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History & Archaeology Workshop, Saturday, August 11

We hope you will join us for a history and archaeology workshop at the North London Mill on Friday, August 11. Registration is limited to 20 participants per session. We will host one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Please consider donating to North London Mill Preservation, Inc. so that we can continue to offer this kind of educational programming and keep moving on our efforts to rehabilitate and repurpose the buildings at the site.

Click here to register.  

Workshop Details: 
The North London Mill is historically tied to the operation of the North London Mine. The ore bodies were discovered in 1873, surveyed as the Mother, Paris, London, and Hard to Beat lodes in 1876, and patented in 1878. The North London Mill was constructed on the north side of London Mountain in 1892. The ores from the North London Mine were complex and the gold not easily separated. The mill was re-outfitted several times over its lifespan as new milling technologies promised better returns. The North London Mine and Mill ceased operations in 1937 or 1938. Remaining at the site are the ruins of the mill, several support buildings, and industrial and domestic artifacts.
This workshop will be conducted by NoLo Vice President and historian Kate McCoy and archaeologists from Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Michelle Slaughter and Natasha Krasnow. It is designed with the layperson in mind. Participants will learn about the history of mining in Park County and the history of the North London Mine and Mill. They will tour the site and learn about existing features and their roles during the Mill’s operation. Participants will also learn about how archaeology contributes to what we can know about sites like the North London Mill.
The workshop is limited to 20 participants per session. A registration form must be completed for each participant in your group.
The North London Mill site is located in a high alpine region about 7 miles from Colorado State Route 9 at an elevation of 11,200 ft. Be prepared for high altitude by dressing appropriately and bringing plenty of water and snacks. Check out this resource for high altitude travel:
Participants will need a level of fitness to be able to hike a quarter to half a mile, cross a stream on a narrow foot bridge, and maneuver around the buildings--all at high altitude.
The weather in Mosquito Gulch is changeable and unpredictable. Participants should bring rain gear and wear layers and must wear closed-toe shoes. Long pants and long sleeves are highly recommended for protection in thick brush, from insects, and from the sun. A hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent are also highly recommended.
The buildings at the North London Mill are ruins. For safety reasons, participants must remain with the group at all times.
A four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to reach the North London Mill, though extra high clearance is not required to get to the site. The road is not technically challenging, but it is rocky and a bit uneven in places. The road bed is wide and graded. We will meet in the town of Alma to coordinate rides to the site.
This workshop is generously funded by a grant from the South Park National Heritage Area, but North London Mill Preservation, Inc., a Colorado non-profit organization, needs your support to continue the work to preserve these buildings and continue these educational efforts. Please consider a tax-deductible donation.
Participants will receive an email confirmation upon submission of this form. About a week before the event, we will send another email with further instructions and reminders of what to wear and what to bring.

June 2018 Update

North London Mill Preservation, Inc. Receives Grants from State Historical Fund and South Park National Heritage Area!

We are delighted to report that we have received a $35,000 grant from History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF) to begin work on the preservation and rehabilitation of buildings at the North London Mill Site! These funds have been matched with $11,670 from the Gates Family Foundation of Colorado.

The money will be used to begin rehabilitation of the North London Office, which served as the base of operations for the North London Mine from 1883-1937. This is the first phase of the preservation and rehabilitation effort to repurpose the building as backcountry accommodations for the public to enjoy. Volunteer work days are planned for this summer to do clean-up at the site. Anyone interested in volunteering in this effort should send an email to nolopreservationinc@gmail.com

In addition, NoLo has secured a $15,000 grant from the SHG to conduct an historic structure assessment (HSA) of the North London Mill. The monumental structure on Mosquito Pass outside Alma is a local icon, familiar to the community and to backcountry skiers, hikers, and those who make the challenging drive over the pass in 4-wheel-drive vehicles. The assessment will be conducted by preservation architect Jessica Reske of Form + Works Design Group and structural engineers from JVA, Inc.

The HSA will provide a thorough assessment of the North London Mill, which has been abandoned since around 1937. It will help NoLo determine how much of the building can be rehabilitated and the purposes for which it may be used. The plan now is for a multi-use building with some covered, semi-outdoor spaces and some fully enclosed. Proposed uses include spaces for shelter from the elements and meeting spaces for educational programming consistent with NoLo's mission.

In conjunction with the HSA activities, Lisa Thompson and Erica Crosby of the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety will visit the site to determine how their division might help with stabilization of the Mill.

A History and Archaeology Workshop will be held at the NoLo site on August 11. This workshop is open to the public and is made possible by a grant of  $8,574 from the South Park National Heritage Area and in-kind match volunteer labor. The workshop will be conducted by NoLo Vice President Kate McCoy and archaeologists from Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Michelle Slaughter and Natasha Krasnow. It will be designed with the layperson in mind. Participants will learn about the history of mining in Park County, the history of the North London Mine and Mill, and the layout of the site. They will tour the site and learn about existing features and their roles during the Mill’s operation. Participants will also learn about how archaeology contributes to what we can know about sites like the North London Mill. Further details are forthcoming.

NoLo will have a booth at the Festival in the Clouds in Alma July 20-22.

April 2018 Update

On April 1, we submitted an application to History Colorado for a grant of $35,000 to begin preservation of the North London Office. The required 25% cash-match has already been pledged by the Gates Family Foundation

These funds would represent a major step towards the adaptive re-purposing of this historic building.

We are now actively seeking volunteers to help us during summer work days. If you're interested in pitching in, please contact us at nolopreservationinc@gmail.com.

February 2018 Update

In October, 2017, we submitted an application for funding to History Colorado for $180,000 for Phase 1 of the rehabilitation of the North London Office.


On February 1, 2018, we were notified by History Colorado that funding was not approved.

We consider this a temporary setback. Two of the reviewers of our application recommended funding, while the other two did not. All of the reviewers were encouraging and gave excellent feedback and suggestions to improve our application. None of the reviewers appear to have been aware that we have secured $60,000 in matching funds from the Gates Family Foundation. 


We will re-apply to History Colorado in April for a smaller grant of $35,000. The time-frame for approval of this amount is shorter - if approved, funds would be released this summer. That would give us time to get started on work on the roof, foundation, and clean-up of the site.


Our $15,000 grant for an Historic Structure Assessment for the NoLo Mill was approved History Colorado. That work will begin as soon as weather and conditions permit.

We remain optimistic about our chances for success, and we are grateful to all of our supporters. 

December 2017 Update

We are delighted to report that NoLo has received a $15,000 grant from History Colorado (the State Historic Fund) to conduct an Historic Structure Assessment of the North London Mill!

The HSA, to be led by the architectural firm Form+Works Design Group, will commence in the summer of 2018. The historic North London Mill will be studied by architects and structural engineers in order to determine the best way forward for preservation, as well as possible strategies for repurposing the structure.

This represents the first major grant that NoLo has received from the State Historic Fund. 


October 2017 Update

The North London Mill site has been recognized by the Park County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (PCHPAC) as a local landmark. 
The Boundary of the Historic North London Mill Site 

With historical research assistance from Christie Wright at the Park County Local History Archives and local historian Jerry Davis and research funding from the State University of New York at New Paltz, the application for landmark recognition was submitted by North London Mill Preservation, Inc. (NoLo).

Through grassroots fundraising and grants from the PCHPAC and the Alma Foundation, NoLo was able to raise $6,000 to commission an archeological site survey, conducted in August and September by Alpine Archeological Consultants of Montrose, CO to determine the scope and limits of the site.

The site was officially determined to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) by History Colorado, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, on April 5, 1992. Alpine Archeological Consultant’s recent assessment of the site confirms that it should continue to be considered NRHP eligible. NoLo will pursue national landmark recognition for the site.

August Update

We are so grateful to the 35+ individuals who helped us reach our goal of $1,000 in matching funds for a donation from our friend Niles Emerick, whose employer Apple, will also match his gift. That's $3,000! Half the cost of the archeological site survey we will conduct this month in order to determine the breadth, scope, and specifics of the North London Mill site for our application for landmark status with Park County. ParkCo has also generously donated financial resources for this survey. 

We are working closely with History Colorado as we finalize our construction grant application, due October 1, to restore the North London Office for use as a year-round backcountry hut for all to enjoy. Work could begin as early as June, 2018. 

Kate and I finally got the chance to hike to the summit, and we got a great view of Lake County. Lots of pika and marmots, and the wildflowers were spectacular. Such a magical place.