In January, 1859, George A. Jackson discovered gold at the confluence of what is today’s Chicago Creek and Clear Creek in Idaho Springs. This started the Rocky Mountain gold rush and almost overnight 50,000 men poured into Clear Creek Canyon, stretching from today’s city of Golden, West to Silver Plume and North over Seaton Mountain to Central City. These sites yielded over $1,700,000 in gold
After the easy placer gold was taken from the streams, the miners followed the trail of gold to its source in the mountain and the hard rock lode mining began. Over thirteen thousand mining claims were recorded in less than three years from 1859 to 1861. By 1902, there were over three hundred hard rock lode mines being worked in the Idaho Spring area. One of these mines was the Argo Gold Mine. Under the mine runs the Argo Tunnel, built in order to drain the deep mine shafts of water and enable the miners to raise up ore from depths of over one thousand feet.
The Argo Mill has been featured in many national publications and has been the set for several film productions. Because of the historic significance and impact that the Argo Tunnel and Mill played in local and state mining history, it was placed on the National Historic Register by the Department of the Interior in 1977.
The ArgoGold Mill and Museum is open daily. Schedule your tour today to see the operation of a historic 19th century gold mine.