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Chattanooga: 1900

Chattanooga: 1900

Colorado circa 1900. "Mining camp at Chattanooga on Mineral Creek." 8x10 glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


July 2012

I was there just this past July a took this shot from the edge of the road. The old buildings in the foreground are what remains of the Silver Ledge Mine.

Here's the shot today

I found where I believe the shot to be taken from on Google Earth. The where the railroad was, now is a stretch of the "Million Dollar Highway."


Facing South.

Railroad hardware

Those are "Anti-creepers" mounted to the ties every 5th one or so. They keep the rail in gauge, which in this case is narrow gauge I believe. Quite important when you don't have tie plates, (the rails are spiked directly to the ties) but do have sharp curves and rugged terrain!

Mystery Solved

Now I know where Track 29 goes.

Some info

Been through there many times, it is between Silverton and Ouray. Not much left there at all, although there was never a lot at Chattanooga, I believe most of the buildings were destroyed in a fire or flood. The railroad went up from Silverton to the mines around Red Mountain Town and Ironton, both ghost towns now. The modern highway is on top of the old railroad grade in several places.

In the background down the valley you can see Bear Mountain, named after the formation the trees make of a bear licking it's paw. It is still visible to this day.

Past Its Peak

Chattanooga thrived as a staging point for ore and supplies passing between Silverton and Ouray. The arrival of the Silverton Railroad in 1888 eliminated that need. The following year an avalanche wiped out most of the town and it was not rebuilt.

There's plenty of slide evidence in this photo. Today, the BLM uses howitzer rounds nearby to trigger controlled avalanches. The Million Dollar Highway passes through.

This is one of the few Colorado photos by William Henry Jackson in the LOC. Most ended up with, I believe, the Colorado Historical Society.

Railroad Tie Down?

There is an unusual tie down on every 5th tie on the railroad track. I don't think I have ever seen anything like that before. Does anyone know what this is?

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