Cameron Mine

The Cameron Mine was opened prior to the incorporation of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company under the Colorado Coal and Iron Company. It was named after James Cameron, a manager for the CC&I who died in 1881. The Cameron Mine was located along the main line of the C&S railroad just south of Walsenburg and adjacent to the Old Walsen Mine.

The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company established the Company Town of Farr in 1907, which operated as the base location for employees of the Cameron Mine. At its height, Farr consisted of one hundred and seventeen homes, a bathhouse, water supply, schools, and a YMCA clubhouse.

In 1917, CF&I opened up Cameron #2. Both Cameron #1 & #2 produced commercial grade coal and steam coal, of which 66% was sold, with the remainder used at company plants. The Cameron #1 mine on average produced 1,200 tons of coal per day.

Long-wall mining methods were initially used in the mines. However, they were eventually replaced by the room and pillar method. Around 1927, nearly three-fourths of all mining at the Cameron was mechanical using Sullivan machines for undercutting while paired with permissible explosives. The remainder was mined by hand and hauled out by mules.

The Cameron mine was considered a gassy mine, and to avoid the hazards of explosion or poisonous air, a Jeffery exhaust fan was employed to circulate 68,000 cubic feet of air per minute.

Today, you can see ruins and tailings as you drive along the road. You’ll also see a stairway left from the former YMCA camp at Farr, built by Rockefeller.