SUMMITVILLE GOLD MINING DISTRICT,
SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS,
J. J. CORNISH, PHOTOGRAPHER,
DEL NORTE, COLORADO
The first gold discovery in the area was purported to have been made in Wightman’s Gulch somewhere in late June 1870. The noted discoverers were James L. Wightman,
E. Baker, J. Cary French, Sylvester Reese and William B. Wightman. Only Wightman and Reese remained in the area until fall. Still, both
departed before snowfall mounted.
After word of gold discoveries permeated the Colorado Territory, hundreds of prospectors re-entered the Summit District in the summer of 1871. By fall, only James Wightman,
J. P. Johnson, and P. J. Petersen remained to late October. In 1873, another rush to Summit ensued. Theodore Goupil sold the Esmond (Aztec) claim to Dr. R. F. Adams; and, F. H. Brandt
and P. J. Petersen staked out the Little Annie, Del Norte, and Margaretta mines. Small mills were erected in 1874, and several gold ore shipments were sent to
Denver and Pueblo refineries.
1875 – 1876: the Summit District retained prospectors and miners year-round for the first time. 1877: population neared 250.
Prospective mines: Little Annie, Del Norte, Margaretta, Golden Queen, Golden Star, Little Ida, Aztec, Odin, Golconda, Golden Vault, Parole, San Juan
The Little Annie and Golconda mines installed gravitation tramways to transport gold ore down steep distances to mills near Summitville.
A. E. Reynolds ultimately consolidated a significant portion of the producing mines on South Mountain into the Consolidated Gold Mining Company, including the Iowa & Colorado Gold Mining and Milling Company.
This Company worked several of the richest properties until 1915; after which, T. N. Barnsdale, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania acquired control of the South Mountain mines.
… AND Many MORE ON THE HORIZON ….