The Montezuma mine was originally located in 1878, near the apex of the lode that would be come to be known as the Smuggler Lode. By 1884 the mine had been producing thousands of tons of silver and lead ore along with a lot of gold. Old historical documents show that the gold was processed at the lower or 6th level as they shipped all of the silver and lead down to be smelted in Leadville. Somewhere around 1896-7, a larger mining company began digging in near the river following placer gold and silver bits. They called this mine the Carribeau, named for a lake or sea in Europe. They worked in and hit the Smuggler vein at a lower instance. Unlike the upper mine, these claimants immediately patented the property once they were producing ores. Around 1900, the Carribeau, working up, intersected with the Montezuma as they worked down.
The details are unknown, but the Carribeau sold out their interest to the Montezuma. Law had already established ownership of lodes at the apex of the vein. With that in place they would not have legally held the mine for long.
On or around 1901, the unpatented Montezuma was sold along with the Carribeau (now known as the 13th level) to some investors from Boston for $350,000.00, in 2014 figures that is equal to $9,649,437.26. This was not wasted money, the mine was noted for expansive reserves of gold, silver and lead. The new company installed a double battery of stamp mills and began pushing all of the ores out to the 13th level and processing at that point. The mine kept working under a few various entities until 1936, still shipping ore, when the economic crisis brought on by the rise of Nazi Germany and the anti-mining rhetoric from FDR caused what was thought to be a temporary closure.
The Montezuma Mine has a documented 12.8 miles of drifts, raises, winzes and cross-cuts.
This was a gold mine, the silver was ancillary. Between 1881 and 1913 the mine recovered an estimated 50,000 ounces of gold, it's one of the reasons it never slowed down even with the silver crash in 1893.