OLD HUNDRED

NAME: Old Hundred
COUNTY: San Juan
ROADS: 2wd
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Snow in winter, pleasant summer.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer
COMMENTS: Near Howardsville.
REMAINS: At the bottom level you can take a tour of the Old Hundred Mine, tram towers up the mountain and the 7 level boarding house and tram house remain..

Named the Old Hundred after the 100th Psalm in the Bible, this mine, which supported enough people to be its own town, was located just above Niegoldstown. Most of the veins were originally located by the Niegold brothers and as you can see from the pictures, they cut plenty of holes in Galena mountain almost all the way to the top. One of the biggest veins was near the top at what is called the seventh level, or 7 level. There are no roads to site and the only trail passes 300 feet above the buildings. Originally the trail was wider then it is today, but once they reached the point above the buildings, they had to lower the supplies down by ropes. At the 7 level, there is a boarding house and a large tram house. This was the final stop on the tram that came up from the bottom near Niegoldstown. There were also numerous buildings at the 5 level but they were destroyed by fire. Recently, efforts were made to stabilize the buildings at the 7 level and supplies had to be brought in by helicopter with the pilot hovering just 10 feet away from the cliff. In July 2001 we attempted to hike the trail and got about 2/3rds of the way there and turned back. The trail starts out on very steel hills at somewhere aroun 11,500 feet and its a long way down. About 2/3rds of the way through, the hills give way to near vertical cliffs that drop thousands of feet into gulches and the trail is just wide enough to fit your two feet on. Knowing that the last 300 feet was straight down to the boarding house with no trail at all, we decided to turn back. There is a book by Scott Fetchenhier called "Ghosts and Gold", who owns Fletchs shop in Silverton that gives the complete history of the area. Stop by and see him when you are there and you might catch him if he is not out motorcycling the hills. Submitted by: Todd Underwood

THERE WAS SCATTERED MINING AND PROSPECTING OUT CUNNINGHAM GULCH AT LEAST AS EARLY AS 1871. THE NIEGOLD BROTHERS ARRIVED IN THE AREA IN 1872 AND BY JUNE FILED A CLAIM ON THE NUMBER 7 LEVEL WHICH IS WHERE THE PRESENT OLD HUNDRED BOARDINGHOUSE IS LOCATED. BY 1876, THEY FILED A CLAIM ON THE NUMBER LEVEL ALMOST DIRECTLY BELOW. (THERE WAS A SIMILAR BOARDINGHOUSE AND BUILDINGS AT THAT LEVEL ALSO,BUT WERE EVENTUALLY DESTROYED BY FIRE). THE NIEGOLDS COLLECTION OF CABINS AND BUILDINGS AT THE BASE OF THE MOUNTAIN NEAR STONY CREEK WAS CALLED NIEGOLDSTOWN. THOUGH SHORT LIVED, THE TOWN EVENTUALLY HAD A SALOON, HOTEL, STORE, AND A POST OFFICE. BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER 1904, CONSTRUCTION WAS STARTED ON TRAILS AND BUILDINGS AT THE MINE SITE BY THE OLD HUNDRED MINING COMPANY. THE OLD HUNDRED MINING COMPANY WAS ORGANIZED AND FINANCED BY SEVERAL FINANCIERS EARLIER IN 1904. THE NIEGOLDS STILL RETAINED AN INTEREST IN THE MINE. ONE TRAIL WAS BUILT TO THE NUMBER FIVE LEVEL AND ONE TO THE BASE OF THE CLIFFS BELOW NUMBER FIVE LEVEL. THE THIRD TRAIL WAS BUILT TO THE ORIGINAL TUNNEL AND WAS ABOUT 300 FEET ABOVE THE SOON TO BE BUILT NUMBER SEVEN LEVEL BOARDING HOUSE. THIS TRAIL ALONE COST $32,000 ! AT THE TIME THE TRAILS WERE MADE JUST WIDE ENOUGH FOR MULES AND HORSES TO PASS. MATERIALS TO CONSTRUCT THE BUILDINGS WAS BROUGHT UP BY MULE AND A ROPE AND WINDLASS WAS USED TO LOWER IT TO THE CONSTRUCTION SITE BELOW. TODAY, YOU FOLLOW THE TRAIL (MUCH NARROWER NOW) TO A POINT ABOVE THE BOARDINGHOUSE AND SORT OF SLIDE DOWN TO THE SITE ! IT TOOK US 45 MINUTES TO SCRAMBLE BACK UP TO THE TRAIL ! A MILL WAS ALSO CONSTRUCTED IN THE VALLEY BELOW TO PROCESS THE ORE. IN 1908, THE MINE WAS CLOSED AND THE BOARDINGHOUSES WERE ABANDONED. THE MINE NEVER MADE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY FOR THE INVESTMENT. OVER THE YEARS SEVERAL OTHER ATTEMPTS WERE MADE AT MINING, BUT TO NO AVAIL. THE ROOF OF THE NUMBER SEVEN LEVEL CAVED IN DURING THE WINTER OF 1983-84 BUT THANKFULLY ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO IT WAS RESTORED. - Jim Pershing.


On the way to the 7 level trail and the Buffalo Boy, you drive right under these ore cars that are still full of ore
July 2001
Todd Underwood


On the way to the 7 level trail and the Buffalo Boy, you drive right under these ore cars that are still full of ore
July 2001
Todd Underwood


The 7 level Boarding House
Courtesy Jim Pershing


Inside the 7 level tram house
Courtesy Jim Pershing


The old Hawkeye, just around the bend from the 7 level.
Courtesy Jim Pershing


Trail down to the 7 Level
Courtesy Jim Pershing


Inside the 7 Level boarding house
Courtesy Jim Pershing


Inside the 7 Level boarding house
Courtesy Jim Pershing


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2001
Todd Underwood


This is Galena Mountain, the 7 level is almost at the top - July 2001
Todd Underwood


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2000
Todd Underwood


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2001
Todd Underwood


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2001
Todd Underwood


View from the trail looking down
July 2001
Todd Underwood


View from the trail looking down
July 2001
Todd Underwood


In the background you can see road 3B which goes to the Buffalo Boy
July 2001
Todd Underwood


Just below the snow is where you park
July 2001
Todd Underwood


View from the trail looking down
July 2001
Todd Underwood


View from the trail looking down
July 2001
Todd Underwood


Old Wheel Barrow at the beginning of the trail
July 2001
Todd Underwood


The trail curves along Galena Mountain just below the top and above the cliffs- July 2001
Todd Underwood


The trail curves along Galena Mountain just below the top and above the cliffs - the boading house is just on the other side July 2001
Todd Underwood


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2001
Todd Underwood


Look high on this mountain or you might miss the structure above Niegoldstown that is hanging on the side of the cliff - this is the 7 level boarding house for the old Hundred Mine- July 2001
Todd Underwood

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