The Project

  North London Mill Preservation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, aims to preserve Colorado's mining heritage and develop an alternative model for outdoor recreation, minimizing impact on land and resources, while remaining responsive and responsible to surrounding communities.

We have chosen to name this project after the historic high mountain pass connecting Park and Lake Counties, CR12, Mosquito Pass. The centerpiece of the project is the North London Mill. From 1892 to 1942, the Mill processed one of Colorado's richest gold strikes. In November, 2017, NoLo was awarded a $15,000 grant from History Colorado to conduct an Historical Structure Assessment of the Mill. This will provide us with a plan for preservation and identify possibilities for repurposing for recreational and educational use. Among potential uses for the structure, we envision a museum interpreting the site and exhibiting artifacts found there, and educational programming in partnerships with, for example, the Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative, Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, and local and other Colorado schools. Programs could include outdoor education in a variety of subjects, including: geology, wildlife biology, botany, archaeology, history, and environmental studies. The restoration of the Mill will be a complex and expensive project that will take some time to accomplish. 

In far better condition and smaller in scale, the North London Office will be the first rehabilitation project at Mosquito Pass. This building served as the base of operations for the London Mines from 1883-1942. The Office had a kitchen, dining room, and 4 sleeping rooms for mine managers and important visitors. 

The North London Office

With a budget of $230K for Phase I of the project, we have applied for funding from History Colorado and the Gates Family Foundation to rehabilitate it as a backcountry hut. The Office would function similarly to the huts of the 10th Mountain Division Hut System, and would be available to the public for overnight use. Memberships granting priority reservation privileges are also under consideration.  
As this 1935 photograph illustrates, the North London Mill site was once a thriving enterprise, with multiple structures that served as offices, dwellings, and utility buildings. Eventually, we may reconstruct some of the structures that no longer remain for use as backcountry accommodation and amenities.  For example, the stable could be reconstructed for use as a bathhouse/sauna and the no longer extant boarding house could be reconstructed as a backcountry hut.  These reconstructions, as well as the restorations of the Mill and Office, would adhere to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
The 10th Mountain Division/Summit Association huts are the inspiration for our efforts at the site. In particular, Section House and Ken's Cabin at Boreas Pass, restored historic buildings, are most analogous. Mosquito Gulch is a popular summer recreation area, and, according to Colorado Wildlife Officer Tyler Stoltzfus, would benefit from more managed access. To that end, we intend to keep the huts open year-round and work closely with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, as well as the Forest Service and Park County Office of Recreation Development to build trails and provide guidance to reduce the impact on the land.

The North London Mill (background) 
and Office (foreground), March 2017

4WD vehicles make their way up Mosquito Pass
Wildflowers abound

The North London Mill site in summer

March 2017 ski tour with Backcountry Magazine
Author and guide Fritz Sperry skiing "The Wave" on London Mountain, March 2017