Rio Grande Southern Railroad Bridge 51-A
Forest Service Rd. 626, southeast of Hwy. 145, Ophir vicinity
State Register 5/14/1997, 5SM.2030.14
Constructed between 1910 and 1912, this 146-foot long wooden bridge is associated with the Rio Grande Southern Railway. Built on a sharp 24-degree curve, its engineering reflects the suitability of the narrow gauge lines in Colorado’s difficult mountainous terrain.
Rio Grande Southern Railroad Trout Lake Water Tank
National Register 8/21/2003, 5SM.2030.13
A rare surviving example of a once common structure in Colorado’s railroad landscape, the tank provided water to countless steam locomotives on the Ridgway to Rico division of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) from its construction in 1891 until the last RGS train ran the line in 1951. The tank was a very necessary stop, especially for trains that consumed a great deal of water while working in the area’s heavy snows and difficult terrain. The RGS constructed sixteen water tanks, at approximately ten-mile increments, along its 162-mile length to service locomotives. These tanks were of wood construction with conical roofs and a 50,000-gallon capacity that dispensed water by gravity through a goose neck delivery spout. After abandonment, all but three of the water tanks were removed, and Trout Lake is the best preserved. Listed under Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948 Multiple Property Submission.
Valley View Leasing & Mining Company Mill
National Register 2/24/2010, 5SM.6717
The 1920 Valley View Leasing and Mining Company Mill, commonly known as the Matterhorn Mill, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A in the area of industry at the local level of significance for its contribution to the 20th-century silver mining in Colorado's San Juan Mountains where it related directly to mining within San Bernardo Mountain. When constructed the Matterhorn Mill was a state-of-the-art flotation mill that utilized new technology to produce a higher grade concentrate than could be accomplished by the old-style stamp mill with concentration (shaker) tables. Matterhorn Mill remains as nearly complete an example of a concentration mill using the first generation of the flotation system extant in the American West. Matterhorn Mill is further eligible under Criterion C in the area of engineering at the local level of significance.
The mill is listed under the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form The Mining Industry in Colorado: Mining Technology, Methods, and Equipment in Colorado: 1858-2005, representing the Ore-Concentration Facility—Concentration Mill property type. (2009 photograph.) More information (PDF, 108 kb).
4553 County Rd. 60M, Placerville vicinity
State Register 8/14/2002, 5SM.2770
Long associated with the history of high country ranching on Wilson Mesa, the Schmid Ranch contains three distinct ranchsteads developed on five homestead parcels. The original 160 acre homestead dates from 1882. Over the years, the ranch functioned as an important hay producing, cattle, and dairy operation. The collection of buildings, dating from the 1880s to the 1970s, represents the vernacular nature of agricultural buildings, their evolution and growth through continued use, and the pattern of relocation to accommodate changing needs. In addition, many of the buildings illustrate a variety of log construction techniques. The ranch is the last intact example of the many agricultural operations that once covered the mesa. Due to increasing development pressures, members of the Schmid family have placed a conservation easement on the approximately 800 acre property. More information (PDF, 92 kb).
Fall Creek Tram at Primos Siding
Off Hwy. 145, west of Sawpit, Telluride vicinity
State Register 5/14/1997, 5SM.2847
Constructed in 1918 with some rebuilding in 1940, the tram is important as the last remaining structure from the vanadium mining industry that operated in the Lower San Miguel Mining District. The tram is one of very few surviving aerial tramways in the region. (1997 photograph.)
Uncompahgre National Forest, Telluride vicinity
National Register 3/30/2005, 5OR.1377 / 5SM.3805
Straddling the Ouray & San Miguel County lines near Telluride at an elevation of over 13,000 feet, Fort Peabody is associated with Colorado’s hard-rock labor strikes of 1903-04. A local Colorado National Guard unit constructed this redoubt in early 1904. Consisting of a small guardhouse, a flag mount, and what some characterized as a sniper’s nest, troops occupied the defensive fortification until martial law was revoked in June of that year. Built for a single purpose - to prevent members of the Western Federation of Miners, union sympathizers, and previously deported men from entering San Miguel County by way of Imogene Pass - the site illustrates how quickly and often illegally mine owner management gained control of local government and the Colorado National Guard to run roughshod over the legal, political, and economic rights of union members. The fort was named for then Governor James H. Peabody, who used the national guard to realize the anti-union objectives of the mine owners. The site tells the story of conquest, class, and the role of state government. It epitomizes the conflict between mine owners and the Western Federation of Miners, the questionable use of the national guard, and the discrimination faced by union members. (2004 photograph.)
National Register 5/6/2009, 5SM.4180
The 1910 Lewis Mill is a distinctive example of engineering and high country milling technology. At the time of its construction, the Lewis Mill was a state-of-the-art ore concentration mill. The Lewis Mill is the only transitional mill in Colorado that retains its original milling equipment. Additionally, the mill utilized technology developed by Robert H. Richards, a nationally recognized mining engineer from the Massachusetts School of Technology. The Lewis Mill contains the only remaining example of the Richards method of ore concentration in Colorado and is listed at the State level of significance. (2008 photograph.) More information (PDF, 7.47 MB).
For information about the State Historical Fund’s participation in the preservation of this property see the Project Snapshot.
Smuggler-Union Hydroelectric Power Plant / Bridal Veil Powerhouse
East of Telluride
National Register 12/27/1979, 5SM.751
Opened in 1907, the power plant is associated with the development of the Smuggler-Union Mining Company, one of Colorado’s most important producers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Telluride Historic District
Colo. Hwy. 145, roughly includes all the commercial and residential area as well as the Lone Tree Cemetery to the east
National Historic Landmark 7/4/1961, National Register 10/15/1966, Boundary Adjustments: 12/1/1976, 9/30/1988, 5SM.752
The district encompasses most of the original town and is significant for its association with the settlement of the western frontier and the development of metal mining. The architecture of its approximately 300 contributing buildings is representative of 19th century western mining "boom town" construction. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. (Miner's Union Hospital photograph.)
Vance Junction Coal Chute
Along railroad grade, north of Ilium, Telluride vicinity
State Register 5/14/1997, 5SM.951.8
The circa 1890 chute is associated with the Rio Grande Southern Railway’s narrow-gauge line that operated through the mountainous regions of southwestern Colorado. Once common along coal burning railroads, it is Colorado’s only remaining coaling chute on a narrow-gauge line. (2002 photograph.)