Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Last Chance Mine

At the beginning of the week I decided to take the horse camp girls (and counselors) on a little adventure to the Last Chance Mine.  This mine is located on, basically, the side of a mountain.  The road up to the mine is fairly steep and somewhat challenging, but I still love going up there. Part of the reason is because of the history that surrounds the Last Chance in Cornucopia. From what I've understood the Last Chance Mine was discovered on June 10, 1885 by John Carey and E. P. Howard.
Last Chance Mine (Note how the buildings sit in "levels.")

Local history sites state that, "A steep and narrow road to the Last Chance was carved out of sheer cliffs by hand labor and blasting before the turn of the century. When the road was finished it was used to bring in lumber to build mine buildings that were designed around a narrow out-cropping so that winter snows, ranging up to twenty feet deep, could slide off re-enforced roofs on either side ("

In several history books and on different websites there is a notable picture that shows a four-mule team heading down the Last Chance Mine Road (taken in 1915). Interestingly enough, that tree is still there. Incredible, no? So, with a little help from Photoshop, I created this side by side comparison. The photo with the wagon team is circa 1915 and the photo on the right was taken on July 30, 2012. 

After passing by this tree the road to the last chance is essentially gone. It now resembles a game path on the side of a cliff.  Thankfully, I have been out to the mine before and didn't have a problem finding my way back.

It was fun to spend time out there and I got some great photos!

Scout and I on top of the Last Chance tailings pile.

Collapsed Lawrence Tunnel: Portal Elevation 6,910 ft.

Collapsed building.
Bed Springs at the Last Chance Mine
Artifacts found at the Last Chance Mine. Some included
doorknobs, utensils, files, and stove parts.
Indian Paint Brush grown over old mine cart tracks.

1 comment: