Project Partner: Gunnison Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management

History: The Golconda Mining Complex, which consists of the Golconda Boarding House and Compressor House, is nearly 100 years old. Located at the head of a stunningly beautiful high alpine basin on a spur of the immensely popular Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, a four-wheel-drive road that attracts over 100,000 visitors each summer, this unique complex is one of a kind in the San Juan Mountains. The boarding house is nearly 100 feet long and 18 feet wide and is built in two sections. The building is an excellent example of a remote mine boarding house, very few of which are still standing in this region, especially not at 12,400 feet in elevation. The compressor house contains intact machinery distinct to hard rock mining. This is the largest extant log structure on the east side of the Alpine Loop that is accessible to the public.

Scope of Work: Exposure to the severe alpine environment took a heavy toll on these impressive log structures; the boarding house was leaning downhill and threatened to collapse if intervention was not taken. In summer 2013, HistoriCorps volunteers and Southwest Conservation Corps crew members worked to stabilize and interpret the buildings, evaluating and repairing the foundation and sills and shaping and installing replacement logs. Summer 2014, HistoriCorps volunteers continued the stabilization work. When completed in 2014, visitors will be able to safely enter and tour the structures. Volunteers learned to:

• Evaluate and repair foundations and sills
• Reconstruct two collapsed frame additions
• Shape and install replacement logs
• Reconstruct and repair roofs
• Apply chinking and daubing to log walls

Location: The site is located at the end of 4wd road on a spur off of the Alpine Scenic Byway, the spur is indicated as County Road 21 on many maps (the UTMs are: 37.964594,-107.55317).

  • July 10, 2013 - July 25, 2014