Saturday, August 25, 2012

McCarty Stamp Mill looks like it won't survive much longer


On the same day we visited the Nordale Adit at the head of Wolf Creek, we also drove to the other side of the ridge and hiked in to the McCarty Stamp Mill at the head of Fairbanks Creek. The mill was originally built by Tom Gilmore, Felix Pedro’s partner. Lew McCarty and his son later bought the mill.

Stamp mills crush ore. Pistons with heavy steel stamps are raised and then dropped to crush the rocks. If a stamp mill has more than one stamp, some sort of cam is usually used to alternately raise and drop the pistons. The McCarty Mill had two stamps and could crush 10 tons of ore per day. Ore from the Nordale Adit was processed here.

The photo above shows the mill as it looks today, hemmed in by tall alders. To the left is a closer look, showing the building starting to cave in.

The mill is three stories tall, built into the side of the hill. On the side of the building, at different levels, were windows we could look through. (There was no way I was going into the building!)

The one benefit of a collapsing roof is enough light to photograph without flash. To the left is a shot of the stamping machinery. The stamps are on the lower level. The pistons  come up through the floor and attach to a cam shaft on the second level. The can shaft is operated off a belt-driven pulley to the right.

Below is another, closer shot of the stamps, taken from a window right next to them. Aside from the heavy machinery there isn't much left in the building.








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