Monday, May 18, 2009

"MOLLIE KATHLEEN" CRIPPLE CREEK

After my brother Steve married Caprice in Vail, Colorado in July of 2000, my brother Scott, his wife Leslie and I went to Colorado Springs and then on to Cripple Creek, Colorado.

In Cripple Creek they have a main street with a few hotels and casinos. We stayed a couple of nights at the "Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino". Also close by is "J.P. McGills Hotel Casino" and "The Brass Ass Casino" also on main street Cripple Creek.

Nearby to the downtown area is the "Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine" in Cripple Creek. They have a gold mine tour open to the public of this 1890's original gold mine and we decided to take the tour of America's only vertical shaft public mine tour.

The gold mine descends about one thousand feet underground on a small open elevator with a guide on board. As you quickly descend you see some of the old crosscuts where the miners excavated out the gold. Our guide described the history of the mine and the various extraction methods the miners used to extract the gold. At one point our guide turned out all the lights so we could experience what it would feel like to be buried alive and also to shine a light on the roof and walls of the mine so that we could see the flecks of sparkling gold still embedded in the hard rock. We each were given a rock from the mine that had some gold in the rock.

There is also a gift shop and display area where they show samples collected by Mollie Kathleen when she discovered the mine in 1891. Also, large silvenite and calaverite nuggets prospected by Melvin Anderson are on display.

I imagine gold prospecting requires a lot of hard work and a bit of luck. The downtown Cripple Creek Casinos require a bit of luck as well. So, if your are ever near Cripple Creek, Colorado be sure to take to "Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour" and also visit" The Brass Ass."