Paris Mine and Mill

Paris Mill exterior

Paris Mill exterior

Paris Mine is located above what was known as the town of Buskskin, on Mt. Bross. When the mine was first constructed in 1894, it was not initially profitable due to logistical difficulties of moving ore to be processed. That soon changed with the addition of an aerial tramway that led down to Buckskin. [1] This reduced the burden of transportation and smelting costs encumbering investors from turning a profit.

Paris Mill exterior 1998

Paris Mill exterior 1998

Once this impediment was cleared, early operations made this mine known for producing gold, silver, and rich quality ore. During the height of production, the Paris Mine was known as one of the richest claims in the Alma area, producing for decades. However, operations and source materials soon waned during the 1930s, leading to the eventual closing in 1951.

Paris mine photo album circa 1930s-1940s

Man operating aerial tram 1930s

Man operating aerial tram 1930s

 

Today, the mine is one of the few remaining examples of a mill from this era in Colorado still standing and in relatively good shape. Uniquely, most of the equipment used during the final years of operations is still in place. 

Man inspecting ball mill 1980s

Man inspecting ball mill 1980s

 

The Paris Mill was listed as one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places Program in 2004, which increased public attention and advocacy focusing on the historical significance of the site and restoration. Conservation efforts have been ongoing for over ten years, leading to the Mill’s designation as a Park County Historic Landmark in 2017.

 

Interior of Paris Mill, Park County, Colorado, October 13, 2019<br />

Interior of Paris Mill, Park County, Colorado, October 13, 2019

 

Currently, the Mill is under construction and restoration phases to help realize the long-term goals of stabilization of the structure to eventually open the site to the public. The Mill has been nominated to appear in the National Register of Historic Places under the criterion of exemplary examples of Industry, Engineering and Architecture with historical significance.

[1] Patton, Horace B., Arthur J. Hoskin, and G. Montague Butler. Geology and Ore Deposits of the Alma District Park County, Colorado, 3rd ed. Denver: Smith-Brooks Printing Co., 1912, 174-175.