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Yankee Girl Milk | by Mike Berenson - Colorado Captures
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Yankee Girl Milk

As one of the best looking mines I've found yet in Colorado's backcountry, the Yankee Girl Mine stood out as a spot worth returning to on a recent scouting trip. So with a plan in-mind for some dark night photography, I set out to shoot the Yankee Girl against Milky Way skies. This light painted, stacked, composite image was taken at 4:30 in the morning from a jeep trail off of Red Mountain Pass between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado.


Worth mentioning on the technical side is that I'm really happy with the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens I've started using. As you can see here, there's very little coma effect on the stars in the corners.




Background below provided courtesy of


Yankee Girl Mine has an amazing history. It started in 1882. A prospector named Mr. Robinson was out hunting and found a rock full of galena on Red Mountain. He found where it came from and found a huge chimney of silver ore. He constructed the Yankee Girl Mine. This was the start of the Red Mountain mining boom. Mr. Robinson sold his mine for $125,000 after one month. The mine has a 1,050 foot vertical shaft. The Yankee Girl shaft house above the mine has a bull wheel and wire for getting out ore. You can still see the shaft house today. At its height, the mine produced ten tons of ore each day. Ore wasn’t sorted because everything was valuable. There was no waste! Each day, a mule train of seventy five mules, each carrying 250 pounds of ore, went to Silverton because they had a train and Ouray didn’t. The mine produced silver, copper, and gold. It made $8,000,000 in its time. There were problems too. Everyone knows when you dig down, water fills up the shaft. So they bought a $30,000 pump to keep the water out, but corrosive water eroded the pump in just one month. This bad water was a major problem at the mine. Guston, a town near the Yankee Girl, had a population of 300 people. Guston had the only church in the Red Mountain mining district. There were two other mines nearby, the Guston Robinson and the Genesee Vanderbuilt. While the boom lasted, the Yankee Girl was the center of attention.

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Taken on May 16, 2012