CRIPPLE CREEK is a wonderful development as a mining camp and as a factor in the financial world. Within a decade a prosperous city has been built on what was formerly a cattle pasture and many flourishing institutions have been established.
A striking example of the remarkable strides that have been taken is furnished in a late report made by the First National Bank of Cripple Creek, which, upon a capital of $30,000, shows surplus and profits of $19,152.60.
The most remarkable feature of the statement is the growth of the deposits. Starting on July 14, 1898, with $147,839.91, the amount shown in the first report, the deposits were more than doubled in 12 months, making $328,037.37.
Six months later on, or on December 2, 1899, the deposits had passed the half-million mark the exact figures of the report made to the comptroller of the currency being $503,132.97.
Another phenomenal advancement was recorded officially on February 13, 1900, when the deposits reached $871,243.02, and less than a month later the million-dollar point was reached.
The first official report after this event was dated April 20th and showed deposits aggregating $1,017,711.20.
Aside from the interest attached to such a record from a financial point, the figures quoted cannot fail to attract attention and be accepted as evidence of the condition of the mining industry of the district.
Operations are carried on there on a scale unknown elsewhere in the world, the confidence displayed in the properties by the men working the mines is unequaled anywhere, it is a country of big things, gigantic schemes, unlimited nerve, personal assurance and energy.
The amount of money that is being put into the ground in the way of costly machinery is equaled only by the amount that is being taken out.
It must not be inferred that Cripple Creek has lost any of the characteristic features of a western mining camp or that it has been "spoiled by prosperity." As a matter of fact, it is crude in many respects to a greater extent than similar communities elsewhere; yet in spite of these rough edges it boasts of many of the comforts that are supposed to be associated with refinement and cultivation.
It is a curious mixture and it will take a long time to effect a balance or an adjustment of conditions that will be more in conformity with the ideas of older and more settled communities.
In the views presented herewith some evidence of these conditions may be found. Fig. 1 is a general view of what may be termed the old district, looking south to Gold Hill from Emma Palmer placer, and showing Globe Hill on the east.
The Anchoria Leland mine is shown just to the right of the top of the hill, and Moon Anchor mine is a little lower down and farther to the west.
A view of Gold Hill from the Anchoria Leland mine is shown in Fig. 2. This is one of the most important sections of the district.
Between January 1, 1893, and December 31, 1899, six companies operating on Gold Hill paid dividends aggregating $520,000, while one company on Globe Hill alone in the same period paid nearly $250,000 in dividends.
The ore producing area has been greatly enlarged during the last few years, more than doubled in extent, and many of the properties in the new territory are exceptionally promising, while not a few have already shown good returns.
Four years ago the area of actual ore production of the Cripple Creek district was encircled by the lines of the Florence and Cripple Creek railroad and the Midland Terminal railroad excepting a curved line on the north from Grassy to the town of Cripple Creek, including the area from the Gold King mine at the head of Poverty Gulch, on the north, to the Gold Coin mine at Victor, on the south, a distance of three miles, and from the summit of Beacon Hill on the west to the Victor mine on the east, a distance of two and one-half miles.
At present the ore producing area practically extends from near Gillett on the north, to Straub Mountain on the south, a distance of six miles, and from Beacon Hill on the west, to the Gross shaft south of Calf Mountain, and one mile beyond the Victor mine on the east, a distance of over five miles.
The Great Independence mine, one of the wonders of modern mining because of its extent and richness and the value placed upon the property by the promoters of the London deal, is shown in Fig. 3.
Another promising property is the Roanoke mine, shown in Fig. 4, which is regarded as a big producer for the small amount of development accomplished. This mine is now being operated on a larger scale.
Placer mining is carried on extensively on one of the properties first mentioned, the Emma Palmer mine, which is located below the Gold and Globe Hills.
Fig. 5 illustrates the operators at work on this mine. It is a typical scene. A diversity of occupation and scene is afforded in this district, and an example is furnished in the view presented in Fig. 6, which is in striking contrast to that shown in Fig. 5.
This concluding illustration of the series comprises a view of the underground workings at a depth of 450 feet, the fifth level, and suggests some of the disadvantages of this occupation.
Everything considered the Cripple Creek district is one of the most interesting parts of the country. Modern methods, the introduction of improved machinery and the scientific investigations of the ore producing qualities of the district have made it unlike the old gold fields, yet in other respects it is very like them.
It affords an object lesson of the great advancement that has been made in mining.