Nineteenth-century History

Mining

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

There are few mining towns of the old west which are still operational. Most mining operations were shut down for a large variety of different reasons and the towns supporting them then slowly dried up and eventually became ghost towns. Idaho Springs, Colorado, however, is one of the few which are s...
Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: South Pass City, Wyoming

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: South Pass City, Wyoming

There are many towns throughout the American west which serve as excellent examples of what a mining “boom town” was like. South Pass City, Wyoming is one such town. It is a relatively rare example, however, in that it has survived practically unchanged into the present and as such can b...

City of Gold

This is a very interesting video about a mining town called Dawson City. The film itself is historic as it was created in the 1950s it appears. I found the video through a post on Soapy Smith’s Soap Box.
The History of Elkton Mine

The History of Elkton Mine

I don’t think I’ve really said a whole lot about my fiction writing, but as a hobby, I enjoy writing fiction. I have mainly written short horror stories, but I’ve decided to try something different this time. I am going to try my hand at writing a short western. The story of course...

The Mine Shop

So I found an interesting shop on eBay. The shop is called The Mine Shop and contains all sorts of mining artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th century. I haven’t bought anything as most items are out of my budget as a college student, but it is really interesting to see some of...

New Worlds For All

This semester I am taking a survey class of US history up to 1865. For that class, I just finished reading a book entitled New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America by Colin G. Calloway. The book itself was actually quite interesting. Calloway discusses how the world ...
The General Mining Act of 1872

The General Mining Act of 1872

When gold was discovered in California in 1848, it caused a mass-migration of prospective miners to the west. Unfortunately at that time, the US government had very few mining laws, practically none of which were effective, and without a significant presence in the newly-acquired state of California...
The Scofield Mine Disaster

The Scofield Mine Disaster

The day of May 1, 1900 started off as any other ordinary day for the miners in Scofield, Utah. Early in the morning, the men and boys kissed their wives and mothers good-bye as they left for a hard day’s work in the mines. Later in the day was to be festivities celebrating May Day,...

Mining in the Modern West

I was looking around on YouTube today and came across a really interesting video about modern mining in the Rocky Mountains by National Geographic. The primary focus of the video is about an 1872 mining law that allows mining companies to purchase federal land from the government at 1872 prices. The...
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The Hanging Judge

The Hanging Judge

“I have ever had the single aim of justice in view… ‘Do equal and exact justice,’ is my motto, and I have often said to the grand jury, ‘Permit no innocent man to be punished, but let no guilty man escape.'” Few judges in American history have such a reputation as...
Kit Carson

Kit Carson

No one person in the history of the American west played so many important roles in the shaping of this vast American landscape than Kit Carson. Despite his modest upbringing and the modest attitude he would carry with him throughout his life, the epic adventures he would lead in his lifetime would ...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 4)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 4)

In the late 19th century, the combination of high demand for beef in the eastern United States and the lack of railroads or really any kind of infrastructure in the west was the cause for a unique phenomenon west. The western ranchers in states such as Texas and Wyoming needed to find a way to...