Mining History Association




Photo Galleries from Deadwood. Relive the fun we had and the learning that took place during the 2018 Annual MHA Conference in Deadwood, South Dakota.  Photo galleries from the social functions, tours, and field trips are on-line.

Virtual Tours of Kennecott, Alaska.  Join MHA members, Johnny and Dawn Johnsson and Dick and Elna Hauck, as they tour the famous Kennecott Mill and Town Site in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.  Then explore the new Photo Galleries of the Kennecott Mines, Then and Now.

While you are in the mood for virtual tours, join MHA members, Mike and Pat Kaas, on their visit to the Independence Mine State Park.

American Heritage Center (AHC) Travel Grants.
The University of Wyoming in Laramie has travel grants available. Applications are welcome and will be considered for any topic within the holdings of the AHC, including mining history. The Center’s online catalog and other resources describing our collections can be accessed here: The grant is for up to $750 to provide support for travel, food and lodging to carry out research using the AHC collections. The application itself can be found here: and additional information about this and other grant programs is available here: / . ACT FAST. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019. Please direct questions to Ginny Kilander at



ANTHRACITE MINING HERITAGE MONTH.  A regional observance of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month will take place during January 2019.  Featured are programs to be held in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pittston, Port Griffith, Plymouth, Dallas, Wyoming, and Ashley.  The annual event focuses on the history and culture of the anthracite region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The events are sponsored by the Anthracite Heritage Museum, the Anthracite Heritage Foundation, King’s College, Wilkes University, Marywood University, Misericordia University, the Lackawanna Historical Society, the Luzerne County Historical Society, the Plymouth Historical Society, the Greater Pittston Historical Society, the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, the Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Committee, the Boy Scouts of America-Northeastern PA Council, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration and its Pennsylvania Anthracite Section.   CLICK HERE for additional details or contact Robert Wolensky.


Robert Kennicott Mystery Solved.  The town and mines of Kennecott, Alaska and their next-door neighbor, the Kennicott Glacier, are named for the intrepid scientific explorer, Robert Kennicott.  His fateful journey to the mouth of the Yukon River in Russian America paved the way for the waves of prospectors and miners that would follow years later. The mystery of his death in 1866 along the bank of the Yukon River, once thought to be a suicide, has been solved by scientists at the National Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

Photos from Fairbanks.  New photo galleries are on-line from 2017 Annual Conference in Fairbanks. Check the Fairbanks web page to see what’s new.

Don’t miss the special new pages on Fairbanks Surprises. 


Mineral Industry in Early America
During the Bicentennial of the USA, the US Bureau of Mines published a brochure entitled the “Mineral Industry in Early America,” by Hillary W. St. Clair.  While largely overlooked in the barrage of celebratory publications at the time, it makes for an interesting read.  The author gives concise descriptions of the mineral industry during the colonial times, its development in the far west, and its “coming of age” in the 20th Century.  A useful data table presents annual production statistics from 1810-1975 for several important metals, the non-metals and fuels groups, and the population of the US.  CLICK HERE to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this publication.

Saint Barbara’s Day.  In many parts of the world, December 4th is celebrated as the feast day of Saint Barbara.  She is considered to be the patron saint of miners as well as artillerymen, military engineers, tunnellers, and others who work with explosives.  There is a rich heritage of artworks inspired by St. Barbara.  Shrines to St. Barbara have been erected at many mines where she is venerated.  In parts of Europe, the feast day is celebrated with parades of miners and bands appearing in historic mining uniforms.  CLICK HERE to learn more about the Saint Barbara tradition.

Book Sale Supports California Women in Mining (WIM) Scholarships.  A large collection of mining books, many historical, has been donated to the California Women in Mining by Jack Thompson, Past-CEO of Homestake Mining.  The books are being sold to support WIM scholarships.  CLICK HERE to see a list of the books. Those interested in making a purchase should contact Dinah Shumway (, TerraMins, Inc., 12277 Apple Valley Road, #184, Apple Valley, CA 92308, Cell number 760-285-5801.  Shipping costs by the US Postal Service “If It Fits, It Ships” are extra.


Victor Lowell Thomas Museum Library Honors Ed and Cherry Hunter.
The museum in Victor, Colorado has begun an interior restoration project that will include the Hunter Mining History Library. The core of the collection of books, publications, maps, and documents was donated to the museum by long-time MHAers and museum supporters, Ed and Cherry Hunter. A fundraising effort for the project is underway. CLICK HERE to learn more or make a tax deductible donation.

2000 Tonopah Conference Photos On-Line
Photo Galleries from the 2000 Tonopah Conference have been reconstructed and are now on-line. Join the “virtual tours” of the sites visited during the conference.





MHA Members Inducted into National Mining Hall of Fame.  Two of our long time MHA members and supporters, Stan Dempsey and Bob Shoemaker, along with two other worthy recipients, Hayden Murray and Bill Poundstone, were inducted into prestigious  National Mining Hall of Fame on September 24, 2016 at the annual Induction Banquet.  Bob’s daughter, Jan, accepted the award due to her father’s passing earlier in the year. The Woman’s Mining Coalition received the Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award at the same event.  CLICK ON the links to see YouTube videos about the amazing achievements of each recipient.  The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colorado tells the story of mining, its people, and its importance to America.  It was the site of the MHA Annual Meeting in 2007.



National Miners Day.  Congress has designated December 6, 2016, as National Miners Day to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of miners past and present.  CLICK HERE to learn more. 


2014 Mining History Journal Papers are On-Line

The papers from the 2014 Mining History Journal are now available for downloading.
(CLICK HERE) They join all the articles from the 1994-2013 Journals which were
placed on-line during 2015, the MHA 25th Anniversary. Members continue to receive
the annual printed version of the Journal as a membership benefit.


Idaho Gold Dredging Map Available.  Clark Spence’s excellent, recent book, “A History of Gold Dredging in Idaho,” was to contain a map of Major Gold Dredging Sites in Idaho.  Due to an unfortunate printing error, the map was not included.  It is now available on-line.  Just CLICK HERE to download a copy.  The map is also available from the publisher’s website.  In the book, the author provides his usual comprehensive treatment of the evolution of dredging technology, the history of the major gold dredging locations across the state, the controversy and conflicts regarding dredging, and the aftermath and clean-up of the environmental effects.  It is a “must read” for those interested in Idaho’s mining history and the role of dredging in gold production.

2016 Telluride Conference Photos On-Line
Photo Galleries from the 2016 Telluride Conference are now on-line. Join the Uranium Country field trip or the tours in the Telluride area. Find your photo at the social functions. Search for and identify the “Mystery Pictures.”


Photo Galleries of the MHA tours in Bisbee and Tombstone
Just in case you missed the 1998 annual conference in Bisbee, Arizona, you can now experience “virtual tours" of both historic mining towns. Only a few photographs have been found from the actual conference so special thanks to Susan and Mike Canty for providing the 2016 photos that let us retrace the steps of the MHAers who took part in the 1998 tours.


All MHA Newsletters are On-Line
Browse the past issues of the Mining History News and trace the development of the Mining History Association from 1990 to the present. Included are articles on the annual Conferences, new mining history books, historic preservation, and a random collection of topics submitted by MHA members. Search for “Top Ten” lists of the best mining history books. (Several issues) Discover why Roger Burt, MHA Past-President and long time member from the United Kingdom, says “I count Austin [Nevada] as one of the places I would most like to go back to.” (May 1991) Learn from Noel Kirshenbaum about the mining technology used in construction of the Panama Canal. (February 1996) Join Mark and Karen Vendl as they rediscover the Champion Mill near Leadville. (November 1991) Special thanks to Eric Nystrom for scanning the old issues.


E&MJ Celebrates 150 Years
The Engineering and Mining Journal (E&MJ) is celebrating its Sesquicentennial Year in 2016. It started publication in 1866 as the American Journal of Mining (AJM) and was renamed The Engineering and Mining Journal in 1869. For the last 150 years E&MJ has chronicled the development of the mining industry in the USA. It continues to serve the worldwide mining industry as a leading trade journal. Throughout the year, E&MJ is publishing clips from some of its past editions. The September 2016 issue of the journal will be a special Collector’s Edition. E&MJ can be viewed on-line, Past digital issues are available through the Digital Archive.



2015 and Earlier

Photographs of Historic Idaho Mining Towns

Several new photo galleries of historic Idaho mining towns and camps are now on-line.  Patty Pickett has shared some of the collection of photos she has taken of many of Idaho’s old mining towns, including Idaho City and Silver City which were visited on the MHA field trips.  CLICK HERE to enjoy her evocative pictures of Idaho’s mining heritage.

2015 Virginia City Conference Photos On-Line.
Photo Galleries are now on-line for the 2015 MHA Conference in Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada. Included are photos from all of the tours and field trips and the social events.

MHA President, Bill Culver’s Presidential Address is On-Line
POWER RESTORED! A power outage in Gold Hill foiled Bill Culver’s Powerpoint presentation. Bill did a great job describing what we were supposed to see on the dark screen. Now we can fully enjoy this fascinating presentation, “How a Political Scientist Had His Head Turned by Mining History.” CLICK HERE for the Powerpoint Slides and here for the Presentation Text.

Emil Fischer Maps (1883-1898) On-Line
Historic maps of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains were described in the 2014 Mining History Journal paper, “Emil Fischer, Guide to the San Juan Mines,” by Larry Godwin.  Their large size made them difficult to display in the Journal.  CLICK HERE to view several of Fischer’s maps in a larger format.



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