Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine

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Ore bin at the Mollie Kathleen mine.

The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine is a historic vertical shaft mine near Cripple Creek, Colorado.[1] The mine shaft descends 1,000 feet (300 m) into the mountain, a depth roughly equal to the height of the Empire State Building in New York.[2] The mine currently gives tours, and is visited by around 40,000 people annually.[3] The addition of the mines and subsequent tours of this mine and others in the area had considerable effect on the economies of both Victor, Colorado and Cripple Creek.[4][5][6][7][8]



The mine was started in 1891 on a mining claim staked by Mollie Kathleen Gortner, after whom the mine was named.[9][10] Other than a government-ordered hiatus during World War II, the mine operated continuously until 1961; since then it has continued as a tourist attraction.[11]

Rapid Growth of Cave Formations

The Mollie Kathleen mine possesses the right conditions for the rapid formation of petrified and mineral cave formations previously thought to develop much more slowly. In the 40 years since 1961 when the mining operations ceased, the Mollie Kathleen mine saw growth of columns up to 9 ft long and 4 inches in diameter, and soda straws over 2 feet long within 15 years. Furthermore, one of the support frame timbers was discovered almost completely petrified. [12]

See also


  1. ^ "Mining with monster trucks Tours of Victor mine give passengers golden ticket to region's rich history". 
  2. ^ "Go deep in the Molly Kathleen Mine". 
  3. ^ "Man's fund-raising idea is a gold mine Leasure may reside for a year in shaft beneath Cripple Creek". 27 June 1992. 
  4. ^ "CITY OF VICTOR". 
  5. ^ "Cripple Creek sees gold in mining town's history". 22 July 1998. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ . 17 October 1999. 
  9. ^ Jan MacKell, Cripple Creek District: Last of Colorado's Gold Booms, Charleston, S. Car.: Arcadia, 2003, p.134, ISBN 0-7385-2413-1, accessed 14 November 2009.
  10. ^ Curtis Casewit and Eric Lindberg, Colorado Off the Beaten Path, 9th ed., Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7627-4412-1, p.129-130, accessed 14 November 2009.
  11. ^ Loretta Hall, Underground Buildings: More Than Meets the Eye, Sanger, Cal.: Quill Driver Books, ISBN 1-884956-27-0, p.189, accessed 14 November 2009.
  12. ^ Gary Livesay, Mollie Kathleen's Marvellous Mysteries, accessed 26 April 2011.

External links