Welcome to Western Mining History

Featured Mining Town: Austin, Nevada

Featured Mining Town: Austin, Nevada

Austin was the location of central Nevada's first big mining boom. In what was previously unexplored territory, the rich silver mines of Austin attracted thousands of miners and prospectors, many of whom went on to prospect beyond Austin, staking tens of thousands of claims, opening hundreds of new districts, and settling dozens of new camps.   Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Aspen, Colorado

Featured Mining Town: Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado is now known as a premier resort town. However, Aspen started out as a silver mining city, and rose to be the largest silver producer in the world by the early 1890s.   Continue Reading

The Top Ten Historic Mining Towns You Should Visit Today

Deadwood, South Dakota

The various gold and silver rushes in the West were the primary factor in the initial settlement of the western states. Thousands of mining camps were formed but most only lasted a few months or a few years before the residents packed up and moved on to the next rush or a more prosperous town  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Salida, Colorado

Featured Mining Town: Salida, Colorado

Salida was less of a mining camp, and more of a supply point for the agricultural and mining operations in Chaffee County. A railroad roundhouse was built to service the trains, and a 65 foot turntable was added and later replaced by an 80 food turntable. This became the largest railroad repair facility between Denver and Salt Lake City, employing hundreds of men.   Continue Reading

Death Valley’s Harmony Borax Works

Harmony Borax Works

Borax was discovered at the ironically named Greenland section of Death Valley in 1881. Harmony Borax Works was processing borax by 1884 and was instrumental in the opening of Death Valley to commercial ventures. Greenland became known as Furnace Creek Ranch – which now serves as the national park headquarters and is the hub of  Continue Reading

Western Museum Of Mining and Industry

Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Western Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) is an organization that works to preserve the mining history of the western United States. The 27 acre facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado contains over 5,000 mining-related artifacts. The photos in this post represent just a small part of the numerous fascinating exhibits at this incredible facility. Pictured  Continue Reading