Sound Democrat Mill

The Sound Democrat Mill is an awesome find and one of the highlights of the San Juan Mountains. The mine was first discovered in 1899. Gold and silver ore from the mine was packed on mules over a 13,000 ft ridge to the Sunnyside Mill in Eureka Gulch.

In 1905, this mill was built closer to the mine to process ore from the Sound Democrat and the adjacent Silver Queen mines. The mill originally had four Nissen stamps, and around 1909, it was enlarged to seven. It ran for a few more years until 1914, when the mine and stamps fell silent. Nissen stamps are rare, especially out in the wild. Check out the Oakland Mine and the Indian Mine for more examples.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) restored the mill. Seeing some of the equipment still here after over a hundred years is amazing. It is one of the most complete stamp mills remaining in the high alpine elevations of Colorado. Please help protect it from further destruction.

Photos are from 2005 and a return visit in 2016.

See also:

Oakland Mine
The Oakland Group of mines never produced much. The mines were worked for gold from 1922 to 1934. A vertical shaft is reported to have gone down to at least 75 ft with drifts and a separate incline shaft that dropped to 85 ft. Water was encountered at these depths
Indian Mine, Monarch Canyon
Over in eastern Death Valley just north of the Keane Wonder Mine is the Indian Mine. It is a small mine worked for gold with only minor workings and was never profitable. What makes it a worthwhile visit is the mill and its remaining single Nissen stamp mill. The Indian