Friday, October 2, 2015

Operational Stamp Mills in the USA (update 9/2016)





Existing Operable Stamp Mills (update 9/2016)

NOTE: I have updated this Post with the 16th Operable stamp mill in the USA, as of September 23, 2016
I have put together a listing of operable stamp mills that I have physically seen or viewed videos of each mill in operation at various locations in the United States. There are some stamp mills that claim that their stamp mill is operable and runs, but it seems that is a relative term. They may only have one stamp engaged and manually pull the drive belt and the stamp drops. I do not consider that an “Operable or Running” stamp mill.

I have set some guidelines to determine if the stamp mill actually operates. The following are the requirements that I see that separates the static non-operating mills from operable mills:
Driver The stamp mill must be driven by some type of drive mechanism. There is not required speed, but it must make the stamps drop and reset through the action of the cams. You may only operate the mill at 10 rpm, but as long as the stamps move this is the important result.
Mortar Box Feed The mill can be fed manually or by some sort of mechanized feeder. Originally none of the stamp mills had automated feeders.
Material Processing There needs to be a mechanism to get the material out of the mortar box. This is generally water, but there were some dry processes where the material is driven out of the mortar box. This process should separate the concentrates through a sluice, shaker or mechanical panning.
Some mills that I have observed partially demonstrate attributes, but they don’t make the mark. Even though they do not make the mark it should be recognized that the owners of those mills spent a lot of time and effort to get as far as they did with the restoration. There may be just a few actions for these mills to get into the category of operable. I will continue to search for mills that show the above characteristics. 

The following (16) stamp mills, I feel, make the mark with operability:




ARIZONA STAMP MILLS






Castle Dome 3-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Castle Dome Mines Museum in Castle Dome, Arizona. The 3-mill mill was recently restored back to operation. The mill came from the Yuma area. Most of the artifacts on display in Castle Dome Mines Museum were pulled from the surrounding 300 mine shafts that were gouged into the landscape. The mines were originally a silver mines and during World War II they produced large amounts of lead for the war effort.
Other Equipment on Site Allen and Stephanie Armstrong bought remnants of a town in the mid-1990s, moved it to a remote spot northeast of the Yuma Proving Grounds, then restored/created replicas of 23 buildings and loaded them with artifacts from the region's mining days.
Dates of Operation Call for hours of operation and let them know you want to see the stamp mill run.
Contact Information Phone 928-930-3062 Email castledomemuseum01@gmail.com,   Website http://www.castledomemuseum.com
Location The town is located on US Hwy 95, north of Yuma, AZ. It is 32 mi. north of Yuma on US Hwy 95, milepost 55, then NE for 10 miles 2 paved/8 gravel.






Cossack Millsite 20-Stamp Mill

The stamp mill is located at the Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction. The mill has an interesting history, in that, it has been moved from its original location in Bland, New Mexico to Goldfield, Arizona and then to its present location at the Superstition Mountain Museum. This was quite a job to disassemble and move and reassemble the twenty stamps and four mortar boxes. One of the four batteries are operational on this mill. The other three are static displays. The stamp mill is fed by a jaw crusher that supplies a skip that takes the ore and dumps it into the feeder that feeds it into the mortar box.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There are a number of displays to see at the museum including some original movie set buildings with significant historical value and many other mining artifacts.
Dates of Operation The stamp mill will be run once a month for visitors at the museum. You can contact the museum at 480-983-4888 for the specific run times.
Contact Information  For hours and directions, call 480-983-4888 visit on the Web at http://www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org or Email  smhsmuseum@aol.com

Location The museum is located on 4087 N. Apache Trail, Highway 88, Apache Junction, Arizona 85119. You take Route 88 North Apache Junction Trail about 4 miles north out of Apache Junction to the white church Steeple on the right. You can see the 20-stamp mill in back of the museum at the base of the Superstition Mountains.
 





Golden Reef Mine 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Cave Creek Museum, Cave Creek, Arizona. The mill was restored back to operation in November 2013 and continues to run. The mill is run by a 4 cylinder gasoline engine and has automatic feeders that delivers the material to the mortar box. It has sluice tables to separate the gold from the concentrates and a shaker table that further separates the gold from the concentrates. This process uses gold bearing ores.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There is a primary ore crusher that crushes the ore from the mine down to less than 2” in diameter. We are also working on reconstructing a tramway that was used to get ore from the mine to the mill in the early days.
Dates of Operation The mill runs the second weekend of each month from October through May each year. You should check first for the specific run days and run times by calling 480-488-2764, Email info@cavecreekmuseum.com  or website www.cavecreekmuseum.org
Contact Information The museum is closed during summer months (June through September). You can contact the museum by phone 480-488-2764,
Location The museum is located on 6140 E Skyline Drive. To get there you proceed north on Cave Creek Road for about 2.2 Miles to Skyline drive. Proceed on Skyline Drive for 0.4 mile and take a left on Basin Road and it is just on the left.







Swallow Mine 5-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum, 1502 W. Washington, in Phoenix, Arizona. This mill demonstrates all of the attributes of an operable stamp mill.  This mill was restored back to operation in late 2003 and has been running until the museum was closed on April 30, 2011. The mill is run by a 15 Hp electric motor through a jackshaft that reduces the rotational speed from 1730 RPM down to about 60 RPM. The mill has an automatic feeder that is fed by an ore bin. It has a water fed sluice table that collects the concentrates that are further classified by a 1940’s Goldwheel. Concentrates can also be reduced in a small Wifley table. This process uses gold bearing ores.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs The outside exhibits include an operable jaw crusher, Gardner Denver Mucker, a Goldwheel, a small Wilfey table and an incline with an incline or cart.
Dates of Operation The stamp mill and other outside equipment was run monthly when the museum was open. It will not officially run again until the museum re-opens.
Contact Information MUSEUM PRESENTLY CLOSED There is presently no outside contact information for this museum. The museum has been closed since and there is not schedule for reopening the museum. The equipment is being maintained by volunteers that periodically exercise the outside running equipment. The mill is being maintained operable even though the museum is closed.
Location The museum is located on 1502 W Washington Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona.






Taylor Mountain Millsite 2 & 3-Stamp Mills
The stamp mills are located at Taylor Mountain north of Dolan Springs, Arizona. This is a private millsite and is operated by Bob Taylor, a very seasoned miner. There are two operational stamp mills that crush ore down to the consistency of sand and then passed on to shaker tables to extract the gold from the ore. The site was established in the 1990’s and continues to operate. A lot of his equipment is “homemade”, just like the old miners did it. He is definitely from the “old school” of mining.  An example is a shaker table that he designed and fabricated that has a Plexiglas deck. This is not standard, but he wanted to see his concentrates separation and the light shining under the table shows the separation of the black sand, the pink barite and the stringers of gold.
Other Equipment on Site There is a tremendous amount of mining equipment, many items made right on the millsite, including Murphy Spirals, jaw crushers, plunge drilling equipment and single cylinder engines that operate.
Dates of Operation N/A
Contact Information N/A
Location The millsite is in the Taylor Mountains north of Dolan Springs.





CALIFORNIA STAMP MILLS
American Boy Mine 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association, Goffs, California. This mill was restored to operation in 2012 and continues to run on various occasions. The mill is run by a 30 Hp diesel engine and has automatic feeders that delivers the material to the mortar box. It has sluice tables to separate the gold from the concentrates. This process uses gold bearing ores.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There is one other stamp mill on site that is operable as well as a Gibson Gyratory Crusher that is going to be restored back to operations.
Dates of Operation This mill is run at least two times per year during the Spring Encampment and the Fall Rendezvous.
Contact Information The association is closed during summer months and if you want to visit in the fall, winter or spring you should contact the museum directly at 760-733-4482 or by Email heb92232@gmail.com or on their website at www.MDHCA.org.
Location Goffs is located on 37198 Lanfair Road. To get there you should take I-40 west from Needles 17 miles to Exit 133, US 95 Searchlight and travel 6 miles North on US 95 to Goffs road, just before the tracks and take a left and travel 14 ½  miles to Goffs.







Golden Key Mine 5-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Mariposa Historical Society, Mariposa, California. The mill was moved to the museum and restored in 1974. The mill runs and has a feeder, but is manually fed and the materials flows out onto the sluice table that can be panned out.
NOTE: This is the stamp mill that I originally trained on to become a “Millman”
Other Equipment on Site There is another 2-stamp mill being restored, a 10-stamp in pieces and a 15,000 Pound Chilean Mill that is a static display. There is also many mining artifacts on the grounds.
Hours of Operation Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Daily - Year Around
Contact Information The stamp mill is frequently run for tour groups. For more information on run times you should call (209) 966-2924 or the internet at www.mariposamuseum.com.
Location The museum is located at 5119 Jessie Street, Mariposa, California 95338







Paymaster Mine 2-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Trinity County Jake Jackson Museum in Weaverville, California. The mill was constructed in 1901 at the Paymaster Mine and was relocated to the Trinity County Historical Society in 1984. Gene Goodyear, Billy Richards and Bob Hamilton were owners of the mine. The three men located the claim on September 14, 1901 and the mine shutdown in 1915. This mill is powered by a wood-fed steam boiler that actually works. The mill is housed in a building on the museum’s grounds. They run the mill several times a year for school children and they start it for a fee for smaller groups.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There is a nice blacksmiths shop, a tin shop and a building with wagons and other rolling stock.
Hours of Operation The museum is open daily 10AM to 5 PM.
Contact Information: The stamp mill is run on major holidays in the summer and to groups of school children. Check the Contact information for stamp mill run times at 530-623-5211, Fax 530-623-5053, Email jake@trinitymuseum.org  or on their Website  www.trinitymuseum.org  
Location The stamp mill is located on 508 Main Street in Weaverville, CA. Cross Streets: Between CA-3/CA-299 and Court St.





Slate Mountain 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located in Georgetown, California. The 10-stamp mill has been restored back to operation in 2007. It came from the Slate Mountain Mine that was located a few miles southeast of town. The stamp mill was operated by pioneer Ray Little, whose family has operated the stamp mill for generations.
Other Equipment on Site There is an early tractor that presently runs the stamp mill through a power-takeoff. They also have an operational 25 Hp Fairbanks Morse, 1 cylinder engine, Model Y that runs two air compressors, a 4” and 6” during the demonstrations. There is a pelton wheel that ran the stamp mill that they run with a water supply. It does not operate any equipment it just shows the operation of the wheel.  
Hours of Operation It is run once a year on Founders Day which is in September.
Contact Information For more information on the mill you can contact Mike Monroe at rustmag1987@gmail.com
Location It is located on Main Street and Harkness in Georgetown, California.






Stotts Millsite 2-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association, Goffs, California. This mill was restored to operation in 2010 and continues to run on various occasions. The mill is run by a 10 Hp motor and has an automatic feeder that delivers the material to the mortar box. It has a sluice table to separate the gold from the concentrates. This process uses gold bearing ores.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There is one other stamp mill on site that is operable as well as a Gibson Gyratory Crusher that is going to be restored back to operations.
Hours of Operation They are open First of October to June 30 on every weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 9 to 4 . For visits in the summer or on weekdays please call ahead at 760-733-4482.
Contact Information This mill is run at least two times per year during the Spring Encampment and the Fall Rendezvous. You should contact the museum directly at 760-733-4482 or by Email heb92232@gmail.com or on their website at www.MDHCA.org for the specific run times.
Location Goffs is located on 37198 Lanfair Road. To get there you should take I-40 west from Needles 17 miles to Exit 133, US 95 Searchlight and travel 6 miles North on US 95 to Goffs road, just before the tracks and take a left and travel 14 ½  miles to Goffs.





COLORADO STAMP MILLS

Yellow Jacket Mine 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, Colorado Springs, Colorado. This mill was constructed in 1978 to look like many other Western mills from 1890-1920. The building is quite impressive and makes the experience very much like it was back in the 1880’s. The mill continues to fascinate visitors who flock to watch it run.
Other Equipment on Site that Runs There are quite a few exhibits that run on the museum site. There is a number of authentic operating steam engines, drills, hoists that operate in the main building. The most impressive is the Corliss Engine in the main room. You have to see these machines in action to get an appreciation of their ability. There are outside operable mining exhibits including a 1920 Osgood Steam Shovel and two Iron Burro steam trammers that run on compressed air.
Hours of Operations The museum is open 9am- 4pm, Monday-Saturday (January-December) Daily Guided tours at 10am and 1pm (included in admission).
Contact Information The mill is run in the summer months on the major holidays. You should first check the run times by calling 719-488-0880, Toll Free: 800-752-6558 or go to their website at www.wmmi.org.
Location The museum is located on 225 North Gate Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80921. You take I-25 to the north end of Colorado Springs to the North Gate Blvd exit and stay to the right to the museum.






GEORGIA STAMP MILLS


Crisson Gold Mine 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is at the Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia. The mine was established in 1847 and was worked commercially until the early 1980s. The operation was opened to the public in 1969. The 10-stamp mill crushes the ore through a hand fed method, and it goes onto the sluice table to a catch basin and then is panned out.
Other Equipment on Site There are many pieces of mining equipment that actually function including a jaw crusher, Hammer mill, ball crusher mill, and Humphrey Spirals. There is also a trammel on site that you can process your concentrates.
Hours of Operation   They are open 7 days a week year round. Spring and summer hours 10 am until 6 pm. fall and winter hours 10 am until 5 pm.
Contact Information The stamp mill is run on various occasions. To find out when the mill is to be operated, you should call 1-706-864-6363, or Email tammy@crissongoldmine.com or website at www.crissongoldmine.com.
Location The museum is on 2736 Morrison Moore Parkway East, Dahlonega, Georgia 30533 We’re located just two miles past the Walmart shopping center.




NORTH CAROLINA STAMP MILLS


Reed Gold Mine 10-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at the Reed Gold mine in Midland, North Carolina. This mill operates 5 of its 10 stamps. The material is fed in by hand and crushed down to a fine powder. It then goes to the sluice table that removes some of the gold and then to the Wilfley table where more of the gold is removed.
NOTE: This is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. The estimated value of gold recovered reached more than one million dollars a year. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until the mid-1850s.
Other Equipment on Site There is also an underground mine tour, gold panning and other activities.
Hours of Operation The museum is open daily from April through October. Gold panning is available April-October, weather permitting. Tours of the mine and mining property are offered guided and self-guided year round.  Hours of operation: Year Round Tuesday thru Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm CLOSED Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays
Contact Information For specific stamp mill run times you should call ahead to (704) 721-GOLD (4653), Email reed@ncdcr.gov , website at http://www.nchistoricsites.org/reed/
Location The museum is located on 9621 Reed Mine Rd. Midland, NC 28107. From Charlotte Take Albemarle Road. (N.C. 24/27) Enter Cabarrus County. After crossing Hwy 601 and the Rocky River, turn left on Reed Mine Road, go approximately three miles, and the site will be on the right.





NEVADA STAMP MILLS

New Pass Mine 5-Stamp Mill
The stamp mill is located at Bonnie Springs Old Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada. This is an interesting stamp mill that runs. They feed material with brass in it into the mortar box and you can see the brass as it goes through the box on to a Wilfley table and shows the brass on the table top. This mill does not actually crush gold ore, but it shows the entire process and meets the operable criteria.  They use this method to simulate how the operation functions. They do not actually crush the material, but they separate the brass from the sand through the action of the stamps.
Other Interests on Site The setting is an old west town where visitors can catch a melodrama playing at Bonnie Springs year-round.
Hours of Operation During the summer, Old Nevada is open from 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. during winter hours are 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Contact Information The stamp mill is run by appointment. For operation of the stamp mill you should call ahead at (702) 875-4191 or visit them on their Website at www.bonniesprings.com.
Location 16395 Bonnie Springs Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 89124. It is located about 15 miles outside Las Vegas between Red Rock Canyon and Blue Diamond Road. 































9 comments:

  1. There's a 5 stamp mill that was being restored in Winthrop, WA. The last time I saw it, probably 10 years ago, it looked like it was operable or close to it.

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  3. David
    I did some investigation and found that the stamp mill in Winthrop, WA is at the Shafer Museum. They periodically run a 2-Stamp, home made mill, but they do not process ore. You would not consider it "operational" mill.
    They have a number of other stamp mills including 3-Stamp Joshua Hendy triple discharge mill, a 5-Samp mill, a 10-Stamp Straub Mfg Co. circular mill and a Chilean mill on site. This is an excellent place to visit just to look at the various types of mills they have on display.

    Thanks you for the leads
    Charlie Connell

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  4. Fantastic post - Great explainations and thinking.I'm looking forward to what you have for us next..!
    Dealnity

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  5. Amazing post! Thank you for sharing such informative post.

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  7. Excellent post! Worthy article. Looking forward to see more updates.


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  8. Charlie,

    June 24, 2017 we will have the unveiling of the Royal Stamp Mill in Philipsburg, Montana. This stamp mill was originally a 10-stamp mill from the Royal Mine in the 1880s, but due to its degradation the restored stamp mill now is just five stamps strong. Parts were scavenged from the two to make the one.

    We have some footage of it hooked up to a tractor for use, but it now powered by a very old gas engine that will make the mechanism go. The plan is to do the final tweaking on it and get it running on June 24, 2017 as part of the Philipsburg Sesquicentennial celebration.

    Our CEO at QSPNLive.com has a ton of footage of the stamp mill as it was being restored and of it running with the tractor. We'd love to have you out in June if you're able to make it.

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    1. I would like to visit your mill when it is running. We should be able to add your mill to the operable stamp mills the USA.

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