Welcome to Western Mining History

Where to Find Gold in Oregon

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

Featured Mining Town: Crested Butte, Colorado

Featured Mining Town: Crested Butte, Colorado

Crested Butte, Colorado was an active coal mining town for over seven decades. Thew last mine closed in the 1950s, but the town has since transitioned into a popular tourist destination.  Continue Reading

Introducing the Nevada Mining Atlas

There are no refunds on digital products. Please take some time to understand what you are buying. These packages are intended for use in Google Earth Pro or GIS applications, they are not mobile apps. The files are standard KML and if you know what you are doing, then you can export or format the  Continue Reading

Researching Mining Claims with the BLM MLRS

Western Mining History distributes location data on active mining claims based on data retrieved from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) MLRS application. The purpose of this guide is to aid in the understanding of what the BLM claims data is useful for, and how to use the data to assist in your research. Note:  Continue Reading

Vulture Mine – History, Fact, and Fiction

The Vulture Mine, near Wickenburg, Arizona could be the central character in a dime novel. Its myths, legends, and facts have and continue to stir the imagination. Stories of ghosts, men, and animals lost in the "Glory Hole", Indian attacks, bullion robberies, gold fortunes, lost veins, and personalities as grand and sweeping as the desert winds are part of Arizona history  Continue Reading

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

Death Valley's Harmony Borax Works operated during the 1880s. The borax operations of Death Valley made the "20 Mule Teams", the wagon trains that hauled the finished borax across the desert, famous in American culture.  Continue Reading