Welcome to Western Mining History

Featured Mining Town: Victor, Colorado

Featured Mining Town: Victor, Colorado

Victor, Colorado was known as the Cripple Creek district's "City of Mines". One third of all the gold mined in the district came from the mines at Victor.  Continue Reading

Where to Find Gold in California

With over 22,000 historical mine locations in the USGS MRDS database of mines, California has more gold mines that the next top four gold states combined. California was also the largest gold producing state up to 1965 with over 100 million ounces produced. In recent decades other states have overtaken California in total gold production,  Continue Reading

Where to Find Gold in Arizona

WMH Gold Maps for Google Earth Pro are designed to locate areas with high potential for finding placer gold. One feature of these maps is the highlighting of townships that contain both active placer mining claims and historical gold mines. The screenshot above is from the Arizona Gold Map and shows gold-bearing PLSS townships roughly  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Weaverville, California

Featured Mining Town: Weaverville, California

Weaverville was the primary settlement in Trinity Alps region of Northern California. Settled in 1850, Weaverville was a significant placer mining town with thousands of residents, including over 1,000 Chinese. Today the town is home to numerous 1850s era historic buildings and California's oldest Chinese house of worship.  Continue Reading

Introducing the WMH Mines Explorer Pro

WMH Mines Explorer Pro

The Western Mining History Mines Explorer Pro is an interactive map that displays over 116,000 mines from the USGS MRDS database, lode and placer claims by PLSS section centers, mining towns, and mining district information. The Mines Explorer Pro is available to Mines level premium members. Members: click here to access the Mines Explorer Pro  Continue Reading

Best Historical Photos: Colorado Mining Scenes

Mines at Black Hawk Colorado

Colorado is characterized by the most rugged and mountainous terrain of any state in the US, and those mountains were rich in minerals waiting to be discovered by prospectors as far back as 1859. Development of mines in Colorado was slow at first due to the extremes of terrain and weather, and the remoteness of  Continue Reading