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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

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  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Randsburg, California

Featured Mining Town: Randsburg, California

Gold was discovered at Randsburg, California in 1895 when the nation was in the midst of a depression. The desert prospectors that converged on Randsburg comprised what was known as a "poor man's camp". Some of them had to abandon their claims out of hunger while others ground the gold out of their ore by hand to come up with the $1.60 fee to file their claim.   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

Featured Mining Town: Virginia City, Montana

Featured Mining Town: Virginia City, Montana

Virginia City, Montana is one of the West's richest and most notorious historic gold camps. In the five years after the first gold discovery an estimated $30-$40 million in gold was recovered here. Also abundant were the murders by road agents, with around 100 travelers killed between 1863 and 1864.  Continue Reading