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Mining

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Bodie, California

    In the summer of 1859, W.S. Bodey struck gold in the stark hills north of Mono Lake. Alas, the pioneering prospector froze to death that November in a blizzard less than a mile from his cabin at “Bodey’s Diggings.” Within 20 years,...

  • American History Magazine

    The Battle to Save Blair Mountain

    More than 85 years after the miners’ ill-fated march, another battle for Blair Mountain is being waged in the courts. Over the years, the miners’ battlefield disappeared piece by piece as coal companies mined the mountain. The mining...

  • American History Magazine

    A Powder Keg Ready to Blow

    Coal miners toiling in the bowels of the earth kept American industry humming in the early 1900s. Their fight for better working and living conditions led to the nation’s largest armed uprising since the Civil War. It was a tableau that...

  • MHQ Magazine

    The Day the Earth Blew Open

    “Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow,” General Hubert Plumer reportedly told his staff, “but we shall certainly change the geography.” IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF JUNE 7, 1917, ONE OF THE LARGEST NONNUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS in...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: St. Elmo, Colorado

    In 1875 prospector Dr. Abner Ellis Wright struck gold in Colorado’s remote Chalk Creek Canyon, discovering the vein that would yield the Mary Murphy Mine and support St. Elmo for 50 years. In spring 1880, Griffith Evans and several...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Ghost Towns and Mining Districts

    Ghost Towns and Mining Districts of Montana by Terry Halden, Old Butte Publishing, Butte, Mont., 2007, $24.95. A native Montanan with a smile as large as the Big Sky once took me into the hills of Granite County to show me the goldmining...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Garnet, Montana

    Lode mines were discovered at the 6,500-foot level in the Garnet Mountains as early as 1867, when prospectors from Bear Gulch, 2,000 feet below, wandered up First Chance Creek looking for the source of their placer gold. But the area was...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Colorado’s Pikes Peak Heritage Center Takes more than a peek at Cripple...

    The Bowl of Gold still not empty. Cripple Creek, Colorado, has been labeled the greatest gold camp on earth. Millionaires were made from the ore load. It all happened in 1891 on a small patch of a cattle ranch on the south side of...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Animas Forks, Colorado

    Prospectors first discovered silver in 1873 and settled where several streams met to form the Animas River, 12 miles northeast of present-day Silverton, in Colorado’s San Juan County. Originally called Three Forks of the Animas, the...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Elkhorn, Montana

    In 1870 Swiss immigrant Peter Wys, prospecting for gold in the Elkhorn Mountains, northeast of Boulder, Montana Territory, discovered silver galena ore. Development didn’t begin until after Wys died in 1872 and Anton M. Holter acquired...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Tuscarora, Nevada

    In 1867 a prospecting party including brothers Steve and John Beard discovered gold 6,200 feet above sea level in the Goose Creek range of northeastern Nevada. Placer mining for gold on Beard Hill—to the tune of $12 per miner per...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: South Pass City, Wyoming

    Prospectors were panning gold from the Sweetwater near South Pass (in present-day Wyoming) as early as 1842, but the first real rush came in 1865 when a detachment from Fort Bridger discovered gold in the Wind River Range. One soldier...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Ironton, Colorado

    In August 1882, prospector John Robinson was hunting game on Red Mountain, Colo., to feed his partners when he found a large chunk of lead and silver ore. The partners’ subsequent Yankee Girl, Orphan Boy and Robinson claims, coupled with...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Olmsted Was a Design Genius, But As a Mine Manager He Was...

    He was unable to head off a miners’ strike or bankruptcy. Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. He defended California’s redwoods and Yosemite, prompted Abraham Lincoln to the early...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Tinton, South Dakota

    Tinton is tucked in the rugged recesses of Spearfish Canyon, 13 miles due east of Deadwood. Its crumbling edifices belie a remarkably resilient mining town. Edgar St. John discovered ore there during the mid-1870s Black Hills Gold Rush....

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Dirty Work at Petersburg

    Confederate engineers schemed to blow a section of Yankee earthworks sky-high. The Army of the Potomac started it all. About 4:44 a.m. on July 30, 1864, a sputtering Union fuse ignited 8,000 pounds of gunpowder packed in a mine underneath...