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Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #150 on: December 12, 2008, 07:48:13 PM »
At this spot here, is where again things began to turn very chilly. Time to get our coats out once again, this also happens to be the beggining of the switchback road up to El Tunel where you get to see a lot of big rigs coming and going to the Fluorite Mine,La Escondida, i believe. The altitude change is very abrupt there.

GE Waypoint: N28 39.411 W102 18.896

Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #151 on: December 12, 2008, 07:56:35 PM »
Once we reached the entrance of the tunnel, we could see how big the Santa Rosa valley extends, as much as i have been there, i never get tired of going up everytime and admire this scenery. It is just breathtaking!!!









GE Waypoint: N28 38.883 W102 19.658



GE Waypoint to the End of the Tunnel: N28 38.698 W102 20.168

« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 08:14:06 PM by homerboy2u »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #152 on: December 12, 2008, 08:10:45 PM »
Our last entry would be the end of the tunnel and withn that the end of our adventure. As many times as i have been lucky to be there, I still say how blessed i am to have these opportunities to visit such beautiful and isolated places. The bonds of friendship made at that trip , last for ever and strong amigos are forged by the sharing of the obstacles, the hardships, the problems that arise and how collectivebly we resolve each one and overcome future challenges they may present as we move forward to explore more corners of the back country of Coahuila. Always crossing our fingers that we may some day be able to cross back and forth our countries thru the desert places of the Chihuahuhan desert, as our forefathers used to do.











 The End.......El Fin!!!
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #153 on: December 12, 2008, 08:17:44 PM »
My Picture slide show

Gilberto's Slide show

 Now, let me work on the waypoints.They are alot and all interesting,besides i promised to post this to the man who inspired me to do this one day, by sharing his pictures of the Top of the Del Carmen's...Al, Thank You very much for providing many facts and waypoints to resolve and  make this trip a reality......Salud!! :kaos-cactus06:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 08:27:28 PM by homerboy2u »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Online Al

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #154 on: December 12, 2008, 09:32:54 PM »
Homero, thanks again!  In response to your relentless pressure, I've added a couple of more photos to one of my posts.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php/topic,6716.msg67741.html#msg67741

Al

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunne
« Reply #155 on: December 14, 2008, 07:34:29 PM »
Homero, Wow, that brings back some great memories.  Thank you again for sharing your insights.  It is bitter sweet.  I can't help but ask another question.  How many miles did you drive from your home to get to Boquillas? 

Al

 Trying to keep my promises, here is a picture of the whole trip from my town over to The Puerto Rico Mine, plus a file with the waypoints in between and middle points including Big Ranches, very Old Haciendas and some historic sites.

Enjoy



 Thank you (WL2) for your help...
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline joelg

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunne
« Reply #156 on: December 30, 2008, 02:00:42 AM »
Homero,

Thank you so much for your trip report. I got goosebumps reading about it. I have spent hours in libraries, pouring over Google Earth, and talking to descendants to piece together the story of the Puerto Rico mine and the terminal. I know the area best from about 1910 ;) Seeing your pictures from today make it come alive in a whole new way for me.

Here are a few historical photos that you may enjoy. All are from the The National Park Service and can be found in the archive at Big Bend National Park. They were probably taken around 1910 for articles published in "Mines and Minerals." See my website, here, for the actual articles.

Entrance to the Puerto Rico Mine


Overlooking the embarkation terminal, across the Rio Grand. The Puerto Rico is five miles away; ore was moved from there to here by burrow drawn wagons until about 1916 when they were replaced by trucks.


Postcard commemorating the opening of the tramway, most likely published by the Del Carmen Company.


Here's a brief history of the mine and oreterminal as I know it from historical research and interviewing descendents:
- There's no record of who first started mining here, but by the late 1800's The Kansas City Smelting and Refining Company (KSARCO) was mining lead. Some was smelted on site, as you found. Most found its way to El Paso.
- KSARCO was rolled into ASARCO, a huge mining conglomerate, which the Guggenheims purchased around 1900 or so. (Yes, those Guggenheims as in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.)
- Shortly thereafter, the Guggenheims decided to consolidate their mining operations and shutdown the Boquillas operation because it was so remote. (I don't have information on who the actual Mexican mine owners were, because I believe KSARCO had a lease, but I'm sure that information is in the Registro De Las Minas (sp?) in Mexico City.)
- A few years later (c. 1905?) a Louis Lyons, an insurance man from St. Louis goes to a mining conference in Mexico and meets a Carlos Moser, freelance mining engineer working in Zacatecas. They come to Boquillas to see about reopening the mine. To his surprise, Moser realizes that KSARCO missed all the zinc in the mine. They become partners in the Del Carmen Company in order to capitalize on the find.
- Instead of hauling the ore 200 miles south to the nearest train depot in Mexico, Moser contracts with the A. Leschen & Sons Wire Rope Company of St. Louis to build the tramway to haul ore across the Rio Grande and into the US. The ore is the hauled to Marathon by burrow drawn wagons.
- Louis Lyon's wife sends their oldest daughter, Aimee, to find out what her dad was up to in Mexico. Aimee and Moser fall in love and marry.
- Moser moves from Mexico to San Antonio for his base of operations.
- By 1910, Moser's behind schedule. He and Aimee move to Marathon. He obtains new financing and ore starts moving around 1910 and 1911.
- Moser catches the flu and dies in El Paso in 1915.
- New US owners, The International Mining Company, begin mining. It's unclear the nature of Aimee Moser's role.
- 1916, the ore terminal is attacked on both sides of the Rio Grande by Mexican raiders who are formerly with Pancho Villa; while not attacked at the same time as Glenn Springs, it's part of the general unrest of the time. The US sends Major George T. Langhorne across the Rio Grande in pursuit. In the newspaper accounts of the time, there's mention of a motion picture crew that traveled with Langhorne into Mexico, holding the tantalizing hope of film footage from that time.
- 1919, the mining operation shuts down due to the crash in metal prices after World War I.
- In the late 1920's, a Mike Manning was working for the Chisos Mining Company in Terlingua when someone brought him rich ore from the Puerto Rico mine in Mexico. Manning created a partnership with a man name Johnston and they mined the Puerto Rico from the late 1920's to the early 1940s. I don't have any information after that.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 10:32:51 AM by RichardM »

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #157 on: December 30, 2008, 02:26:47 PM »
I was hoping you stepped in much sooner,Joelg. Somehow i knew your wealth of information would clear many issues as we went along on the trip report. I am glad you did, eventually.

 I really hope that some of your questions posted on your webpage were answered by reading my TR. Just wanted to add that you are a tough act to follow , when it comes to this subject.

Should you want to pursuit more information on this subject,maybe you should consider dropping a note to the current owners of ASARCO... Grupo Mexico and see what they write you back.

 Another,very hidden, source of information is the City archives of Muzquiz,Coahuila. I know, but have not seen the history books there,people say they are envious in the wealth of information written by the founding fathers: Spanish settlers,town folks,historical figures and many others involved in other activities such as mining. Maybe if you can contact them, there could be a chance to go deper in history and get more facts about it.

 Now should you want to visit the mine site by yourself , just download the waypoints posted here and will take you up to the very entrance of the mine and see things in a very different way than just reading about them...trust me!!.

Archivo General del Estado

Some phone numbers for the Satellite Phones to call them up:

Las Norias de Boquillas: 011-52-(555)-151-2923

Jaboncillos El Grande: 011-52-(555)-151-2927

Boquillas del Carmen: 011-52-(555)-151-2924

Remember , give it 2 seconds for your message to arrive then wait for their message to get to your phone or else it will bllock itself between you two. It is kind of like a two way radio sort to speak.

Good Luck and keep us posted.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 03:21:12 PM by homerboy2u »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #158 on: December 30, 2008, 03:22:59 PM »
Homero,

I hope you don't mind that I'm posting this video here.  I thought it might be fitting.

El Carmen - Big Bend

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BigBendHiker

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #159 on: December 30, 2008, 06:14:26 PM »
Hi Homero!
THANKS for posting all of these pictures and the story to go with it.


BBH

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunne
« Reply #160 on: December 30, 2008, 08:13:17 PM »
...Gracias!!!
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline joelg

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #161 on: December 30, 2008, 10:50:23 PM »
Homero,

Wish I was more involved with the board; been away for a long time /w/ life, etc. Would have jumped at the chance to go with you to Puerto Rico.

I'd love to spend time in Muzquiz; I'd need a native Spanish speaking researcher to work with side by side in the archives. I'd love to write the definitive history. I think Ocampo, Quatro Cienegas, and Monclova may also have archives related to the mining operations as they are all mentioned in documentation/articles of the time. Thanks for posting the link to the Archivo General.

Here's a plan of the Puerto Rico mine from 1919, courtesy of the National Park Service. It was probably commissioned by the International Mining Company in order to sell the mine. I believe you were in the Cubana entrance. I have a higher rez image if you need it.


Do you have any more historical questions I may be able to help answer?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 11:10:44 PM by RichardM »

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunne
« Reply #162 on: December 31, 2008, 04:23:02 PM »
It just so happens that yesterday (Dec/30/2008) Jose "Lacho" Falcon calls me from Muzquiz that he has more time now a days and is available to guide me or any body else to any parts of the Del Carmen's.He is very knowlegeable of the whole area and knows all the water sources in the land: Tinajas,springs,small pools,etc. He is very well experienced in hiking as well.


 He speaks better english than me and lives in Boquillas del Carmen,should you or anybody else be interested in guided tours just drop me a PM and can help you hook up with him.

 I think since he is going to come more often to Muzquiz (he said almost every 15 days or so) he can even help translate and get you in touch with folks in Muzquiz who know more facts about the area and the mine. You would be amazed at the the knowledge people have passed on from one generation to another.

 BTW, his wife also makes the quilts for Cinthia de Narvaez,hand sewn and all the se?oras sell their work.


 I picked this one for my home,very nice........



How many entrances were in the Puerto Rico Mine,i only entered 2 but there was at least another one from inside when i stumble upon an air shaft and saw an upper tunnel from with in.

 How was the mine discovered?. The miners told me there were more claims to mine in the upper part of the Del Carmens, in the area they call El Jardin...(the garden).
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 03:30:26 AM by homerboy2u »
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Offline Lorax

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Re: Nov/08:Sierra del Carmen-Puerto Rico Mine-Boquillas del Carmen and the Tunnel
« Reply #163 on: December 31, 2008, 10:14:46 PM »
Thanks for the history of the mine.  I get questions and now I have some more answers.

Ted

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Offline homerboy2u

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Long Over Due...but they are here,at last.
« Reply #164 on: April 19, 2009, 05:08:06 PM »
After trying and trying to upload these videos,I finally was able to do it. It takes for ever to do it in You Tube,but they are there now.

 This video is on our way up,and we stumble the steepest hill i had ever ride,twice did we feel our front axle lift off the ground,it raises your arm hair involuntarily,believe me.


 On this one one, we are taking a break for what is coming up and waiting on our friends to tackle the incline hill. Check out the views from Gilberto's camera.



 A piece of cake....yeah,right :icon_rolleyes:



 I don't think my heart has ever pumped so fast,like this experience. I had so much adrenalin flowing ,i just coild not stop talking, maybe i was scare s******s and just was trying to atch my breath of what we had done.



 Entering the mine,our friend Hugo was rushing out of the mine.....he just did not have the guts to go all the way in, and i don't blame him.My knees were shaking like crazy inside,but were there and we knew we were not coming back soon,we had to take the opportunity and explore.



 Guys working inside of the mine in the worst conditions i have ever seen...very tough for these men.



 This is on our way down,a hair raising experience this turned out.



 I was dog gone scare here,it was part of the adventure of going to the place.

 All videos contributed by my friend Gilberto Sanchez.









Stay thirsty, my friends.

 


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