Twilight Mine

Upper Higgins tunnel / Higgins Mine

 

The Twilight mine generally refers to the manganese workings located at 6,100ft., on the Twilight claim. Workings located at the 5,660ft. elevation are considered the Higgins Mine. This mine consists of two adits, a large open cut with a stope and a few small open cuts. The claim itself was originally filed in 1880 by Hugh Jones, Hope and Chapman. These men later abandoned the property and it was then restaked by George Warren, George Eddleman and D.B. Rae. The claim was being prospected in 1881 under a bond of $28,500 by a Mr. Reardon These men did little with the property and it eventually became under the ownership of George Kline and Charles Anshultz who sold it to Thomas Higgins.  In 1903 the Twilight group of nine claims was sold to the Higgins Development Company. This company drove a 300ft. adit at the roughly the 5800ft. elevation. 150ft. inside the adit a narrow natural cave or fissures was found. Miners could drop rocks down this fissure and estimated from the fall of the rocks that it was 40-80ft. deep.  During this year the company began sinking a winze at 45°. After hitting ore the incline was steepened to 70°. The winze eventually connected to the main Higgins tunnel to provide ventilation and was 277ft. long. Work on the Twilight slowed until World War I. The demand for manganese increased and 30,000 tons of “psilomelane” (Braunite, Romanechite, Pyrolusite) Roma was mined running about 30% manganese.  All this ore was hauled down the mountain by burros. Charles Palache and W.T. Shaller noticed crystals of yellow green copper arsenate. Originally, it was thought to be a species new to science and was named Higginsite. Later it was proven to actually conichalcite.  Sharp, single crystals of up to 1 cm have been found on the dump.  The area operated during World War I and sporadically until 1929. Demand for manganese in World War II also saw operations at the Twilight in 1943. During the following years the area was a common area for local kids to explore. The mine workings are in solid ground and generally safe except for a couple open raises. This continued until the stopes, adits and raises were sealed with rocks and foam around 2010. Today the open cut and stopes can been seen readily on the mountain as long black dumps trailing down the hillside above the Higgins Mine.

Dumps of a small shaft on the Twilight mine site

Looking out from inside a large manganese stope in the twilight mine

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© 2013 by Doug Graeme