Colorado is a state famous for gold and silver mines. The mountains that run throughout the state have been known to produce what seemes like endless amounts of minerals. What's really interesting in reading about some of these old mines is the engineering of the day. Some of these mines were built in what would seem like impossible situations. The Old One Hundred gold mine is just one of those mines.
It was in 1872 when the three Neigold brothers staked their claim on the "Number Seven" vein. They had been prospecting the area around Stoney Pass and Silverton for almost 30 years. Over time they aquired a large group of claims on Galena mountain that were showing good veins of gold. One of these veins was called Old Hundred and it was this vein that ended up becoming the name for the mine.
By 1898 the brothers formed a company called the Midland Mining Company and started to build a tunnel into the mountain on the Old Hundred claim. The brothers worked on several levels but needed to get a tunnel into the Number Seven vein. This vein was over 12,000 feet high in elevation and this would cost a fortune and the Neigold brothers knew they were under funded and so they put the mine up for sale.
In 1904 a group of investors bought the mine and formed a new company called the Old Hundred Mining Company. This new company was flsuh with cash and built a new tunnel into the Number Seven vein and then built a narrow guage rail section in the mine to lower levels. Outside they built a a rooming house for workers and an aerial tram to take the ore from the high tunnels down the mountain side to the mill below. The mill was a stamp mill and the ore was crushed and the gold was processed there.
By 1906 the mine was shipping out gold bars to the mint in Denver. Things were going good and a new tunnel was started right at the ground level. This was called the Mill Level because it was level with the mill. However like so many other mine stories we read about, in 1908 the easy gold ran out and the only ore left seemed to be all lower grade. There was also hard times in the financial markets making raising money are difficult task and the mine eventually went bankrupt.
Now the sad part of the story. Like so many old mining stories back then and even today, the three brothers carried the paper on the mine and so when the mine went bust the brothers also went bust. They did try to sell the mine but because it was mined out there was little interest. Eventually the mine went back to the government in back taxes.
In the 1930's there were some new miners that went in and tried to mine the lower level tunnel but found the grade to low to make a profit. As time went on and new technology in mining came around another company in the 1960's went in mining the Mill Level and made a tunnel five miles long but they too found the grade to low. All hopes of a rich veins were just that. Hope!
Today very little is left of the Old Hundred Mine. Just the abandoned rooming house up on the side of the mountain and miles of empty tunnels.