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One of the most famous mines in central Colorado is the Mary Murphy. Different stories are told as to its discovery and naming. One version is that John Royal and Dr. Abner Wright found it in 1875.
Another states that two brothers named Murphy first laid claim to two mines that turned out to be the richest ever to be dug in Cottonwood Gulch and named them after their wives. Sadly for them, so this history goes, when Johnny Murphy returned west from fetching his wife Mary, he learned that his brother had gotten drunk and sold both mines for a song. Later, then, Dr. Wright acquired the Mary Murphy cheap off the guys who'd taken advantage of the Murphys. He sold it on for the substantial sum of $7,000.00. The miner who wrote up this story said that by the time he left, the Mary Murphy Mine had ten levels and that Mary Murphy herself was washing dishes in a Pueblo hotel.
By the mid-1920's, the Mary Murphy had produced 220,000 ounces of gold, as well as silver, lead, and zinc. Two aerial tramways connected it to Romley and the railroad. It ceased full-time operation in 1925.
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