From 1902 to 1908, the Ferris-Haggarty Tramway was the longest aerial ore tram in the world. This photo shows a bucket like those that once carried copper ore, 16 miles in four hours. A reconstructed section of the tramway is on display at a museum in Encampment. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

From 1902 to 1908, the Ferris-Haggarty Tramway was the longest aerial ore tram in the world, carrying copper ore 16 miles from the Sierra Madre mountains outside Encampment down to a smelter in Riverside.

The tram carried a thousand tons of ore a day in 840 buckets, each capable of carrying 700 pounds of copper, according to the Grand Encampment Museum in Encampment. The tram was powered by water, piped four miles from a reservoir on the South Fork of the Encampment River, and gravity, a placard on the museum grounds reads.

The Ferris-Haggarty mine closed in 1908. Today, a few towers hold up a small section of tram for visitors at the museum, but at its peak there were 375 towers built in a line from the mountains to the smelter. Miners would ride in the buckets too, to travel up and down the line. The tram moved at four miles an hour, according to the museum, and it took a bucket four hours to complete the journey.

Starting May 26, the Grand Encampment Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays it is open from noon to 4 p.m. The Museum closes in early October.

Never miss a photo — sign up for WyoFile’s free weekly newsletter
Avatar photo

Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at, follow him @AndrewGraham88

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *