A look into the Gunsight Mine

Level 2 - Osborne's "Sutro" Tunnel:

Levels 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b

Travelling down the trail from Level 1, the original Gunsight Mine workings, a huge rockwork berm is found stretching across a gully.

This is the shoring wall of a shelf created to provide working space for Jonas Osborne's "Sutro" tunnel, begun in 1879 or 1880,

Rockwork Base

Along the eastern slope
trail and the base of
Level 2's work area.

The entrance to the 1,000 foot long adit is located in a cleft of rocks on the northeastern side of the orebody.

Probably selected because of the rock outcropping which would require less shoring than the softer areas of the hillside.

Osborne's tunnel
on Level 2.


Inside the Entrance

From just inside the entrance the strap rails for the ore cars can be clearly seen.

Widely spaced ties were laid crosswise and notched to take wooden 'rails'.

1/4 inch thick iron straps were then fastened to the top of the wooden rails to absorb the wear caused by the ore car's wheels.

Strap Iron Rails

Drop Chute - Level 2

A short distance from the entrance is one of the drop chutes used to bring the ores down to the waiting ore cars.

The car would be positioned under the chute, and then a barrier in the chute would be raised, allowing the ores to fill the car.

Again, on this level also, the condition of the tunnel's bracing makes it unsafe for further exploration.

Ore chute and
tracks on Level 2.


Ore Car Path

After leaving the Level 2 tunnel entrance, the ore cars would be hauled along this path to the top of the Tramway.

Here the path is just wide enough for the car, and at least one tie is still present.

Northeast along path
from Tramway


Transfer Supports

At the tramway end of the path, piles of rocks indicate where bracing for a transfer chute was located.

The ore from the cars would be dumped into a waiting Tramway car.

Support piles for
transfer chute
to Tramway.


Looking down along the line of the Tramway.

The two posts were part of a support to capture the cable used to haul the cars.

Upper Tramway

Upper Tramway area
showing posts for
cable roller system.


Mid-Upper Tramway

The drop of the upper section has a leveling off ending about midway down.

This change in slope would cause the cable to raise up as the car went down the steeper lower section.

By capturing the cable into a roller, an even strain could be maintained, without any tendency to lift the car off its tracks.

Upper Tramway
with braces for
cable roller system.


A wide angle view shows the relationship of the Tramway to the later TCM ore bins at mid-left, down on Level 3.

The dirt road along the base of the slope is most likely where the Tramway Car would dump into wagons for the haul out to Resting Springs, seen in the background at upper-right.

Looking down
the full length
of the Tramway


There are remains of a shed or supports at the base, which indicate that the power for the Tramway cable system was located there.

At the location of the photograph, there are anchor bolts apparently for the 'turn-around' cable wheel.

Down the Trail

Until the construction of the Tramway, this was the trail used by the mules and men in gaining access to the ores on Level 1.

Branches off this trail lead to Level 2 and other sections of the Gunsight area.

Narrow Trail -
Original way up to
the Gunsight Mine.



Levels 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b

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