Gold has many uses. The special property of this mineral makes it perfect for manufacturing different products. Jewelry and investment bars/coins are perhaps the most common uses for gold. It is also used in electronics, computers, financial, dental, awards, financial, and so forth. Do you know where and how to get it? In the Argo Gold Mine and Mill located in Idaho Springs, Colorado, I found gold!
How did it begin?
It all started when George A. Jackson discovered the presence of gold in Colorado way back in 1859. Thousands of men flowed in Clear Creek Canyon and the gold rush had begun. The miners found the source of gold in the mountain and the hard rock lode mining started out. The digging of the tunnel began in 1893. They used drills, hammers, and dynamite to break the stones. They kept on digging, going as far as the total distance of 4.6 miles until the tunnel reached nearly the northwest corner of Central City. It was completed in 1910. To save time and money, a mill was built at the portal of the tunnel.
What are the challenges?
As the tunnel got deeper, the miners’ work became harder. A bucket containing a load of gold-bearing ore had to be lifted from the depth of one thousand feet or more. In addition to that, the deeper they went on, the more water they encountered. Inefficiency of the tools, as many believed, was one of the reasons why many mines stopped their operation in addition to flooding and difficulty lifting the loads of ore.
The tunnel was closed and the mill operation was shut, too. What used to be a busy and productive site was abandoned for years. Interestingly, James N. Maxwell bought it in February 1976. Restoration and preservation of the five-story mill was done. James did not restart its operation. Instead he opened it for everyone to appreciate the history of mining in Colorado and Clear Creek.
The lower level of the mill was converted into a museum where photographs, receipts, and payroll records of the mill, as well as the tools and equipment used for mining and milling were displayed.
Experience the feeling of being a miner without digging a tunnel in Argo Gold Mine and Mill today. You will have the hands-on understanding of the miners’ life. Admission rate is $15.00. Your guided tour starts from Argotown, where a public demonstration of rock drilling and crushing is featured. Then you will pass through the Double Eagle Gold Mine where you can see a real gold mine unchanged. Finally, you will do an actual mining activity. Guests will have a chance to get real gold or a gemstone by panning an ore sample and keeping your gold – free!