Bullion Beck & Champion Mining Company headframe

"The Bullion Beck & Champion Mining Company Headframe

Perched over deep mining shafts, headframes or gallows frames illustrate the development of mining from small individually owned prospects to the large-scale operations of mining corporations.  Technological innovations were required to accomplish this change.  The Bullion Beck headframe, constructed in 1890, served to transport men, mules, supplies, and ore in and out of the underground workings.  The Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1891, described the newly-constructed plant:

'Over the shaft is the main building of the hoisting works.  This is a substantially-framed structure 40 x 119 feet, and high enough to take in the gallows frame, that being on of the best and strongest in the country and sixty feet in height.  There are no better framed timbers or larger ones than these in Utah.'

Headframes were of various types - the 4 or 6 post type and the A-type or modifications of it.  The Bullion Beck gallows is the A-type, also called a 2-post headframe or Montana type.  Mining engineers' handbooks contain stress sheets and diagrams that illustrate how all bracing was placed at angles and in positions designed to hold the weight and stress needed to do the job.  Sizes of frames depended on load weight, shaft size and depth, special equipment requirements, and weather conditions if exposed.

The headframe allowed mining from depths of 300 to over 3,000 feet below the surface.  On top of this frame sits sheaves, large wheels over which ran the hoisting rope.  The rope, first a braided belt then a wire cable, ran from the hoisting engines some distance from the headframe.  The Bullion Beck had two Frazer and Chalmers 500 horse-power engines.  The ropes from the sheaves were attached to cages that traveled in and out of the vertical shaft.  These could have been single cages or double-decked and had sections of track attached for rolling in ore cars.  In inclined shafts (shafts descending at an angle) small self-dumping ore cars with wheels, called skips, were used.  Thus, the vertical beams running the center of the frame are often labeled skip guides.  Those of the Bullion Beck were partially reconstructed in 1987.

Hoisting was the process of getting men, equipment, and ore in and out of the mine.  The headframe served as part of the hoisting plant or works.  Basically, the process involved a three-man team - hoist operator, top lander, and cage tender.  The hoist operator ran the hoisting engine according to a set system of bell signals.  Removing loaded ore cars and sending down the empty ones fell to the top lander, while the cage tender delivered the loads to the different levels of the mine and loaded cars of ore or overburden to be sent to the surface.  The floor at the top of the shaft contained iron plates and tracks for the cars so that they could be sent either to the ore bins or the waste dumps.  The Bullion Beck mine contained a double compartment shaft with a man-way from top to bottom.  The timber-lined shaft collar is now covered.

The surface plant of the Bullion Beck mine was originally enclosed in a wooden building.  In 1925 all of the plant was demolished except the headframe, which sat idle during the depression of the 1930s.  It reopened due to World War II demand and operated into the early 1960s.  Mining historians view the headframe as "the most prominent feature in almost any representation of the ordinary mine of the frontier period."  These wooden gallows are very rare.  Those standing symbolize the importance of the western mining landscape." Text from the Monument at the Headframe

If you hadn't noticed all of the gravel everywhere especially on the mine tailings piles, this is part of the EPA's efforts to clean up the high levels of lead and arsenic in the soil in Eureaka, Utah.  There is more information about this at this site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/factsheets03/eureka.htm

Copyright: Calvin Jones
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 11760x5880
Uploadet: 23/05/2011
Opdateret: 10/07/2014


Tags: headframe; mining; eureka; utah
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