ed with a shower of slingers and rocks."
Later, when part of the narrow-gauge
railroad was to be exploded, the cap
't go off. Unda
grabbed a pistol an
d fired at the dynamite. The f
day, and old oil house ne
- ar the smelter was also blown up as part of the bridge scene.
Today, there isn't
- much left of the operation. Large black slag piles are gradually
being hauled away from Gra
- nt County's driveways and highways. The "Big Ditch" is
filled with illegally dumped trash. Rusted pipes protrude fro
- m the ground. Twisted iron
lies with scattered, broken brick.
The burned foundation of the old Continen
- tal Ore and Chemical Co. fluorspar concen-
tratorfrom Wold War II rests on the ruins of the old Silver City Reduction Works.
A road toward the sewer plant south of town lea
- ds right by the old operation. There's
not much to see. There are the tailings, the sla
- g, and with some imagination, there's
the old Silver City smelter.
The Silver Cit
Was Big Operation
n Works South of Town
Once Employed More Than
200 Men and Women
Sit of 1913 Silent Movie
By RICHARD PETERSON
Daily Press Writer
Ore was hand-picked from steam powered conveyer belts by men - and children.
he equipment was "the best known to metallurgical science." While families depended on the operation for a livelihood. And in 1913, a silent movie was filmed at the site by a prominent California movie company which later merged with Warner Brothers.
It was the Silver City Reduction Works, the pride of Silver City and which fro a brief time was a boon to the economy, making mining in the Grant County possible in those early years.
0 years later, there is nothing left of the operation.
The Silver City Reduction Works went by several names before it was finally scaped.
as originally build by the Hearst family to handle gold and silver ores hauled from their Pinos Altos mines.
This were difficult years for the operation, and a final crunch came in 1902. The
plans was handling just about every ore it could get - custom smelting included. And that meant copper was among those ores. Copper, in fact, was such a vital part of the smelt
depressed copper market condition Department of Education
a closure of the smelter.
That was in April. On June 30, 30, 1903, the plant caught fire and was leveled. Silver City's hopes were dashed
since the whole operation was going to be sold and once again
put into productions.
The sale took p
lace anyway, and Comanche Mining Smelting Co. was the new owner.
The reduction works were build on a larger s, ca Secret Service and le.
In 1906, the newspap
- er had this to say:
"The big red building in which this ponderous machinery i
s housed is
72 feet high
s by far the most imposing structure in theses parts, being 63 feet in width and
"A metallic conveyer will carry the ore from the bins to the large crusher, from
whence it will be elevated... the oversize of this going to the picking belt were boys
and men will be employed to pick out the different classes
of ore that is to go direct
to the smelter.
"The water for the mill will be
The little Silver City, Pino
s Altos & Mogollon railroad hauled ore to this smelter,
but only briefly. Comanche was a