Mines and Mining Museums
I Have Visited

by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Argo Gold Mill Complex
Idaho Springs, Colorado (303) 567 2421
The Argo is one of the more famous stamp mills in Colorado. The tour is largely self-guided. One can wander freely around the stamp mill. There is also a hard rock mine called the Double Eagle in the Argo complex. The Double Eagle mine is a short tunnel higher up the mountain. Not much is there beyond the tunnel. Unfortunately, not much was there for the miners in the 1890s either.

Edgar Mine
Colorado Avenue & 8th Street
Idaho Springs, Colorado
(303) 567 2421
This mine is used as an underground classroom for students of the Colorado School of Mines. The students give the mine tours. This is a modern mine and one gets to see how mining techniques have evolved over the years. The mine tourguides are not professionals, but I found this tour to be very educational. I recommend it for those interested in seeing state-of-the-art mining techniques.

Lebanon Mine
c/o Georgetown Loop Railroad
1106 Rose Street
Georgetown, Colorado
(303) 569 2403
This is an excellent mine tour. To get to it one has to take one of the special railroad tours of the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Not every railroad tour stops at the mine. Be sure and get one that does. These railroad tours fill up quickly. Reservations are recommended. The tour is one of the most thorough I have ever experienced. This is a "don't miss" mine.

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
P.O. Box 339
Cripple Creek,Colorado 80813
(719) 689 2466
This mine is at the eastern end of Cripple Creek. It opens for tours at 9:00 am. The neat thing about this tour is that you get to descend several hundred feet in a "skip," just as miners would have in the 1890s. A skip is the miners' cage used to transport the miners down to whichever level they were working. The tour itself is very educational. You are underground about 35 to 40 minutes. I highly recommend this tour.

National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum
120 W. 9th Street
Leadville, Colorado
(719) 486 1229
This museum is located in a former Victorian school building at the western edge of Leadville. The museum has self-guided tours. Good examples of mining artifacts are present. This place has the atmosphere of a museum, as opposed to a mine, even though there is a small mock-up of a mining tunnel.

Worth a visit.

Phoenix Mine
P.O. Box 3236
Idaho Springs, Colorado 80452
(303) 567 0422
The Phoenix mine is a working gold mine just west of Idaho Springs. The mine is worked primarily by college students majoring in mining. The tour is good and gives one a view of what it is like to run a mine in the 1990s. Cost of the tour in 1995 was $7.00.

Powder Cache Antiques
612 6th Street
Georgetown, Colorado
(303) 569 2727
I love this place. It qualifies as a museum because owner Leo Stambaugh devotes part of the store to his private collection of mining antiques. But the rest of the store contains every type of mining paraphernalia. All for sale. There may be few bargain prices here, but prices are not out of line, either. And the selection is outstanding. I never pass up a chance to visit Georgetown and I never fail to stop at Powder Cache Antiques when I get there. Time well spent.

Western Museum of Mining
1025 North Gate Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921
(719) 488 0880
This is a great mining museum. Guided tours are offered that cover all aspects of mining. Mock-ups of mine tunnels, a working assay office and a gift shop are located in the main museum.

Outside, one will find ore carts, steam donkeys and a large stamp mill, which is available as a self-guided tour. I always enjoy this museum, and I seem to learn something new each visit. Admission in 1995 was $4.00.

Last revised August 28, 1996

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