Camp Bird Office
In1893, a sudden drop in the price of silver caused most mines and mills to close. Thomas Walsh noticed that some local mines had been working veins of moderately poor silver ore and dumping extremely rich gold ore. "One man's trash is another man's treasure". Walsh bought up bankrupt mines and mills, began processing the gold ore, bought the Camp Bird Mine, discovered rich gold deposits there and almost immediately became fantastically wealthy. The scales in this office weighed out some of the gold product from his mining efforts. The ledgers were needed to record business transactions and precious metallic ore was transported in the strong box you see in this room. A mine might continue to produce millions for years or it might play out quickly. If you were a mine owner and had made a fortune, what would you do, hold or sell? Behind one of the glass doors is the tripod and transit used by Ouray surveyors, Wheeler and Whinnerah, to survey the Camp Bird Mine. Also located in this room is the old switchboard from the Idarado Mine Complex just a few miles south of Ouray. It was used to communicate with the outside world between 1955 and 1985.