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Mining

  • MHQ Magazine

    Death From Below

    In World War I, whole companies of men were assigned to burrow beneath enemy soldiers, then blow them sky high. They called themselves moles. Most were short, wiry men from the mines of Great Britain and Canada and Australia. Their special...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Harshaw to Lochiel, Arizona

    In 1539 Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza set out to explore the region north of Sonora, Mexico, fabled to contain untold riches. Fray Marcos found no gold, but he is credited with being the first European to set foot on U.S. soil west of...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Borax Has Meant Big Business In California’s Death Valley

    The 20-mule teams are still remembered today. In 1881 hardscrabble prospector Aaron Winters, after making camp at Furnace Creek in California’s Death Valley, gathered up some white crystals from the bed of a dried-up lake, placed them in...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Lost Mines & Buried Treasures of Old Wyoming

    Lost Mines & Buried Treasures of Old Wyoming  by W.C. Jameson, High Plains Press, Glendo, Wyo., 2010, $15.  W.C. Jameson must be an eccentric millionaire by now. He is still churning out words after gaining prominence as a...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Silver Reef, Utah

    One night in 1866, the story goes, prospector John Kemple sought shelter with a Mormon family in Leeds, southwest Utah Territory. Sitting by the evening fire, he noticed a metallic liquid dripping from a hot rock in the fireplace....

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Ashcroft, Colorado

    Prospectors Charles B. Culver and Amos Kindt spent the winter of 1879– 80 at the forks of Castle Creek, 12 miles south of Aspen in central Colorado’s Elk Mountains. In May 1880 Culver and William F. Coxhead filed claims in the area,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Sego, Utah

    Gold and silver drew men west, but coal powered the nation. While most of today’s well-known Western ghost towns prospered during the search for precious metals, Sego was a coal town, supplying fuel for railroads, homes and industry....

  • Wild West Magazine

    Bad Blood at Blende City Ended a Mining Partnership and the Life...

    Rising waters and growing debts sparked a shooting. The first appointed town marshal of Blende City, Lane Britton, hadn’t worked out, so town officials tried again in May 1883, hiring Amos “Doug” Norton, an impertinent, unyielding...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Terlingua, Texas

    Terlingua, near the Chisos and Christmas mountains in Texas’ Big Bend region, owes its existence to the blood-red ore cinnabar, from which quicksilver, or mercury, is extracted. But its character stems equally from one overbearing Yankee...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Vulture, Arizona

    Gold miners first drove picks in Arizona Territory along the Colorado River north of Fort Yuma, afterward fanning out north and east and entering the Hassayampa River valley. In November 1863 German immigrant Henry Wickenburg set out south...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Industry That Won the Frontier West Gets Its Due at a...

    The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is easy to dig. Gold! Exclaim that word to any Old West aficionado and his thoughts will usually turn to the nuggets James Marshall discovered in the South Fork of the American River near...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Mystic, South Dakota

    Strewn across the evergreen-studded slopes of the Black Hills are the crumbling remains of gold mining activity—mills, shafts, dredges, sluices, flumes, cyanide pits, assay houses and even a few schools and saloons. In Mystic, on a...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns; Coolidge, Montana

    Mike Steel and mining partner F.W. Parish were prospecting the northern Pioneer Mountains in southeastern Montana Territory when, on October 24, 1873, they discovered silver-bearing ore. They named their mine the Elkhorn. Although the ore...

  • Wild West Magazine

    To the Miners of Virginia City, Julia Bulette Was the Beloved Queen...

    Firemen were among her mourners when she was murdered. The Virginia City miners had taken real soap-and-water baths, picked out their best shirts and even cleaned and dressed up their Nevada town for the big event. As the red, white and...

  • America's Civil War Magazine

    Pennsylvania’s ‘Perfect Hell’

    To immigrant miners, federal draft officials were the enemy—and it was time to pitch battle. On the night of November 5,1863, between 20 and 30 men shuffled through the crisp Pennsylvania foliage to the home of George K. Smith, a mine...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Burke, Idaho

    An idyllic ghost town readily accessible from I-90, Burke, Idaho—3,700 feet above sea level in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains —was once a crowded site of violence and intrigue. Rich ore strikes at nearby Wallace in the early 1880s lured...