Near Ouray in Ouray County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Yankee Girl
Before you, on the east side of Red Mountain Creek, is the headframe of the Yankee Girl Mine.
In 1882, prospector John Robinson discovered a massive "pipe" of silver ore and staked the Yankee Girl claim. He developed an exploratory shaft and found that the nearly vertical ore body contained an enormously valuable vein of silver.
Unlike most local mines, the Yankee Girl shaft went nearly straight down - 1200 vertical feet. Eventually, twelve levels were developed below ground. In places, silver ore assayed as high as $10,000 per ton making the Yankee Girl one of the richest concentrations of silver ore in the United States. Ore from the mine was of such a high grade that it bypassed the concentration mill and went directly to the smelter for processing.
As the miners descended into lower and lower levels, mechanical "bailers" were installed to remove water from the mine. Yet even with new technology a decrease in the value of silver forced the Yankee Girl to close in 1898. During its sixteen years of operation it produced nearly twelve million dollars in ore. The value of the ore in today's market would
Before 1900, the Yankee Girl was recognized as one of the most valuable mines in the United States.
Upper left: The Yankee Girl Mine, circa 1896. Some of the nearby trees were cut for mining and railroad timbers or used as building materials, however, much of the forest was burned in a series of human-caused forest fires in the late 1890s. - Photo courtesy of Hinsdale County Museum Hinsdale County
Upper right: The Yankee Girl Mine, circa 1896. A forest fire in 1897 destroyed the original Yankee Girl headframe, pumphouse, powerhouse, and other surface buildings. In its place a smaller headframe (visible today) was constructed. - Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library - Western History Department
Lower right: The Silverton Railroad transported mineral rich ore from the Red Mountain Mining District. The Yankee Girl headframe and power house is visible on the rail siding (left of center.) - Photo, circa 1896 courtesy of Ouray County Historical Society - Historical Society
Erected by USDA Forest Service, Colorado Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1882.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ouray CO 81427, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Boom Towns (here, next to this marker); The Idarado Mine (a few steps from this marker); Reclaiming the Land (a few steps from this marker); The Heart of the Red Mountains (a few steps from this marker); The Silverton Railroad (a few steps from this marker); The Treasury Tunnel (within shouting distance of this marker); Mine Reclamation Improves Water Quality (within shouting distance of this marker); Idarado Houses (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ouray.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.