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Brief History of the Capital Prize Gold Mine



In 1859 George and David Griffith found gold in the Georgetown valley. The Griffith mining district was officially established on June 25, 1860. Capital Prize is the decedent of the original company started by the Griffith's at the very beginning. Silver and gold were found, many claims were staked on excellent ore but, it was a pesky kind of ore that did not give up its gold or silver easily. It took several decades and repeated tries until metallurgic science got it right.


A half a century passed until the whole system was in place and the local miners found their stride. The plans were as big as the egos of the men who wagered heavily, but seldom with their own funds, that they were just another few feet of tunnel from the mother lode. The Capital Prize is verifiable portion of the mineral belt that runs from Central City over to Breckenridge.

The full text of a status report on the mine from 1915 speaks of hardships and challenges, a long hard effort to raise a vertical shaft that would create a natural chimney effect that would draw fresh air from the portals at 8550 feet; and exhaust through that shaft at 11,000 feet. The method included tunneling vertically for hundreds of feet until at over 800 feet up, insufficient air forced them to stop.


The decision to drill down from the top through the rest of the way came next, and was ended when the drill became irretrievably stuck. This was followed by a successful effort to bring in an adit, the Kane, from the side of the mountain. This allowed them to reach the Aetna Vein, the mother load of the Griffith Mining district where the Capital Prize gained control of more than two miles of the vein and developed the mine on many different levels.


Currently the mine has several miles of tunnels.

Several mine reports are available here.

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