Project Update

Commodore Mine Achieves National Register Listing

Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, photo courtesy of Clerestory Preservation

Colorado Preservation, Inc. designated Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, a historic mining district, located outside of Creede in Mineral County, as a Colorado Most Endangered Place in 2006, citing “Natural Elements” as the main threat to the site. Encompassing nearly 30 acres of valley floor and adjacent steep mountain slopes of West Willow Creek Canyon, Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex long stands as one of Colorado’s most scenic and photographed mining sites and is a regional icon. Its history and significance relate to the early silver bonanzas of the 1890s in the area which continued into base metal extraction during World War II. The mine finally closed in 1976 and in 2008–10 underwent several Environmental Protection Agency surveys, assessments, and cleanup efforts.

After 15 years, we are excited to report that this multifaceted and rich site is listed in National Register of Historic Places! This designation was no small feat, as the mine’s historic district is large, complex, and varied. Consisting of approximately 40 contributing and non-contributing resources, it is recognized as one encompassing contributing site, as it displays hardrock tunnel mine features having high levels of integrity and represent the period of significance from 1891–1971.

Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, photo courtesy of Clerestory Preservation

Thanks to the efforts and support of the private owner, Ty Poxson, the regional Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with Mineral County, Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, and others including past researcher Mountain States Historical and Clerestory Preservation, who compiled and wrote the recent nomination. Bachelor-Commodore Mine passed the first preservation test and is officially designated as a historic site. The next steps entail negotiating the complicated ownership of the mining parcels so Mineral County can become future stewards of the district. The goal is to stabilize, preserve, and restore the mine structures to make them safe for greater public access, including heritage and educational tours.

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