SOPRIS MINES & COKE OVENS

The Company Houses in Sopris Canyon were demolished in 1928. 
6 years after the explosion.
A Methane Gas explosion in 1922 killed 18 miners.
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Mine No.1 entrance
Mule Barn

LATER SOPRIS CANYON
1917

ORIGINAL SOPRIS CANYON
1901

St. Thomas
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Mine Tipple
Circa 1916

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Miners posing after a long workday

Coke Ovens
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All of the coal mined at Sopris was converted to coke for use in many Colorado precious metal smelters, as well as the steel mill at Pueblo.  The first 100 ovens  were constructed in 1888  and another 100 were added in 1892.
R.C. Hills, a Colorado Fuel & Iron geologist, invented a far more efficient oven that could precisely control the amount of air introduced during the cooking process.  In 1893, Colorado Fuel & Iron constructed 120 of these new ovens, and in 1900 added 50 more ovens. (Pictured above)  The coke ovens at Sopris could produce 3000 tons of coke per day.
A washer, to clean the coal prior to cooking, was constructed in 1894.  A crusher also was added near the tipple structure.  Daily coal production from the mine reach 1000 tons, and more than 300 men worked at the Sopris facilities.
From Ghost Towns
by Kenneth Jessen

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Last two(2) remaining of 120 Coke Ovens 1973
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Some of the original homes in Sopris Canyon

circa 1910

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Sopris mine #1  employees   Nov. 1926

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Sopris & surrounding area coal miners - Valdez Colorado 

1942

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Joe Martorano

Sopris & surrounding area coal miners - Valdez Colorado 
1942