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Mining

  • Wild West Magazine

    Empire Mine Turned Grass Valley Golden

    Going below for California gold. Bearded prospectors, elbow to elbow, scratch the sands of creek beds in search of nuggets and fine gold. That is the image most likely to come to mind when the California Gold Rush is mentioned today. But...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Bannack, Montana

    On July 28, 1862, John White made a gold strike at what became known as the Grasshopper Diggings, and soon the nearby boomtown of Bannack was born in southwestern Montana (part of Idaho Territory at the time). Named for the Bannock...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Dawson, New Mexico

    John Barkley Dawson opened mines in the Raton coalfield of northeastern New Mexico Territory, perhaps as early as 1899 but definitely by 1902; he sold the mines and town site to the Phelps Dodge Mining Company in 1906. In 1910, 70 percent...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Comet, Montana

    In 1869 John W. Russell discovered silver galena ore on High Ore Creek, a tributary of the Boulder River. Four years later he obtained a patent on 17.7 acres, which included the “Comet” mine, his home, a second house and an “ore...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Silver King of Leadville and Baby Doe

    Hard work? Skill? Determination? Haw Tabor made millions without any of that. It was all pure dumb luck. When his luck turned, he had nothing left but a beautiful young wife. When women appear in the story of the American West, they are...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Tombstone’s Treasure

    Tombstone’s Treasure: Silver Mines and Golden Saloons by Sherry Monahan, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2007, $16.95.  Tombstone aficionado Sherry Monahan offers a different look at the Town Too Tough To Die, providing...

  • 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...