Monday, January 17, 2022

(113) Stamp Mills Presently in Restoration or Upgrades Phase


Stamps Mills Presently in Restoration or Upgrades Phase

January 2022


There are several Stamp Mills that are in their restoration phase or having major modifications being added. Most of them are going to be dynamic restorations, which is the preferred set up. The following (7) stamp mills I have visited or are in communications with recently:


Gold King Mine & Ghost Town 5-Stamp mill in Jerome AZ. The stamp mill was fabricated by Hendrie-Bolthoff M’ F’ G’ Co. Denver CO (5 Stamp mill).

Status This mill has been in the restoration phase since June 2017 and is about 90% complete.

Major Restoration The mill needed all new wood, there were no shoes or dies, no sluice table, operator’s deck and the bull wheel needed a cosmetic restoration. Most of the steel parts were with the mill. The mill is presently standing and basically completed with the engine, crusher and incline in the process of being installed. Once this is competed the mill should be operable after working out bugs that show themselves. There has been about half a dozen volunteers that have worked on this project. The slide below is an earlier shot of the restoration.


Mariposa Historical Society 2-Stamp Mill in Mariposa, CA. The stamp mill was fabricated by Joshua Hendy Machine Works San Francisco, CA (Triple Discharge 2 Stamp mill).

Status I got involved with the restoration in July of 2016 and the mill restoration had been in process for some time.

Major Restoration The mill needed all new wood, a new bull wheel, a sluice table, some metal parts were missing and both stamps needed to be replaced. The mill is about 95% complete and they have run the mill, but needs some fine tuning on the belt systems and a sluice table.  


Julian Museum 2-Stamp Mill in Julian, CA This mill is about 25% complete. The stamp mill was fabricated by Llewellyn Iron Works Builders, Los Angeles, CA.

Status The amazing thing about this mill is that it is being restored by a one person. He deserves a lot of credit for taking on this project. I met David Lewis for the first time in July of 2019 when visiting the Julian Museum.

Major Restoration At that time he pretty much had all of the metal parts and he was in the process of pondering the wood for the uprights. He was making the mill from all hard wood an expensive and hard to work with lumber. Since then he had obtained the wood, cut it to fit the mortar box, treated the wood and assembled the uprights on the mortar box.See the recent picture below of the mill assembly.

Donovan 20-Stamp & Dazet 10-Stamp Mills, Silver City, NV. Both mills are in the same building with separate drivers. The Donovan mill was fabricated by Risdon Iron Works in San Francisco, CA for Nevada Mining Reduction Power Co. Rock Point in Dayton, NV. The Dazat mill was fabricated by V & T Foundry, Carson City NV. Actually one of the two mortar boxes was welded with no identification markings.

Status This mills have been in the restoration phase since September 2015 and the first of (6) batteries is about 60% complete not including bringing the power into the mill to run the 4th battery. There will basically be six restoration milestones. This is a very ambitious restoration project!

Medium Restoration About 90% of the components are still on site and need some restoration. The basic stamp mill structures are in good condition that is why I’m calling it a medium project. The restoration was started in early 2015 that consisted of stabilizing the building in the Dazat area and other upkeep on the building. The stamp mill restoration started in September 2015 with a walkdown of the entire millsite. There were many hurdles to overcome to look at the possibility of making the mill operational. One issue was the need for 3ø power supply and this was resolved with a portable 3ø generator. The plan is to complete one battery at a time and we started with battery #4 on the Donovan and work our way through the (6) batteries. There is presently no initial run scheduled yet. This will take some time to complete the entire restoration of both mills. The Dazat has a broken camshaft, but there is a replacement on site for it. The slide below shows the first battery #4 to be restored.


Royal 5-Stamp Mill Philipsburg, MT. The stamp mill was fabricated by Fraser Chalmers, Chicago, IL and originally was part of a ten stamp mill.

Status The mill restoration history started in November 2013 and was completed around May 2017. The mill is presently operated by an early model gas engine fed by a locally manufactured primary jaw crusher that feeds the stamp mill through a feeder via a conveyor belt. It has had upgrades along the including the recent addition of a shaker table to separate the gold from the concentrates. The table was tested this summer and produced a visible stringer of gold at the Miner’s Union Day.

Upgrade The plan is to incorporate an early steam boiler and steam engine to the project and run the stamp mill on steam power. They have obtained a horizontal T.M. Nagle Steam Engine fabricated in Erie Pennsylvania. The engine has been tested on compressed air and runs very well. The boiler is a vertical steam boiler that they have tested with a hydrostatic test to check for leaks and it passed the test. It still needs to be certified by a State inspector. They have laid the forms next to the jackshaft pulley that will run the mill by the steam engine. Presently, there is no for forecast for the installation and run. The slide below shows the Steam Engine that will drive the stamp mill. The engine has been tested and works and the boiler has been pressure tested.


Dewey Humboldt 2-Stamp Mill Dewey-Humboldt, AZ The stamp mill was fabricated by Krogh MFG CO., San Francisco, CA and is a triple discharge mill.

Status The restoration started with the move of the mill to the museum site in July of 2015 and then a walkdown was conducted shortly after. The physical restoration has just started in earnest after a period of time when the museum was moved to a permanent location. The foundation was set in December 2021 and that marks the start.

Major Restoration The mill needs all new wood, a bull wheel repair that has been effected, a sluice table, an incline, some metal parts were missing and repair the feeder. As already noted the restoration has just started. The slide below shows the foundation poured for the mill restoration start.


Tonopah Historic Mining Park Foundation 3-Stamp Mill, Tonopah, NV The mill was fabricated by Merralls Mill PATD Manufactured by The Morse Bros. M & S CO, Denver CO. The mill has three separate mortar boxes and feeders connected on one base.

Status The restoration started with a walkdown of the mill September 2021 to determine what was required to bring the mill back to operation. The team is discussing the plan of attack for the restoration.

Medium Restoration This is a very recent restoration attempt, The mill appears to be in relatively good shape and is standing with the uprights intact and most of the metal parts still with the mill. The bull wheel needs to be repaired, the feeders reattached, needs an operators deck, sluice tables and a concrete foundation. This is a new restoration so there may be other issues as the restoration proceeds. The slide below shows the As found mill condition during the evaluation.