Milepost 33.0 Vanadium Elev. 7,700


Originally the town was called "Newmire". In 1905, the Vanadium Alloys Company built an experimental mill for processing the mineral Roscoelite for its Vanadium content. By 1910, the Primos Chemical Company leased a lot of the Vanadium Alloys Company's holdings in the area, including their mineral rights, and slowly brought the mill from an experimental state into a full production facility.

The years 1910 thru 1916 saw many changes to the mill buildings that correlates to changes that were made in the milling process. The year 1913 saw the town of "Newmire", actually the Post Office, officially change it's name to "Vanadium". In 1919, a portion of the mill burned and was quickly rebuilt. In 1920, the Vanadium Corporation of America bought out the [Vanadium] Alloys Company holdings. A year later, the plant stopped production and was "mothballed". Little information has surfaced past 1923, but due to the slump in the world demand for Vanadium it is probably safe to assume the mill wasn't re-opened. The last known photo of the mill is dated 1935. A 1939 photo shows that most of the mill was torn down and a truck dumping ramp was added to the spur. Along with tailings from the mill site, Carnotite and Roscoelite from local mines was most likely dumped into open gondolas and processed elsewhere; perhaps at Durango. Through all the years of production, the mineral Roscoelite was milled for its Vanadium content. Most of the ore came from mines up Fall Creek and Bear Creek. There is not one solid piece of evidence that Carnotite was ever milled at Vanadium, nor is there any evidence that the elements Uranium or Radium were ever commerically extracted at the mill.

I'm making an exception to my set era by modelling the complete Vanadium mill as it was in 1935 and pretending that it was working at its 1920 production levels. So far, I've drawn plans of the mill as it most likely appeared in 1935. I've started building the interior machinery and a wooden base for the structures. The mill has a footprint, in HO Scale, that is 34" x 34" so I had to turn the mill 45 degrees to fit the space on my layout.

Vanadium Trackplan