Preserving and Educating the Public About Gold Rush History Near Cripple Creek & Victor, Colorado.
The STCFG works with Newmont Cripple Creek & Victor mining and other private land owners to develop positive solutions to historic preservation, recreation, education and post-mining land use.Visit Newmont.com for more information about Newmont CC&V .
The processing mill, designed by S. A. Worcester of Victor, began operations in December of 1911. It was the first mill to use the Moore-Clancey process, which used a direct chemical method of processing ore instead of first concentrating the ores before applying chemicals. The mill had a capacity of 200 tons per day. The mill consisted of two parts - the crushing and sampling operation and the chemical treatment plant. The mill building no longer exists.
Judge E. A. Coburn
Judge E. A. Coburn not only owned the Ajax Mine, but was also president of the Gold King Mining Company in Poverty Gulch, vice president of the Strong Gold Mining Company, and founded the Coburn Automobile Company in 1906. That endeavor manufactured cars in Denver for five years before family strife closed the business.
The Aerial Tram
The ore and concentrates from the from the Ajax were transported via an aerial tram with overhead buckets from the mine to the Coburn Mill on Battle Mountain; later this mill, which no longer exists, also took ore from other properties in the area including the Strong Mine and was later operated as the Portland Mill. Wooden parts of the tram supports can be seen on the rock dump below this site.
Ajax Mine Overlook
The Ajax Overlook is closed until further notice as mining activities in the South Cresson pit are too close to ensure public safety. Please note the Battle Mountain Trail from the Independence to the original stopping point on the west end of the mountain will remain open. The overlook will reopen once it is deemed safe.
When open, the overlook allows for safe, close-up views of the headframe, hoist and change house. The views are superb. At the Independence Mine a re-creation of the Cresson Ore Sorting House demonstrates an important process in 1890’s gold mining.
In 2017 Newmont Mining Corporation created this overlook and historic interpretive site at the Ajax Mine. Newmont invested in the project to provide visitors with a safe access to the mine site and an exciting new overlook above Victor. The overlook provides vistas of the town as well as the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. The project also included the extension of the Battle Mountain Trail from the Independence Mine to this overlook.
This double drum counterbalance hoist was located here in the 1970s and is from a mine in Ontario, Canada. The hoist travels at 800 feet per minute and was used to lower men and tools to the depths of the mine and to bring them, as well as ore, out again. The cable from the hoist is wound around the sheave wheel at the top of the headframe and connected to the cage or skip. The Ajax had two shaft compartments and the double drum hoist made it possible to lower a cage or skip in one compartment while raising a cage or skip in the other. The large round metal attachments on the hoist to the left have indicator numbers for each level in the mine. As the hoist wound the rope down or up, the hoistman could control the level the cage carrying men or skip carrying ore.
The Change House or "Dry"
Many mining companies, large and small, provided buildings where the miners could remove their soiled working clothes, called diggers, shower, and put on clean, dry clothing before returning to their homes. Such a building is known by different names in different localities. At some places it is known as a bathhouse; locally it is called a dry house or “The Dry”; at numerous mines it is referred to as the change house. The wash and change house was a means to prevent high grading (miners often hid high grade ore in their clothing). Changing clothes before leaving the mine provided management with a means of searching the pockets and boots for high grade. But the Dry also provided better working conditions for miners who often had no running water at home; in later years it was a courtesy afforded to miners who appreciated the ability to remove diggers, wash up, and wear dry clothes on the trip home.
This steel headframe (some locals call these structures gallows frames) sits over the shaft of the mine and is the structural base for hoisting men and ore into and out of the mine. The deck up high supports the sheave wheels around which the hoist cable is wound and lowers and raises the cages and skips through the shaft compartments. This headframe is about 80 feet tall and came from the Pike View Coal Mine which was once operating in Colorado Springs. It was located here in 1959 to replace a wooden frame when the Golden Cycle Gold Corporation upgraded the mine operations.