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Gilman, Colorado:

Zinc Mountain Ghost Town

Under the star trails at our rooftop camp it was hard to believe that I was still living in a time when ghost towns–real ghost towns–were still engraved onto the sides of mountains. Below its cracked city streets courses the treasure that built the town and the poison that killed it. Cup your ears against the walls, be very still, and listen to the memory of a place called home.

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Osceola Mine
Osceola, MI

“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.

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Rogers Mine
Iron River, MI

Miners and their bosses watched helplessly as the mine flooded with water over and over again. When all was said and done, they had probably mined more quicksand than iron. Rogers Mine was started in 1910 but was allowed to flood in 1937, though its shops were used well into the 1950s.

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Snowstorm Gold Dredge
Fairplay, CO

The Colorado Rockies are hiding a mountaintop shipwreck, The Snowstorm. All around us were snow-capped peaks… Bald Hill (11,500 feet), Palmer Peak (12,500 feet) and Pennsylvania Mountain (13,000 feet). We were going to do a […]

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Sunday Lake Mine
Wakefield, MI

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.

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The Eagle Zinc Mine
Gilman, CO

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.