Wyoming June 18, 2017
These 11 Rare Photos Show Wyoming’s Mining History Like Never Before
Wyoming has a rich pioneer history, but the discovery of precious metals in our hills and the subsequent gold rush has just as much to do with settlements cropping up across the state.
Today, most of the state’s mining history is preserved in museums and the ghost towns that were left behind when mining production slowed down and claims were bought out or taken over by large companies. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit any of our historic mining areas, these 11 photos will give you a glimpse of Wyoming’s fascinating mining history.
1. Atlantic City, Wyoming is almost 30 miles south of Lander. It sprung up when gold was discovered nearby in 1868. Though the gold boom would last only about a decade, the city continued to thrive until the 1920s.
2. Even after the gold and silver it produced fizzled out, the remains of the Duncan Mine are still standing all these years later...
3. ...along with a few of the other mining and town buildings.
4. Gold and silver weren't the only precious commodities to come from Wyoming's mines. The first coal mines in the state were opened in 1868, and today Wyoming is the largest producer of coal in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
5. Right about the same time Atlantic City was starting to boom, Miner's Delight got its start a few miles east. It went through periods of prosperity and depression, especially during times when gold prices dropped.
6. The mines around Sunrise, Wyoming were producing copper in the late 1880s, and in the early 1900s the Platte County-based Colorado Fuel and Iron Company decided to build a mining town. The company owned everything from the houses to the school and the shops. The mine and the town operated for almost a century, but the company closed everything down in 1980.
7. When coal was discovered in the area in the 1870s, the Aladdin mine became the stimulus that grew the town to almost 200 residents. In the late 1920s, however, Aladdin was about mined out. If you visit the area, however, you can still see the original coal tipple.
8. In fact, many of the structures in the abandoned mining camps and towns are still standing today.
9. These tramways were used to transport ore from the mine to the smelter in Encampment, Wyoming.
10. Gold and silver mining drew families to the Kirwin area in the late 1800s. Several Wyoming mining companies even invested money in the mine and the town.
11. Most people left Kirwin after three people were killed and many buildings destroyed in an avalanche in 1907. A handful of structures still remain, including the Wolf mine shaft head frame.
What historic mines in Wyoming have you seen?