2014 Mining History Association Tour


Historic Coal and Coking Camps - Starkville,
Cokedale, Boncarbo, Berwind Canyon,
Hastings, and Ludlow
Tour Leaders: Steve Hart and Shannon Osterhout
June 15, 2014

 

 

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Tour Leader, Steve Hart, explains the history of Starkville, a Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) coal camp.  In 1910, a mine explosion killed 56 miners.


The scale of the coal mining operations in Starkville is evident by the number and size of mine dumps and refuse piles.  The nearby CF&I coal camp of Sopris was inundated by construction of the Trinidad Lake Reservoir.

Substantial construction methods have allowed several of the historic buildings in Starkville to withstand the ravages of time.

The painted name on this building leads one to speculate about its colorful history, at least in its final days.

Steve Hart and Shannon Osterhout give an overview of Cokedale which supplied coke to the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) smelters.  Cokedale is a National Historic District.  The town was founded in 1906. Operations ceased in 1946.

The dumps of the Cokedale Mine (Rear) and ruins of the coal cleaning plant are prominent features along State Highway 12.


The huge refuse pile from the coal cleaning plant is located across the canyon from the town.  The refuse was transported by aerial tramway.  Tramway towers can still be seen along the crest of the pile.

The 350 coke ovens at Cokedale are some of the best preserved in Colorado.  Unlike other banks of ovens in the region, these have concrete fronts.  Coal from the cleaning plant was transported by larry cars which ran on tracks on top of the ovens.

 

Photo Credits: Henry Djerlev, Johnny and Dawn Johnsson, Mike and Pat Kaas, Bob Spude, John Stewart

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