Saturday, October 5, 2013

Algonquin mill

In 1879, the former superintendent of the Northwest Company, James K. Pardee, organized a new venture to develop the Algonquin lode, Dan Brown's  best discovery. Like the Northwest Company, the Algonquin would be financed out of Philadelphia, and, also like the Northwest, the most expensive component would be a dry roasting-pan amalgamation mill, which was depicted in a drawing in Northwest Magazine in 1887 (left).  It started up in February of 1880 and ran for several years on rich ore from the upper part of the Algonquin vein. It also processed the first ore from the Granite mine, and the mill served as the "pattern" for the huge stamp mills used to process the Granite ores. 
The mill, designed and erected by Thomas Fisher (though there was a lively dispute in the press over how much Mr. M. Carey was involved)  had 20 stamps and was supplied by the same firm, Griffith and Wedge, that had built the Alice and Moulton silver mills in Butte. In 1880, Hector Horton, the district's discoverer, lived in Hasmark, the town next to the mill, and was no doubt engaged in the construction as a brick mason. 

The Algonquin mill burned on December 31, 1898  and little sign remains of it other than a stone retaining wall (below left, Ted A. photo) and the remnants of a flue and stack (below right, Jim Waldbillig photo).

Jo Antonioli at the Algonquin millsite
Dave Harris at the site of the Algonquin mill smokestack

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