(I accidentally sent part of this message before I had finished it. Here's the complete message).
I can guarantee that the lower terminal, later turned into a residence, was the lower terminal for the Buffalo Boy Tram, I was there in the 1960s and 1974 and photographed it. Most of the siding was gone and the sunlight made photos of the interior possible. All kinds of light and shadow views that pro and semi-pro photographers loved in the B&W days! The interior machinery definitely was that of a lower tram terminal.
I came back later (1981, IIRC without looking) and it had become a residence. I went over to photograph it anyway and a white haired old man came out the front door in his bathrobe, stood on the porch, and just stared at me without a word. So I photographed him, too, without saying anything either, then turned around and left. I was there again last August and it apparently was still a residence but didn't show any signs of current usage. The cables are still in the air, as Lowell knows.
The upper terminal is somewhere up Stoney Pass Road above timberline but I never took my 4x4s up there to see it. That tram reaches away from Cunningham Gulch on an angle that corresponds with the Stoney Pass Road's direction which ultimately goes into the northern drainage area of the Rio Grande River.
Jim, don't even think of going any farther than Animas Forks in "passenger vehicles" (having driven 4x4s in the San Juans since 1968, I call them "civilian vehicles"). We did last August and the roads are even rougher than they were 40+ years ago!
To Lowell: Your kits appear to be great and if I was younger I'd buy your neat Iowa-Tiger Aerial Tram Terminal kit and build it. As it is, your writeup last year about your research on that terminal's site along the Animas River canyon just above Silverton sent me prowling that area last August to see and find what you described. Which I did. You're also the first to come out with very good San Juan tram towers which are much like the ones I used to see all over the area 40 and 50 years ago. There still are a few in remote locations; I spotted them last August and in 2006 from way up the jeep road to the northwest of Animas Forks as well as collapsed wooden towers leading down from the original Tomboy Mine in Tomboy Basin northeast of Telluride. The mine on is the west side of Imogene Pass, which at 13,114 ft., has something like a 17 per cent grade jeep shelf road leading up to it. My wife and I went over that pass eastbound last August 2011 with our 46 year old son and daughter in law (and 20 year old grandson) in the 4x4 behind us. A little rougher that when I drove over it westbound from Ouray at night in 1981 in a Toyota LandCruiser.
With best regards, Hart
<<< Re: Buffalo Boy tram
Posted by: "Jim Marlett" jmarlett@...
Date: Fri May 4, 2012 10:11 am ((PDT))
I think the lower tram house was the terminal of the tram. The mine was at the upper terminal and I believe loading took place at the lower terminal. If I'm wrong, Lowell will no doubt correct me.
I really love Cunningham Gulch and the drive on up to Animas Forks. The nice thing is you don't need a four wheel drive vehicle to get to some pretty nice scenery and historical structures, but I don't think you would want to go farther than the Highland Mary (if memory serves me) or Animas Forks in most passenger vehicles.
Jim Marlett >>>