Bachelor Mine

Drawing of the Bachelor Mine
Picture by Becky Harmon

The Bachelor Mine is a great example of Ouray County mining. The Bachelor mine claim was filed in 1888. Since there were no outcroppings of ore, it was difficult to know just where to start digging. But George Hurlburt and Charlie Armstrong spent three years digging into the mountain during their free time in the hopes of intersecting the El Mahdi vein. After three years, they had only managed to go 500 feet. They found an investor in J. Frank Sanders and finally struck it rich. By 1895, the Bachelor was the highest producing mine in the area. Ouray was hit hard by the silver crash of 1893, but the Bachelor mine kept the economy humming along. The town of ASH was nearby, providing housing, a school, a mill, a post office, and even a community band. The name came from the first letters of Armstrong, Sanders, and Hurlburt. In 1924, mining in Ouray was having a rough patch. The only mine working was the Bachelor. Investors from Syracuse, New York helped fund the tunnel which would ventilate the Bachelor, drain it, and provide new access to ore. It became the Syracuse Tunnel. It worked so well, that the Bachelor Syracuse Mine again brought Ouray through the depression of 1929. For 100 years, the Bachelor was a reliable mine and dependable employer. Many notable Ouray families worked in the mine. Today, although mining is no longer the primary focus, it is still in operation as a mine tour. Tourists visit and find themselves stepping back in time to learn about the glory days of mining in Ouray.

by Jenny Hart

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