Dogs of the Mining West

Miners cabin at Altman Colorado

Most dogs in the western frontier were considering working dogs—usually hunting, killing rodents, or guarding the prospector’s camp or cabin. Occasionally, as seen in the photo or the Alaskan Prospector below, they filled the role of pack animal. These dogs often appear in photos of miners and mining towns. The images demonstrate one thing conclusively—that

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Lunch in the Chance Mine 1909

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Tonopah barrel house

While the miners and prospectors that opened the vast American West are known for the log cabins they often used for shelter, some of the more eccentric dwellings they built are lesser known but equally interesting. Desert regions often lacked easy access to the trees needed to build cabins so alternative materials had to be

The Otto Mears Toll Road

Established in 1876, Ouray, Colorado was positioned at the north end of the rugged San Juan mountains, in a box canyon that served as the gateway to many rich mining districts. The town would have been the ideal commerce and transportation center for a large part of the region of not for one problematic detail.

Miners pose at their cabin somewhere in Colorado

The rugged individuals that opened the frontier West were prospecting, mining, and attempting to survive in what was a vast wilderness at the time. Many of the basics of survival had to be sourced directly from the miner’s immediate surroundings, and shelter was one of the first necessities of life that had to be addressed.