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Lead in Lawrence County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill

 
 
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
1. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Marker
Inscription.  In the early days of mining stamp mills were used to crush the ore prior to gold recovery. A stamp mill is a very simple machine. The flywheel builds momentum to turn the cam. The cam lifts the stamps and then gravity drops them back down at a rate of 40 times per minute. It can process approximately 1 ton of rock per hour. In gold processing a mercury amalgam was added at the end of the crushing table to recover the gold.

The Homestake Mining Company's first stamp mill was a set of 16 batteries, consisting of 5 stamps each, and hauled to Lead, SD by ox team in 1878. By 1922 over 1000 stamps were crushing ore in Lead, day and night, 365 days per year. The noise was so overwhelming that the residents eventually became used to it and noticed the dramatic change when the stamps were shut down for various reasons.

This stamp mill battery is from a 40-stamp mill that was at the Commonwealth Mine located south of Lead on Strawberry Hill (US Hwy 385). It was powered by a steam boiler and engine and was built in the 1890's.
 
Erected by Black Hills Mining Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker
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is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceMan-Made Features. A significant historical year for this entry is 1890.
 
Location. 44° 21.13′ N, 103° 45.955′ W. Marker is in Lead, South Dakota, in Lawrence County. Marker can be reached from West Main Street (CanAm Highway) (U.S. 85) east of Siever Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located within Lead City Park, overlooking the historic stamp mill on exhibit there. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lead SD 57754, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Homestake Air Locomotive Number 35 (here, next to this marker); Homestake One Ton, End Dump Ore Car (here, next to this marker); 1912 Lead City Hall / Homestake General Offices (here, next to this marker); Homestake Slag Buggy (a few steps from this marker); The First National (Norwest) Bank (a few steps from this marker); Homestake Hospital Site (a few steps from this marker); Halloran Block (within shouting distance of this marker); Pneumatic Rock Drill (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lead.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a metal plaque, mounted horizontally on a waist-high post.
 
Also see . . .
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
2. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Marker (tall view)

1. Stamp Mill. A stamp mill (or stamp battery or stamping mill) is a type of mill machine that crushes material by pounding rather than grinding, either for further processing or for extraction of metallic ores. Each one frame and stamp set is sometimes called a "battery" or, confusingly, a "stamp" and mills are sometimes categorised by how many stamps they have, i.e. a "10 stamp mill" has 10 sets. They usually are arranged linearly, but when a mill is enlarged, a new line of them may be constructed rather than extending the line. Abandoned mill sites (as documented by industrial archaeologists) will usually have linear rows of foundation sets as their most prominent visible feature as the overall apparatus can exceed 20 feet in height, requiring large foundations. (Submitted on August 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. South Dakota Mining History. A trio of mining entrepreneurs, George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis, and James Ben Ali Haggin, bought the Homestake claim for $70,000. George Hearst arrived at the mine in October 1877, and took active control of the property. Hearst had to haul in all the mining equipment by wagons from the nearest railhead in Sidney, Nebraska. Arthur De Wint Foote worked as an engineer. Despite the remote location and the difficulty in hauling in equipment,
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
3. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit
an 80-stamp mill began crushing Homestake ore in July 1878. (Submitted on August 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Deadwood Terra Gold Stamp Mill. This link presents an historic photo of a Stamp Mill in operation at one of the Homestake Mines. (Submitted on August 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill (<i>different/older marker with same inscription visible on right</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
4. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill (different/older marker with same inscription visible on right)
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit (<i>detail view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
5. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit (detail view)
Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit (<i>side view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
6. Commonwealth Mine Stamp Mill Exhibit (side view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 333 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 19, 2024