to any agent of the Colorado Midland Railway Company, or


Passenger Agent, General Passenger Agent,




Description of tyc ffew Qold District. Tfye I^ictyest
Jtfost Extensive \r) ttye West.

f"^ RIPPLE CREEK, like many another spot known to fame and his-
^-^ lory, received its name from an event of importance. Some years
man attempted to cross the creek; his horse stumbled under him,
he was thrown and had his leg broken, and from that time the before
nameless stream has been known as "Cripple Creek." The name is
neither euphoneous nor beautiful, but it is, at least, distinctive, and has
at length secured prominent mention in the world's history, and a promi-
nent place on the map of the United States. Whatever the name
lacks in grace and beauty, the surroundings make ample compensation
for. Beautiful, grand, and impressive, as many of the parks of the
Rocky Mountains are, none excel that which holds in its wide embrace
the marvelous gold mining district which has been opened to the world
within the past few months. It is but a few short years that the fierce
amed the park at will and hunted the buffalo, deer, bear,
ami birds, then profuse in their abundance. Day after day these painted
ured the half raw lh*h of the game they slaughtered, and
stripped the pine trees for the primitive "hark soup," little dreaming
that i.eneath their feet lay untold millions of native gold. The sun
shone as brightly as it does to-day, and looked down with as kindly a
glance upon the towering hills and undulating valleys of the beautiful
park. The vast solitude was unbroken, save by the Indian and the na-
tive beasts and birds, until the more adventurous of the white men dip-

covered the rich and bountiful ranges, and began herding cattle in the
sheltered valleys. From the arrival of the first white man began the
search for the hidden gold, but it is only within a year that the pres-
ence of the yellow metal, in large quantities, has been positively demon-

Repeated trials have been made, during the last twenty years, to
find gold in this particular district, but so cunningly had the store-
house been concealed that even the most expert miners were deceived.
There are thousands who remember the mad rush to Mount Pisgah, in


April, 1885. It is true, that the supposed rich deposit of gold was
deposited there by human hands for speculative purposes; that the great
mine in the new El Dorado was " salted," but there was gold within so
short a distance of the place where this piece of knavery was practiced,
that it seems almost miraculous the mining district was not located at
the time. Many an old prospector has examined the outcroppings, and
one was even confident enough to run a tunnel into the hill directly
under the spot where one of the richest deposits has since been located,
but none succeeded in finding the gold.

This may seem strange; but if we take into consideration the fact
that the most expert miners have since been " fooled " by the ore of this

particular district, the wonder is accounted f..r. The gold ore was un-
like any other, and was deposited in so unusual a manner that no one
dreamed of looking at it for gold. In opening one of the mines, ore
that ran thousands of dollars to the ton was thrown upon the dump as
worthless. In order to explain how difficult it was to convince people
that gold really existed in large quantities in the Cripple Creek district,
and to give a brief history of its discovery, we append an article from
the Rocky Mountain News, of February 28th:

A way back in the sixties, when Hayden's party passed through
this region, it came pretty close to discovering this camp. A man named
Wood thought he saw promising indications on what is now Requa Creek,
and in 1874, he, with Messrs. Requa, Mc(iee, Brown, Coburn and Root,
came over and dug a shaft fifteen feet deep*, from which a tunnel was run.
Wood was the man with the money, and conceived an idea that the others
were not treating him fairly. The property was abandoned. Good
mines are now opened on Squaw gulch and Wilson creek, which are on
each side of Requa, and the men of 1874- might have done well had they
continued operations. After that, prospectors poked around the hills
from time to time, and it was a well known fact that colors of gold could
be found in almost any stream, but the right man and the right place
never came together.

"In 1879, one Calkins, working for W. W. Montelius,the Denver music
man, went to work on Poverty gulch and ran a tunnel in for some dis-
tance. It is there, caved in and dilapidated, and forms an object lesson
of fate, because it missed the mineral by about a hairs breadth. The
< i * ill I King is so short a distance above it, and to the right, that a stone
may be thrown down from one to the other. If Calkins had the favor
of fortune, Cripple Creek would have been opened thirteen years ago,
and he would have reaped great profit, because he had the place to

"The Pisgah excitement was another effort in the right direction,
though it missed the mark. Cripple Creek lies east of Mount Pisgah,
while the fields that came to nothing were west of it. Many of the dis-
appointed men who went out of that country on foot, cursing their luck
and the lack of Pullmans, wquld have done better had they turned to
the east and investigated.

"Uobert \Vomackwas the first man t>lind gold at Cripple Creek,
and. unlike the discoverer of Creede. is said to be out of the good things
that others found in his footsteps. Near the end of 1890, he found some
good looking stuff which he carried to Colorado Springs to interest capi

tal. The men with money had the Pisgah boom in mind, and took little
stock in his assertions. He finally induced F. F. Friesbee, Dr. Grannis,
and E. De La Vergne to have the ore assayed, and it ran over 200 ounces.
They came out to the camp January 24, 1891, and under the guidance of
George W. Kerr, an old timer, who still resides at Cripple Creek, prosper-
ous and happy, they took samples out of old prospect holes and from
the hillsides, which assayed from $6 to $250 They returned and took up
the El Dorado, after riding past the hill where the Blue Bell is located,
refusing to touch it. The El Dorado is northeast of. the town, close to


Cripple Creek and not very far from the Gold King. In partnership
with De La Vergne and Frisbee, were J. F. Seldomridge and Judge E.
A. Colburn. About the same time, Martin brothers took up claims on
Globe Hill, which lies north of Gold Hill.

"Just one year ago, yesterday, the Blue Bell was located by M. C.
Lankford, W. L. Spell, J. E. Handbury, George W. Carr and J. S. Lentz.
The first assay showed $43. Then the f ac*t that there was something in
the Cripple Creek district began to be told over the State and prospec-
tors began to make their way in rapidly. Colorado Springs, being first
on the ground, lost no time in getting on the inside, and the prominent
men of that city have large holdings. The belief is abroad in the camp
that they would have considerably more were it not for the reports


made by Professor Lamb, who was not favorably impressed by the

" During the past summer and fall, ground was taken up rapidly, the
value of the placer deposits attracted attention, and nothing but the
absence of shipments prevented the great rush which commenced in
the early part of December less than three months ago when it was
learned that ore was coming out and that there was at least some solid
backing for all the talk.

" The real history of the camp is thus but a matter of days. The
next six months will add volumes to it.

"Cripple Creek has many odd features besides those under the
ground. Snow doesn't lie deep. The last week past the gulches and
hills around the town were practically bare. On the east side of the
ridge, there was probably three times as much, though only a couple of
miles away. Even there it was not deep. At night, fires may be seen
flaring up in the distance. There is no occasion to become alarmed.
They are merely the bonfires of industrious prospectors, who wish to
keep the ground thawed out so they can work next day.

"A couple of saloons boast of drawing cards in the form of pictures,
which would cause Anthony Comstock to expire on the spot. Of
another class, was the artist who constructed a water color effort which
is much admired in the headquarters of one of the. assayers. It has the
virtuous appearance of a study in whitewash, but it is labeled 'Michael
Angels, price $8,000.' . At .the same place, is a queer gnarled rootr
mounted with ten-penny nails, which the tenderfoot is solemnly told is a
petrified chicken."

The Cripple Creek mining district is practically in the Pike's Peak
district, lying in the basin and range of parks between Pike's Peak and
Mount Pisgah, ten miles southwest of the former, and three miles south
by east from the latter. As the crow would fly (provided there were any),
the district is distant from Denver seventy miles; from Colorado Springs
twenty miles, and from Pueblo forty-four miles, but so difficult is it
to cross the mountains, that the actual distances to be traversed be-
tween these places and the district are much greater. The only feasible
route is by rail from Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, via the
Colorado Midland Railway to Florissant, and thence by stage to Fremont,
the wonderful town of this most wonderful gold district.

The mineral belt included in the district is about eight by twelve
miles in extent, including township fifteen south, in ranges sixty-nine
and seventy west; sections one to six to township sixteen south, and

range sixty nine west, and the same sections in township sixteen south,
ami range seventx west. This gives 8. lerritory of nearly ..IK- hundred
square miles; and when the snow is off the ground in the out-lying dis
tricte, the boundaries will be extended considerably, The district con-
sists of a series of beautiful natural parks, with a mean altitude of ( .i.:>m
feet aln\v sea level, sheltered on the east by the Pike's Peak range,
and on the west by the Sangre de Christo. So well is it guarded against
the cold winds and heavy snows, that it is warmer by tifte.-n degrees than
the llayden Divide, a thousand feet lower down. The snow does not
remain on the ground any length of time. Tor the warm air of the basil.

and the bright sunshine soon cause it to disappear. The cattle graze all
winter without diMieulty, and even in midwinter iheiv are glimpses
<>f green valleys and wooded hillsides. The mountains are smooth,
rounded and softly outlined, wooded to the top. and springing up from
rich. grassy valleys. Mourt Pisgah, ten thousand four hundred feet above
'vel. stands sentry over the district and looks directly upon the
snow crowned head of Pike's Peak, thirteen miles distant.

It would be di Micu It to conceive !' a lovelier and grander sp. >t . The
IJoeky Mountains, usually rugged and stern looking, are here smoothed
vith grassy plains and gently rolling hillsides and valleys. The
bare and jagged rocks, so common in the mountain districts, ha\
come covered with soil, and trees and grass spring gently over their
rugged forms. Tor untold ages, the wind and water have worn the hills


down until they roll with a prairie-like evenness. No landscape gardener
could design a more beautiful park than nature has here completed.

Notwithstanding its proximity to the larger cities of the State,
Cripple Creek's first settlers had no easy time of it. There was scarcely
the semblance of a road into the district, and it required two days to
haul into the camp a wagon load of supplies, where now double the
quantity can be brought in in a few hours. To Mr. Peter Hettic be-
longs the distinction of having established the first store in Cripple
Creek. The now prosperous and comfortably-situated merchant still
" does business at the old stand," and laughs as he tells of his first expe-
riences. In May, 1891, he put up a tent and stocked it with goods, and
by the 7th of July he had erected and moved into the log store-house
he still occupies. At first, there was no money in the camp, and the good
old custom of trading supplies for gold was in vogue. Many an ounce
of " dust " has gone into the pioneer merchant's hands in exchange for
the necessaries of life. The first stock of goods consisted of a barrel of
bottled beer, five gallons of unclassified whiskey, five or six pounds of
tobacco, crackers, cheese," bacon, and some dried beans. The first order
sent to Denver, after the business had been established, amounted to the
munificent sum of $25, and was considered a long invoice at that. These
pioneers were not so comfortably housed and fed as people might imagine,
and their " grub stakes" often consisted of very short commons. Space
forbids the detailing of many humorous and pathetic occurrences inci-
dent to a mining camp. The first comers had many difficulties to over-
come and many privations to contend with; but they " made their stake,"
and are correspondingly happy. Those coming in now have the comforts
and conveniences of the larger places, and the town of Fremont is quite
metropolitan in its character. Fremont has had a wonderful growth
and bids fair to become a most important town, aside from its distinc-
tion as the central point of the greatest gold-mining district of the age.

The town has two newspapers, the Crusher, the pioneer sheet, and
the Prospector, established a short time after. A very few weeks more
and one of the above papers will appear as a daily.


This is the only bank in the camp. It is a private institution, and
has a number of first-class men connected with it. It is in charge of
J. M. Parker, a gentleman well fitted to run the business. The bank
has ample capital to handle the business of the camp.


UPON a series of easy-rolling mounds, shut in and sheltered by min-
eral-bearing mountains on the north and east, lies the thriving
settlement of Fremont. It is principally located upon the Hayden Placer,
taken up in the spring of 1891, which has been extensively worked as
a placer claim, yielding rich returns, until, on account of its favorable
situation, the encroachments of settlers compelled the locators to plat


,and dispose of a portion of the ground for town purposes. As new
discoveries of mineral were made in the vicinity, miners' cabins were
hastily erected, stores were opened, a postoffice established, churches
built, until now a city stands marking the enterprise of man, inspired
by the prospect of acquiring a share <>f nature's hidden wealth.

The present structures are now becoming quite pretentious, and in
spite of the obstacles to bo overcome in getting material into the camp,
buildings, for trade and residence, that would he a credit to any cit -
being erected, overshadowing in their massive proportions the primitive
huts that were the homes of the early prospectors.

Here is the postoffice; opposite is the Hank of Cripple Creek, tho
telegraph and express offices. On all sides aro stores, carrying immense


stocks of merchandise, freely interspersed with hotels, restaurants, and
lodging-houses, affording every accommodation for residents and so-
journers. Upon this tract, a magnificent hotel, of one hundred and
twenty-five rooms, is under way, from whose broad verandas may be
seen the sun-kindled peaks of the Sangre de Christo range to the south-
west, while within may be found luxuriously-furnished apartments, with
such urban features as electric bells, electric lights, open fire-places, and
every facility for comfort.

From the north, leading into Bison street, comes the new road from
Hayden Divide, along which runs the telegraph and telephone wires.

Here, too, will be the terminus of the extension of the Bear Creek
toll road, which will give direct and easy communication with Colorado

Water will be furnished by a pipe-line, carrying the pure water of
Beaver Creek through the streets of the Hayden Placer, thus meeting
what has heretofore been the great want of the camp. The Hayden
Placer Company still have lots for sale, at reasonable rates, in their
rich and beautiful tract, where all these improvements are located; out
of which, in the intervals of other occupations, the thrifty purchaser
may wash out the glittering, golden nuggets that abound in the soil.
The Company have reserved a large portion of the tract, not yet en-
croached upon by buildings, for placer work, which they propose to
conduct on a large scale. For further particulars and prices, address
J. M. Parker, at Fremont, or the officers of the Company, at Colorado
Springs, as follows: F. W. Howbert, President; H. C. McCreery, Vice
President; S. H. Kinsley, Secretary; and J. C. Plumb, Treasurer.

Report of Prof. Geo. H. Stone upon The Hayden


THE geological structure of the region in question is as follows: This
placer is situated in the midst of a volcanic region, containing
numerous cones, ridges, and dikes of volcanic origin. The central mass
of the cones consists of lava, but the flanks of the cones and ridges are
covered with a considerable thickness of volcanic conglomerate, or tufa,
composed of the mixed blocks, stones, cinders and dust blown out of
the craters, and which, falling on the lower slopes of the mountains, were
subsequently more or less cemented or consolidated into rock. The


tufa has often weathered into a loose mass of no longer cemented gravel.
and thus erodes easily. The result is, that the valleys* and gulches of
the region contain deep sheets of volcanic gravel i. e., fragments of
disintegrated tufa, mixed with more or less wash from the higher lava
masses, or the bodies of granite which here and there protrude through
the volcanic rock.

Beneath the drifted or washed gravel is usually found, at a
of ten to forty feet, remains of the original sheet of volcanic tufa. This
forms a more or less continuous sheet, and, technically, may be consid<
as fragmental rock in place. It is rather easily dug, and practically

forms the bed-rock of the placer mines, since the gold settled down
through the more porous surface wash, and is most abundant on the
top, or in the upper layers of the tufa. The tract in question is thus
clearly shown to have the proper structure of placers.

Several trenches and shafts have been dug on the property. I have
panned gravel in all of these workings, and always found colors and
black sand, and the richer layers gave thirty to seventy-five colors of
granular gold per pan. The ground is undoubtedly placer.

The elevation of the place is about 9,300 feet, which is above the
elevation of general agriculture. The land comprised in this location is
too uneven, and the gulches \ . to enable the land to be easily


or profitably irrigated. The local supply of water is inadequate for
irrigation, and the land is not worth bringing in irrigation water for
from abroad. Practically, the land is valuable only for grazing and for
placers. It is highly probable the pannings at the various workings
fairly represent the ground. If this be so, the land is much more useful
for its mineral than as grazing land. In my opinion it is so.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 19th day of February, 1892.

The Cripple Creek Consolidated Mining Co.

Of Colorado Springs, was among the first companies to organize for the
purpose of assisting in the development of the new and promising gold
fields of Cripple Creek. The Company is made up of some of the most
careful and conservative business men of Colorado Springs, who can
command sufficient capital to carry out any legitimate enterprise they
may engage in. This Company now owns and controls a large number
of the most desirable mining properties in the district, on which thorough
development work is being pushed. This Company is capitalized for
$2,000,000. Two million shares, par value $1. Stock not assessable. A
limited number of the shares of the stock of this Company, just placed
on sale at ten cents per share, is being rapidly absorbed. The Directors
of the Company are: Jos. F. Humphrey, President, John G. Shields,
Vice President; F. W. Howbert, Second Vice President; H. S. Ervay,
Treasurer; George Macklin, Secretary; Louis R. Ehrich, J. L. Marston,
D. I. Christopher, H.C. McCreery. Principal office of the Company is at
112 Pike's Peak avenue, Colorado Springs, Colo.


The above firm are real estate, loan, and insurance agents, and
notary public; also, agents for real estate, consisting of choice improved
und unimproved property, vacant lots, selected acreage, garden tracts,
Cultivated farms, and fine irrigated ranches; also, loan money on good
security, and write insurance in reliable companies, at low rates. Min-
ing stocks bought and sold. Address, Room 11, Bank Building, Colo-
rado Springs.




HUNDLEY'S STAGE LINE of mountain climbers and original Con-
cord coaches carries the passenger from Florissant, on his arrival
there, to the mining camp, twenty miles away. This is the official line
of the Midland, and owned by one of the Company, who originated and
planned the beautiful carriage drive, now so famous, to the summit of
old colossal Pike's Peak. The drive to the camp passes through some
of the most pleasant valleys, skirting mountains that rise to far-reaching
heights, and down gentle slopes, along which the coaches swiftly roll
behind a team of ix well-trained horses, urged by drivers of rare cour-
age and experience. April first will see this popular stage line on the
new toll road, which leaves the Midland at Hayden's Divide, thus mak-
ing the shortest line to Fremont by fifteen miles, and reducing the time
about one hour and thirty minutes, which will then seem to the traveler
as a pleasant trip, capped by a beautiful mountain drive, most of the
way in full view of famous "Pike's Peak." In purchasing tickets, ask
for through tickets by the Midland Railroad and Hundley Stage Line,
thus securing a seat and avoiding the rush on the arrival of the train.

Genuine Mine Interests, Cheap.

T. B. Pyles, editor of the Beacon, at Florissant, Colorado, one of the
first prospectors in the camp, has extensive interests; and instead of
stocking his mines, offers half, quarter, or smaller interests, for sale at a
small advance over first cost. The Beacon lode, a 150-foot vein of $25
ore, is one of his. All will be developed to pay-dirt. Mr. Pyles offers a
good opportunity to all who wish to obtain real interests at low figures.


THE present proprietors of the Continental Hotel have in the course
of construction, and will soon occupy, the big, new hotel, which
will be known as the Clarendon. Mr. Wolfe, the genial host of the Con-
tinental, will be in charge, and will make his guests more comfortable
tli a u ever. The new building will be three stories, fronting 100
west by 125 feet south, and 125 feet deep. The location is the most

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Online LibraryColorado Midland Railway CompanyThe Cripple Creek gold fields, placers, lodes → online text (page 1 of 3)