Thursday, May 24, 2018

Roper Sez: It's Alive! It's Alive!! | 4 Comments - Click Here :

What does this mean? I don't know yet. But the line through Dickey is open once again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Along the Blue" #31 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Table d'Hote on Snowbound Train
Served from Sample Cases of Packing House Agents. Another Rich Tale of Winter Travel on "High Line" of the C.&S.

Summit County Journal; March 20, 1909;
    Tales of adventure by the passengers on the Colorado & Southern train No. 71, which was blocked in the snow near Buffehr’s Siding on Wednesday night read like fiction, but E.W. Reeme, agent for the Western Packing Company, who was one of the victims, says that every word of it is true. Those who do not believe what he says are requested to ask George B. Christensen, the Armour agent about it. James L. Smith and Robert J. Clark, of the Leadville Light and Power Company, were also on the train and are prepared to verify his statements, relates Sunday’s Herald Democrat.

    “We left Kokomo Wednesday evening about forty minutes late,” said Reeme in telling his experiences yesterday. “It was then a warm spring day. The sun was shining brightly, and there was not a bit of wind. When we neared Robinson a strong wind came up. At Buffehr’s spur we found a freight train stuck in the snow, which had been blown across the tracks.

    “The passenger engines were cut loose to take the freight back to Kokomo. By the time they returned the snow was several feet deep. Half a mile east of Buffehr’s the engines were taken off to do some bucking. They bucked so hard that soon they were nearly a mile away from the rest of the train. By the time they were ready to get to the coaches, a ten-foot drift had been blown across the track between the engines and the cars. It was impossible for them to get through. There we were compelled to stay all night. It was cold and stormy, and the passenger had had little to eat. While no new snow was falling, the wind was picking up what lay on the ground and hurled it about the cars as if intended to wall us in so that we could never get out.”

    “There was no sleeping for any of us that night. We tried to keep up a fire in the little stove, but we had to hug up against it closely to keep warm. Fortunately there were no women nor children on the train, and we acquired considerable heat from the sulphurous talk that most of us put up in discussing our hard luck.”

    Here is the worst part in Reeme’s story, but he says it’s just as true as the rest of it. When the passengers got hungry, he and Christenson opened their sample cases of packing meat and distributed it among their fellow sufferers.

    By taking a sardine and wrapping a piece of chipped beef around it, they formed a first class sandwich, which went pretty good on an empty stomach. Some pickled tongue took the place of vegetables and they had smoked ham for dessert. After it was all over, someone ordered soup. Christensen opened a box of pork and beans, mixed it with gold water and served as good a dish of soup as any caterer ever set before his guest.

    On Thursday morning the passengers walked to Kokomo and got some breakfast. That afternoon they learned that the rotary was coming. The same evening, the rotary passed through, and later in the night came back with the passenger coaches and all but one of the engines. In rescuing the last engine, the fan of the plow was broken, and it was necessary to go back to Como for repairs.

    Friday morning prospects for getting home were no better, so Reeme and Christensen decided to walk. They bought two pairs of skis and started overland, following the general route of the railroad over most of the way.

    While their trip was not as dangerous as it might have been, they suffered more from sunburns than from anything else. They have felt no ill effects from eating the meat samples, and so far as they can learn none of the others passengers did, either.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jefferson General Store | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    Jeff Young - While the original Jefferson general store was lost to fire ca. 1929, a number of photographs exist of the front, including a nicely orthographic one from which to take measurements.

Jefferson store. Late 1800s.  Park County Archives

Jefferson store. Early 1900s.  Park County Archives

Jefferson store. Water tank is in background. 1926  Park County Archives

    Documentary evidence of the remaining sides is harder to obtain.  One long-distance photo exists of the 1929 Denver Water Board Special, which gives some clues to the North side, but the South and rear will have to remain conjectural.

Denver Water Board Special in Jefferson.  January 1929.  Denver Water Board

    We can surmise that the back included a loading dock of some sort, given its proximity to  the siding.  The Fairplay Flume reports on the 27 March, 1908 that “Merchant Lilley is unloading a 40,000-pound car of stock salt,” an operation large enough that we can assume a high volume of railroad shipments.
Further evidence appears on Feb 4, 1905, when the Flume reports on the sale of the store: “A fair estimate of the amount of money changing hands through this transfer is $10,000,” which is quite a sum in the early 20th Century.

    A few changes were made to the trim details in order to ease construction in HO scale.  Also shown in the following drawings are some Grandt Line and Tichy Train Group windows and doors which, with some modifications, can be made to closely match the prototype.

    Doors and window modifications.  Each pairing shows the original on the left (red rectangles indicate areas to be removed; yellow rectangles areas to be modified) and the results on the right.

    In the end I couldn’t make my peace with having a 6-pane transom over the front doors and a 5-pane over the rear, so I scratch-built my rear freight door and transom.

Alternate detail for scratch-building rear transom window.

Work in progress.

    A PDF containing high resolution versions of the elevation drawings can be found in the files section.  Happy modelling!

Jeff Young

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Garos General Store | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    Jeff Young - According to Virginia McConnell in Bayou Salado, the Garos General Store started life in Chubb’s Ranch (later called Newitt), and was moved to Garos in 1885 on two flat cars.  By the turn of the Century it was in the hands of A. S. Turner.

Early 1900s.  Park County Archives

    In the early 1930s, some of the walls were covered in wood shingles.  In the first picture, note the bundle of shingles leaning against the fence, an the tar-paper between the clapboard and shingles.  In the following pictures, note that the lower section of the false front was shingled, but not the side entry vestibule.

At the side of Turner’s store.  Park County Archives

Clara Lilley in Garos.  January 1935.  Park County Archives

Paul and Dorothy Strohmeyer with Turner store in background.  1930s.  Park County Archives

    While the building is currently in a rather forlorn state, I was able to measure it in the summer of 2016.

    A PDF containing high resolution versions of the elevation drawings can be found in the files section.
Happy modelling!
Jeff Young

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

IN ICTU OCULI - A Gilpin Tram Farewell | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Shay #3 at the enginehouse. BLE magazine 1903

    Keith Pashina - And in the blink of an eye, The Gilpin Railroad was gone!

    100 years ago this week, the Colorado & Southern Railroad sent a dispatch to the Gilpin Railroad on January 12, 1917,  and the Register-Call newspaper reported that it was
“ordering all the tram cars, engines, and the other equipment, to be in the roundhouse of the company, by Monday, the 15th… That date ends the control of the line by that company (the C&S), and the transfer of the line to Denver parties, who have bought the road, will be made later. Reports have bee in circulation that the new owners intend to operate the line if then can make it a paying proposition, and if the find to be a white elephant on their hands, the line will be scrapped, and sold as junk.”

    Unfortunately, the tramway could not be run profitably, and the Register-Call reported the $67,000 of company bonds had been sold to Radetsky Brothers of the Colorado Iron and Metal Company of Denver.

    After various legal proceedings, the final sale was made on June 2, 1917, to the Radetsky Brothers.  Thereafter, scrapping of the line proceeded. By October of that year, trackage had been ripped up back to Chase Gulch, and the final removals to the enginehouse completed a few weeks afterward.

    Only a few remnants of the Gilpin Tram survived. The three shays, numbers 3, 4, and 5, were sent to Radetsky’s Denver scrap yard potential sale. There they sat for many years, with no buyers, and were scrapped in 1938.

    Twenty of the Tram’s unique ore cars were purchased by the Iron City Mill, and used to transfer ore from a nearby loading point to the mill. Initially, these cars were hauled by horses, and later an internal combustion engine.

    Everything else – rolling stock, rail, and machinery were scrapped.

    The Gilpin Tram originally had a bright and prosperous start, when, on December 11, 1887, the first ore shipments were made. The Gilpin Tram was a technological marvel in its day, efficiently reaching many of the major producing mines and reducing shipping costs. The tramway allowed lower-grade ores, formerly not economical to mine, to now be extracted for their ore.

    This prosperous little railroad did not go unnoticed. The Colorado & Southern Railroad recognized the traffic that the tramway could feed them outbound ore and concentrates, and inbound coal and other supplies. Also, new railroad construction to the north (the Denver, Northwestern and Pacific) was threateningly close, and there was talk of building feeder lines north from Central City to reach this standard gauge line. This could not be allowed, and so on June 27, 1906, the Gilpin Tramway Company became wholly owned by the Colorado and Southern.

    But, the mining industry did not stand still. As the mines grew deeper, removal of subsurface water became more of a problem. Innovations in drilling appeared, too, and soon, haulage tunnels from Idaho Springs could be built to reach to bottom levels of many Gilpin County mines, draining the troublesome water, and hauling out the ore. Although many tunnels were started, it was the Newhouse Tunnel from Idaho Springs that reached the mines. Ongoing expansion by the Newhouse Tunnel was now taking over more and more ore haulage from the producing mines in the district. Already, the tunnel had tapped former major shippers on the tramway, such as the Frontenac, Aduddell, Saratoga, Old Town, and others, with more mines being reached each year.
As more mine shafts were linked up, less and less ore was hauled by the tramway. By 1914, former operating surpluses turned into losses. 1915 was no better, and 1916 even worse!

    The prospects for any future increase in traffic were none too good, either. By 1916, only the Polar Star Mill in Black Hawk was custom treating ores on a regular basis. What had started out as a European war in 1914 had ominously grown, and now seemingly engulfed the whole world. This impacted mining operations, too, and precious metal mining had dropped off precipitously in 1914.

    The handwriting was on the wall – the outlook was poor, and it was time to end operations. So, with very little notice, the Gilpin Tram faded away into history.

 Keith Pashina