MARY MURPHY MINE

Steve, Jennifer, Tristan, Cat, Mile & Jim

WesternGhostTowns.com does not encourage anyone to enter abandoned mines.   Our purpose here is to present a historical perspective and an entertaining viewpoint to the many old mines of the West.  Although we have been exploring old mines for more than 45 years, we are by no means experts in this field.   Some of the many dangers include deep, open vertical shafts, rotten or missing ladders, rotten or missing support timbers, loose rock, coller cave-ins, water, carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide, and explosives.   Even if someone were to survive a mine accident, the remote location of most mines causes lengthy delays in any rescue attempts.   All mines shown on this site were thoroughly examined, with all suitable precautions taken when documenting these sites.   We do not take responsibility for any injuries or death which may occur by visiting these mines nor will we provide any directions.

 


The Mary Murphy Mine was one of 50 mines in the area, however it stood out since it was one of the most successful.  In full-time operation, from 1870 to 1925, it is said that it produced more than 220,000 ounces of goldóworth $4.4 million at that time (today that would be roughly a bit more than $180 million).   It also produced silver, lead, and zinc.   The end of its operation was in 1954. It had an aerial tramway which took buckets of ore attached to a cable from the mine to Romley and to the railroad.   The mine, in its hay day, employed over 400 men.   The aerial tramway consisted of a single endless cable, strung along a series of wood towers, which are still visible today throughout the forest.   The cable carried ore filled buckets from the mine down the steep hillside to the mill for processing.   The buckets returned empty back to up the incline to be filled with ore again at the mine.   The cable was nearly one mile long and held 96 buckets that were hooked to the cable.   Each bucket held about 200 pounds of ore.   Two men operated the brakes for the entire tram, and it took around 40 minutes to get the buckets down and up the mountain again for refill.   Nearly 128 tons of ore were delivered in a 24-hour period.   Most of the Mary Murphy miners were single and lived in company bunkhouses.   There were a number of married men who lived with their families at the base of the tramway area in the town of Romley   Up until the 80's, many of the buildings and cabins were still present. The British consortium that owned the property bulldozed everything due to liability insurance concerns.



not much left
This is the mill at the Mary Murphy Mine

The tram run was one mile
These are the tram cables.

steam power
The boiler

people were everywhere
A group of ATVs also checked out the Mary Murphy and our Cheap Jeep

Steve was kept busy answering questions
The ATV explores were talking with Steve about the Cheap Jeep

about ready to fall on the road
This is what remains of the ore loading station.



Romley

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