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Positively Negatives

In 2007, Byron Stanley, a photographer for the New Jersey Zinc Co., gave us a great collection of 1950s-era photos of the Gilman mine near Red Cliff in Eagle County. They were added to our online historical photo collection at  and will show up using Gilman, Belden, New Jersey Zinc, etc., as search terms. More recently, Byron gave us [via Bob and JoAnn Riggle] a series of negatives that were also of 1950s-era Gilman.   Many of the negatives were oversized [6” x 4”] and, with our Epson 10000 XL scanner, I was able to pull beautifully detailed scans, some of which images we had not seen previously.  They will be uploaded to our historical photo collection soon, but here’s a preview. Let’s begin with this photo, a beautiful shot of Gilman and Windy Point with Notch Mountain at the far left.  The Eagle River Canyon is in the middle. Location, location, location…perched at the top of Eagle River Canyon, the Gilman mine descends 20 levels to the bottom of the canyon at Belden.  The Rio Grande Railroad stopped at Belden to pick up processed zinc and lead from the mine.  Interior travel through the mine was done by an elevator; exterior travel was accomplished by a surface tram.  This shot taken from the tram looking down shows how steep the drop from top to bottom is. One of the happy surprises in these negatives was pictures of the men who worked in the mine (not just the mine executives).  Below, the crew installing a new ore slurry dryer at the Belden level, on a break: Don Ginther, Lynn Walker, [unknown], Homer Sultzer, Buck Hickman, Forrest Witthauer.  [Thanks to Bud Beck for identification] Mine tailings were piped from Gilman in slurry form to the mine tailings ponds at Rex Flats, just south of Maloit Park in Minturn.  The ponds formed under the tailings flume and, as the slurry dried, it became the same consistency as a fine sand. The elevation on the flume was increased as the tailings built up.  Below, a level is being used to make sure the mine tailings flume is canted to the correct angle. A real bonus appeared when I found five negatives from the 1930s included in this collection. The preponderance of our photos of Gilman come from the late 1940s and 1950s so these images filled in some history for us.  The photo below is the main street of Gilman in winter (really!) with parking being at a premium after the plow went through.  I think the license plate of the first car says 1934. So many people today stop on Highway 24 to take pictures of Gilman, or what is left of it.  The thought of living on that point over the canyon is breathtaking, as are the views.  Thanks to the generosity of Byron Stanley and his excellent photography, we can all see what it was like during its hey-day.  


Great Job Jaci and Bud Thanks for all your work Thanks to Bob and JoAnn for sharring Byron work Len

I ALWAYS learn something. Thanks for your hard work, Jaci!

I have such a great job...

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