It operated for more than a century in various forms, but there’s something timeless about the giant headframe standing silent in a field.
In mid-1880s, a few men began tunneling under downtown Duluth looking for a fortune. Now there’s no trace of their labor under the Point of Rocks, is there?
On December 16th, 2011, the last Ford Ranger standard truck left the assembly line and paint shop and not long afterward the doors were chained and locked. Then it was my turn.
For 130 years, the coal beneath Cheratte, Belgium was unearthed by its intrepid miners. Here’s what it was like for me to visit where they worked.
“It’s just across the parking lot,” the kids might say, “Let’s GO!” Into the dark/into the damp/into old Mather Mine.
“Sunlight scorched what man could not, / Deep where tunnels met. / Though mine they could, / With steel and wood, / And those men that bled.” A poetic homage to an abandoned copper mine.
Mines are strange things that never appear as they are, at least not on the surface. They are powerful enough to found cities and feed families when they are young, but are very often left to be forgotten in plain sight when they retire.
Left hand, grip the left rail. Right hand, grip that other one. Feet, for God’s sake remember how to crabwalk; we have a cliff to descend. Come with me into the tunnels under a Coloradan ghost town to see what was once the world’s largest zinc mine.
Brown coal is plentiful in central Germany, but it lies under its farms, towns, and people. By the time you read this article, the town I took pictures of will be part of a mine pit.
Mother Nature refused to give up her gold in the San Juans to the men of Treasure Mountain without a fight. Now, after a century of hard rock mining in its steep gulches, she cannot let go of the long abandoned mines or its ghost towns.