2016 Mining History Association

 

Tours of the Historic Telluride Region:

Meldrum Tunnel

June 12, 2016

 

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Sunao Murata from Japan (left) and Brian Hill from Australia (right) provided international representation at this year’s conference.

Bob Metz brought along a special friend.


The sun was still shining by the time the second group climbed the switchback road to reach Bridal Veil Falls and the trail to the Meldrum Tunnel.

A perfect day for a jeep ride. Nothing to do but enjoy the scenery while leaving the driving to our capable drivers.

A short hike was in order to reach the Meldrum Tunnel.  The trail from the switchback road was still showing the effects of a harsh winter.  Bridal Veil Falls can be seen in the background.

Crossing Ingram Creek at full flow added a little excitement to the hike.  The creek and Ingram Falls located above this point drain the Savage Basin which climbs to the Continental Divide.  It is the location of the famous Black Bear Mine and infamous Black Bear Pass jeep road.

The Meldrum Tunnel adit is located at an elevation of 9,993 feet.  It was intended to go completely under the 13,000 foot mountains and emerge in the Red Mountain Mining District to the east.  Its developers hoped to intersect some rich veins along the way. The project failed and the incomplete tunnel was abandoned.  Bill Culver looks like he is ready to go underground. 

 


 

Ed Raines (green jacket) explained the geology and mining operations in the area and the role of the Meldrum Tunnel was designed to play.  After the Idarado Mining Company took over the operations in 1939, it connected Treasury Tunnel on the Red Mountain side to the over 100 miles of mine workings on the Telluride side, including the Meldrum Tunnel, and the lower Mill Level Tunnel which brought ore to the Idarado Mill.  The network of mine workings is now part of the water quality control system.

Photos courtesy of Henry Djerlev and Susan Canty

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