The Families of Adam Keith

“Once upon a time ...”, family facts and tales


Cypher’s quartz mine

Cypher’s Camp

Photo by Kevin Dowley

Contention Mine entrance

at Cypher’s Camp

Photo by Kevin Dowley

quartz outcrop

inside Contention Mine

Photo by Kevin Dowley

Charles Guin Cypher [1860-1949]


Ancestry: Adam Keith1>Adam Keith2>Adam Keith3>Elizabeth [Keith] m. [Jacob] Cypher4>John Cypher5>Charles Guin Cypher6




1900 NM>Colfax>Cimarron Charles Cypher 39 PA [4/1861] quartz miner

Philmont Scout Ranch camps


The following are the camps located in Philmont Scout Ranch, a large property in Colfax County near Cimarron, New Mexico , owned by the Boy Scouts of America and used as a backpacking reservation.


Cypher's Mine


This camp is located along the upper reaches of the North Fork Cimarroncito River. The program revolves around gold and other "hard rock" mining that historically occurred in the area. Program activities are highlighted by a tour of the Contention mine. Another larger mine known as the Thunder exists just south of the camp, but is not the subject of any program activities. Other program activities include blacksmithing and gold panning. The camp is named in honor of Charles Cypher, an early miner in the area. Cypher's Mine is the only camp on the ranch where crews do not pitch tents at their campsites. Due to the narrow, rocky canyon in which the camp is located, campsites contain three-walled roofed structures officially referred to as "adirondacks", but the local camp vernacular for them is "shacks". A variety of original structures and artifacts from the mining days of the late 19th century are featured at this camp. Cypher's Mine features an evening program called a "Stomp" inside one of the old structures. Modeled after the evening revelry of miners, it is a little more raucous than many of the evening campfires elsewhere on the ranch.