Winfield Scott Stratton, a carpenter who struck it rich at the Independence Mine above Victor in 1891, bought the American Eagles in 1895.
Stratton was known for his multi-million dollar Independence Mine and for a dream - that the rich gold ore body of the Cripple Creek/Victor District was shaped like a wine goblet. He believed that the surface ore deposits narrowed and focused deep underground into a main stem of the extinct volcano that created the Bowl of Gold. He used $6 million from his $11 million Independence Mine sale to purchase claims he thought might be needed for his big dream, but he died before he had a chance to find the Bowl of Gold.
The American Eagles Group consisted of three shafts and reached its maximum depth in 1902, and at the time it was the deepest shaft at 1,540 feet deep and was also the highest mine in the district at 10, 570 feet above sea level.
Little is known about the actual production since Stratton's mines were all privately held, and following his death in 1902 they were held by the Stratton Estate.
Mining continued off and on and the Eagles was reopened in 1924 by the Stratton Leasing Company. In 1936 a rich vein of ore was found between the 19th and 21st levels. The American Eagles was worked until 1940 when it was shut down for good.