Welcome to Western Mining History

Best Historical Photos: 1900s Nevada Boom Towns

20,000 spectators at a drilling contest in Goldfield, Nevada ca. 1906

The first decade of the 1900s was an exciting time for the state of Nevada. Most mining rushes were over in the West, but Nevada had numerous new discoveries during this time. Mining booms occurred that resembled the great excitements of the 1860s and 1870s, and mining camps quickly developed into fantastic cities.  Continue Reading

The California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush was the most significant event in the history of the settlement of the western frontier. The initial discovery was made in January 1848, but news traveled slowly and although many miners arrived in 1848, the beginning of the Gold Rush was the following year in 1849.  Continue Reading

Member’s Journal V1 – The Western Prospector

This is a members-only article. Click here for information on memberships at Western Mining History.    Continue Reading

Shorty Harris and the Bullfrog Claim

Shorty Harris was the Death Valley region's most famous prospector. He discovered the Bullfrog mine that started the great rush to Rhyolite around 1905. Despite his success as a prospector, he never became wealthy, and preferred the simple life of a desert prospector.  Continue Reading

Home Sweet Home: Miner’s Cabins of the Frontier West

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.  Continue Reading

Best Historical Photos: Colorized Mining Scenes

Modern software is capable of adding color to historic photos with a decent amount of accuracy. While the quality of the colorized images varies, and sometimes the colors clearly miss the mark, often the results are downright stunning. The following images are some of the best colorized photos of historic western mining scenes. Included are  Continue Reading