Walking north out of Creede one day, we saw the remains of the Humphrey Mill.
Construction of the mill began in 1901 and it began processing silver ore in January 1902. The ore came from several mines along the Amethyst Vein, the largest vein of silver in the Creede Mining District. The "vein was between 4 and 6 feet wide and the silver consistently assayed in at an incredible 200 troy ounces of silver per ton of ore." (Forest Service sign near the mill)
Gravity separated concentrated silver ore from waste rock in the mill. The silver ore came out of these chutes and loaded into train cars, to be shipped to a smelter in El Paso, Texas.
Ore came from area mines in ore cars pulled by donkeys and mules on this track across Willow Creed from the mill. Remember, you can click on any of the photos to make them larger.
Think of all the hard labor that went into shoring up the rocky hillside around the ore track. I can't believe what it took to work, on foot with hand tools, cutting the logs and building the retaining walls on these steep hills!
The valley where the mill is located is very picturesque.