Welcome to Western Mining History

Mining Regions of the Western United States

The image above illustrates the incredible scale of the mining regions of the western United States. Yellow dots are gold mines, black dots are non-gold mines. Map icons show the distribution of historic mining towns. An interactive version of this map is available here.

Volume 3 of the Western Mining History Members` Journal is now available to premium members. Click here for information on memberships.

Deadwood and the Black Hills: The Ultimate Photo Collection

The Black Hills Gold Rush was one of the most significant historical events in the western United States. This collection of over 50 images captures the early history of this famous gold region.  Continue Reading

Best Historical Photos: Colorized Mining Scenes

This collection contains some of the best colorized photos of historic western mining scenes. Included are mines, miners, historic mining towns, and related scenes.  Continue Reading

Cripple Creek “The World’s Greatest Gold Camp”

"So thickly were the hillsides and gulches studded with homes, than one can easily say that the Cripple Creek district is one great city, covering thirty-six square miles." Cripple Creek - "The World's Greatest Gold Camp" uses selected text from a 1903 special edition of the Cripple Creek Times, and over 50 images from various sources to illustrate the importance and magnitude of Cripple Creek during the district's peak years.   Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Butte, Montana

Featured Mining Town: Butte, Montana

Butte, Montana started as a gold camp, but by the mid-1870s the settlement had experienced an exodus of miners as the easily-mined gold ran out. By the 1880s silver had revived the camp, and shortly after copper became king here-making Butte the most important mining center in the world over the next few decades.  Continue Reading

A Collection of Oregon Mining Photos

Gold is Oregon's primary mined commodity, and the gold mining industry thrived in the state for many decades. This is a collection of noteworthy mining photos from the state.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Helena, Montana

Featured Mining Town: Helena, Montana

Helena, Montana was the site of one of Montana's earliest gold rushes. Helena was the political and financial center of Montana by the 1880s and it was said that it had more millionaires per capita than any city in the world.  Continue Reading