sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What's Mine is Mine?

No, none of these are the White Wolf Mining Company (AZ). It's in the pines and there is not much here but rock. I like taking pictures of old mines. You have to be careful when exploring old ghost towns and mining sites because there are air shafts (sometimes lightly covered with rotting timbers and an inch of dust and gravel) and lots of other things that can spell disaster for even the stoutest souls. 

It's best to explore them while taking great care. Sometimes there are marked graves, but there is always a back story. The larger the abandoned mine, the bigger the story. These mines and the towns that grew up around them in Colorado, Arizona, California, Nevada, etc. were the very marrow of the land. The promise of riches brought people west - for a number of reasons. Some sought their fortunes and gamblers came to generally cheat the miners. Teamsters came to feed them and the Chinese ran restaurants and built the laundry industry in boom towns.

There was a railroad that joined the coasts but so much of that followed the search for gold and silver.

National debt following the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression caused the government to open the Black Hills to gold exploration and sparked one of the last great Indian wars that led to the demise of  much of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment on the Little Big Horn River.


The silver mine (left) in Martinez Canyon, near Florence, Arizona was a stamping mill used to break up silver bearing rock. When the silver ran out, so did the miners, leaving mute testament to what happened here.




16 comments:

  1. Love the mine stories and pics. Keep 'em coming LL. I don't have the vacation time to do it myself, or that's what I'd be doing.

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    1. The BLM walled off Martinez Canyon so you can't explore it unless you know the back way in... It was turned into a hiking trail, but the off-road crowd didn't break or bruise anything. Just some enviro-Nazis ruling by fiat.

      I am a serious conservationist at heart, but there are a lot of flower children who take things to the absurd - because they can. Exploring old mine sites (and there are a lot in Death Valley) and taking a few photos is like looking for old airplane crash sites (which I also do) and taking pictures is a gentle hobby.

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    2. PS - It's too late in the season to enjoy Death Valley.

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    3. It's criminal what the enviro-fairies at the BLM and NPS have done to keep people out of the land that is rightfully theirs. It should be experienced, and not just by the prissy fascists in green and beige uniforms.

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    4. There are a few of the BLM men, who are ok. The "new breed" have an agenda not in keeping with the best interests of the American people.

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  2. Looking at those old ghost towns and the mining towns and buildings, sure makes the imagination go wild. That is the reason I would love to have time travel just to go back and see it for real.

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    1. Oh, absolutely. It makes me want to write a Western based on what the ghosts whisper as you walk through that scenery.

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    2. I love ghost towns, too. And that would be some story. Akin to the fly on the wall of what when on.

      Thanks for sharing your walks with us, LL. Be safe!

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  3. Many in my extended family are rock hounds. Lots of good memories of "prospecting" and hanging around old mines. One of my father's post WWII jobs was operating a gold mining dredge near Breckenridge, CO.

    I admire the craftsmanship that went into those old structures. 100+ years old and still standing.

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  4. Never had the chance to wonder around that part of the states, but these pics make me want to... sigh

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  5. Those structures give a whole new meaning to the term "rustic." Looks hot out there LL. Be safe.

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  6. Great pics -- I've always wanted to tour/photo record Texan ghost towns and beyond. There's something captivating and eerie about these places.

    The old Royal Navy base in Valletta harbour was like that. This enormous base, empty and baking in the sun, like the ghost of an empire.

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    1. Sometimes the bones are the most interesting parts. Ghost towns in the Old West (west of the Pecos) are mostly mining towns where the luck ran out. Bodie, California is a classic example. In Texas they all seem to be railroad towns - but I may be wrong. Itasca is headed in that direction, but it's not a ghost town...not so long as Karen's turns out world-class brisket burritos.

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  7. Replies
    1. It's in the eye of the beholder.

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