World Museum of Mining Part 5 - Last One

July 23, 2016  •  2 Comments

This post is more of the mining portions of the museum (where most of the previous were about the old town).   Many years of mining "stuff" around.   An old horse drawn ore wagon.

One of many hand drills.
Not mining related but too fun to pass up.  One of the first ever snowmobiles!  True story and it came to the museum from Cooke City - snowmobile capital of MT. Mom and Robin in one of the shaft elevators.  The minimum # of men shoved in these was 7 but my understanding is most often there were 10.   You can tell it isn't much more than 5' square. Another entrance to a mine shaft with the miniature rail cars used. Bigger machinery, bigger ore cars! The Hoist House.   This is the locker room area.  Because the mines were so water filled and the Ph of the water is 2 (a lemon's juice is 2.4), the men came up from the mine (in later years) and immediately showered with their clothes on to wash them out and hung them up here to dry.  Because the pay at the time was about $2.80/hr and a new set of bibs cost about $8 it was important to do this as the mine water and filth would eat through cloth in no time.   Each of these chains was attached inside a corresponding locker.   

The hoist house contains the mechanical machinery (which is more huge than you can imagine) that hoists the men and ore up and down.  I cannot imagine the noise that machinery would generate and sorry no photos of it.     Charging station for headlamps and yes that is what we wore on our tour AND they each weigh about 15 pounds.  The light goes on your hardhat (of course) and the battery goes on a utility belt around your waist.  They had a really cool display of the lighting used by miners through time - from candles forward to these. This hill was named Big Butte and is how Butte got its name. Let me see if I can remember any of the tour information right....tidbits I got.   Under Butte alone there are approximately 10,000 miles of tunnels (shafts - vertically  and drifts - horizontally).   Butte does not get any of their water from the local ground water (remember the Ph of 2) but it is piped from over by Deer Lodge for part of it and over the Continental Divide for the other part.    

This is the stamp mill.  The ore was brought up and put through this machine to crush it smaller to then be hauled to the smelters.   This is a 5 stamp and is the smaller of its kind.  There is one apparently, in Virginia City that is a 60 stamp.   These and much of the equipment used in ore mining are no longer made and worth quite a bit of money actually as they are still utilized in ore mining today.

Hope you enjoyed the LONNNNGGG tour.  It was so interesting and I've not even scratched the surface of information and items to see at the museum.   I cannot believe I've had it on the list for 30 years and finally got it done.


Comments

Brian King Images(non-registered)
I really like this kind of stuff! The wagon is awesome! Very nice details and lots of rough texture.
Linda W(non-registered)
Appreciated the tour! Now I need to go see this for myself. Next time I'm in Montana...
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