A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

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A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Doug Heitkamp
Years ago, this drawing came up for sale on eBay. I bid, but did not win. Did any of you get it? Anyway it seems that the fireman stuck his head out the window at the wrong time and got clobbered. The two mills are the Eagle and the Polar Star. Not sure if it killed him, but it would have been a hell of a shot to the head. Here are the pictures I copied from the auction. Wish they were a higher resolution.

Doug





Doug Heitkamp
Centennial, CO
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Chris Walker
This post was updated on .
What a fantastic item to own, draughted on linen I guess.
I can so commiserate with the poor feller,  have run through tunnels so narrow that you could not open the cab frontdoor at speed lest it strike the roof.  The cabs all carried "Warning:Close Clearance" stencilling inside above the cab side-windows, a hazard of the job one can say I'm afraid, narrow gauge job I mean.

Here's the offending pipework..


http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/70884/rv/singleitem/rec/134


http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/78520/rv/singleitem/rec/372

While we are on the subject here that Doug has brought to our attention, there shown in those two captured images,  the evidence that what appears to be static was indeed forever changing with the intense development of such a confined area and the Mining/Milling industry at large.

I was holding this for another quiz but it's kinda out of the bag now.............the siding on the left of the Eagle Mill was extended, there are other changes in the whole scene but this will do for now.


UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Doug Heitkamp
Doug, this is amazing. Thanks.

Looks like it was really early on the C&S, as I make out the date "Sept 26, 1898". "Engine No.72 (Old No.10)". The drawing was done in April 1899 by the "Chief Engineer's Office", so it probably was done by the railroad to document the clearance issue of a non railroad obstruction on the ROW, resulting in either serious injury or death of an employee.

The drawing seems to show that the fireman was not just sticking his head out the window, he was actually way out the window. This could give rise to the arguement that the railroad was not at fault in the accident, which is probably why the drawings were made.

From the photos Chris posted, it appears that there were no changes made to "correct" the issue. Another of countless examples of how hard and dangerous life was in those days. Doubtful there was any settlement to either the injured employee or to his family.
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Todd Hackett
In reply to this post by Chris Walker
It was a bit safer in the early days, before that overhead pipe was installed:


From this magic lantern slide:


And in case anyone is interested in the gons and ore cars:

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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Derrell Poole
In reply to this post by Chris Walker
Gritty! Verrrrrrrrrrrry gritty....
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

John Schapekahm
In reply to this post by Chris Walker
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Chris Walker
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
Mike Trent wrote
From the photos Chris posted, it appears that there were no changes made to "correct" the issue. .

on further viewing, in the cold hard light of day,  I notice that there must have been a relocation of the pipe after this incident if you compare the drawing location with the 2nd picture showing the "switchbacking" train.  The pipework is now supported on the Eagle Mill side by a pole, located up on the Team roadway left of a cribbing between the roadway and the tracks.  The other part of the offending pipework descends into the centre of the small building opposite.  They must have moved the pole.  Further photo's at this location are in the the Sundance Gilpin Railroad Era book.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Mike Trent
Administrator
You've a keen eye, Chris. Thanks.
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Chris Walker
I'd like to think so Mike, but, it isn't always so.
I'll see something and point it out only to be shown something else I totally missed, and so it goes...the really good thing is, We all learn from it.  Worse still is stating something erroneously, being corrected and only then remembering I was aware of that, years ago.  Duh! Forehead slap!

I slowed up on the C&S some 20 years ago when I went off on my Mining research foray, co-incidently picking up on what led me to discover the South Park in the first place.  I would have loved to have had this facility back then, sitting alone at the table 7500 miles away trying to work things out isn't always conducive to a good result, especially working from books that also have the odd wrong conclusion stated...Coaling platform at Hancock anyone?
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Chris Walker
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: A bad day in Black Hawk or how I lost my head!

Doug Heitkamp
Nice Chris!
Doug Heitkamp
Centennial, CO