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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering Historic Mining Sites

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service


Sample Periodicals and Journals

The following are examples of periodicals and journals that were in print during the ninteenth and early twentieth centuries that discuss events, technology, and personalities in volved with mining during that era. This list is by no means exhaustive, but will provide general guidance to researchers. The periodical and journal titles are commonly used but may have changed over time.

Coal Age; Engineering and Mining Journal, New York City; Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco; Los Angeles Mining Review; Iron Age, Radnor, Pennsylvania; Black Hills Mining Review, Deadwood, South Dakota; Mining Reporter, Denver; Salt Lake Mining Review, Salt Lake City; The School of Mines Quarterly, New York City; Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, New York City.


Abbe, Donald R. Austin and the Reese River Mining District, Nevada's Forgotten Frontier. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1985.

Alanen, Arnold R. "Documenting the Physical and Social Characteristics of Mining and Resource-Based Communities," APT Bulletin, v. XI (1979), pp. 49-68.

Axford, H. William. Gilpin County Gold, Peter McFarlane 1848-1929, Mining Entrepreneur in Central City, Colorado. Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc., 1976.

Barker, Leo R. and Ann E. Huston, eds. Death Valley to Deadwood; Kennecott to Cripple Creek, Proceedings of the Historic Mining Conference January 23-27, 1989, Death Valley National Monument. San Francisco: National Park Service, 1990.

Basalla, George. The Evolution of Technology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Bowie, Augustus J., A Practical Treatise on Hydraulic Mining in California, 8th Edition. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1898.

Brown, Ronald C. Hard Rock Miners: The Intermountain West, 1860-1920. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1979.

Brown, Sharon A. Historic Resource Study, Cambria Iron Company. Denver: National Park Service, 1989.

Cash, Joseph H. Working the Homestake. Ames: The Iowa State University Press, 1973.

Christiansen, Paige W. The Story of Mining in New Mexico. New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources, Scenic Trips to the Geological Past No. 12. Socorro: University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

Cleland, Robert Glass. A History of Phelps Dodge, 1834-1950. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952.

Deetz, James. In Small Things Forgotten. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1977.

Dix, Keith. What's a Coal Miner to Do? The Mechanization of Coal Mining. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988.

Eller, Ronald D. Miners, Millhands, and Mountaineers, Industrialization of the Appalachian South, 1880-1930. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1982.

Elliott, Russell R. Nevada's Twentieth-Century Mining Boom, Tonopah, Goldfield, Ely. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1966.

Fatout, Paul. Meadow Lake, Gold Town. 1969. Reprint. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1974.

Fay, Albert H. A Glossary of the Mining and Mineral Industry, U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 95. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1920.

Fell, James E., Jr. Ores to Metals, The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Francaviglia, Richard V. Hard Places. Reading the Landscapes of America's Historic Mining Districts. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992.

Gibson, Arrell M. Wilderness Bonanza, The Tri-State District of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1972.

Graebner, William. Coal Mining Safety in the Progressive Period. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1976.

Greene, Linda W. and John A. Latschar, Historic Resource Study, A History of Mining in Death Valley National Monument. 4 vols. Denver: NPS, 1981.

Greever, William S. The Bonanza West, the Story of the Western Mining Rushes, 1848-1900. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.

Hardesty, Don L. The Archeology of Mining and Miners: A View from the Silver State. Special Publication Series, No. 6. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Society for Historical Archeology, 1988.

Hayward, Carle R. An Outline of Metallurgical Practice. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1929. (One of many textbooks on metallurgy.)

Hogan, Richard. Class and Community in Frontier Colorado. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990.

Holliday, J.S. The World Rushed In, the California Gold Rush Experience. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981.

Hunt, William R. North of 53, the Wild Days of the Alaska-Yukon Mining Frontier. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1974.

Hurtado, Albert L. Indian Survival on the California Frontier. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1988.

Jackson, W. Turrentine. Treasure Hill, Portrait of a Silver Mining Camp. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1963.

Janin, Charles. Gold Dredging in the United States. Bureau of Mines, Bulletin No. 127, Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1918.

Jensen, Vernon H. Heritage of Conflict, Labor Relations in the Nonferrous Metals Industry up to 1930. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1950.

King, Joseph E. A Mine to Make a Mine: Financing the Colorado Mining Industry, 1859-1902. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1977.

Lankton, Larry. Cradle to Grave. Life, Work, and Death at the Lake Superior Copper Mines. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Lingenfelter, Richard E. Death Valley and the Armargosa, A Land of Illusion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

The Hardrock Miners, A History of the Mining Labor Movement in the American West, 1863-1893. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.

Long, Priscilla, Where the Sun Never Shines, A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. New York: Paragon House, 1989.

Lord, Eliot. Comstock Mining and Miners. 1883. Reprint. Berkeley: Howell-North, 1959.

Malone, Michael P. The Battle for Butte, Mining and Politics on the Northern Frontier, 1864-1906. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981.

Molloy, Peter M. The History of Metal Mining and Metallurgy: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986.

Marcosson, Isaac F. Anaconda. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1957.

Metal Magic, the Story of the American Smelting & Refining Company. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1949.

McGrath, Roger D. Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigilantes, Violence on the Frontier. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

Mulholland, James A., A History of Metals in Colonial America. University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1981.

Niebur, Jay E. and James Fell, Arthur Redman Wilfley, Miner, Inventor, and Entrepreneur. Western Business History Research Center, Colorado Historical Society, nd.

Parker, Watson. Deadwood, the Golden Years. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981.

Gold in the Black Hills. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966.

Parsons, A. B., ed. Seventy-Five Years of Progress in the Mineral Industry 1871-1946, New York: American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, 1947.

Paul, Rodman W. California Gold, the Beginning of Mining in the Far West. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1947.

Mining Frontiers of the Far West 1848-1880. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1963.

The Far West and the Great Plains in Transition, 1859-1900. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.

Peele, Robert, editor. The Mining Engineers Handbook. New York, 1918, various editions.

Rickard, T. A. The Stamp Milling of Gold Ores. New York: The Scientific Publishing Company, 1898.

Ringholtz, Raye C. Uranium Frenzy, Boom and Bust on the Colorado Plateau. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1989.

Rohrbough, Malcolm J. Aspen, The History of a Silver Mining Town. New York: Oxford University Press,l986.

Sinclair, Upton. King Coal. New York: Macmillan, 1918.

Smith, Duane A. Horace Tabor, His Life and the Legend. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1981.

Mining America, The Industry and the Environment, 1800-1980. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987.

Rocky Mountain Mining Camps, the Urban Frontier. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967.

Smith, Grant H. The History of the Comstock Lode 1850-1920. University of Nevada Bulletin, Vol. XXXVII, No. 3. Geology and Mining Series No. 37. July 1, 1943.

Spence, Clark C. The Conrey Placer Mining Company, A Pioneer Gold-Dredging Enterprise in Montana, 1897-1922. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1989.

Mining Engineers & the American West: The Lace Boot Brigade, 1849-1933. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970.

"Western Mining," in Michael P. Malone, ed., Historians and the American West. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

Sprague, Marshall. Money Mountain, the Story of Cripple Creek Gold. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1953. Reprint. New York: Ballantine Books, 1971.

Spude, Robert L. "Mineral Frontier in Transition: Copper Mining in Arizona, 1880-1885," New Mexico Historical Review (January 1976), pp. 19-34.

Spude, Robert L. S. and Sandra McDermott Faulkner. Kennecott, Alaska, Historic American Engineering Record Recording Project. Anchorage: National Park Service, 1987. Suggs, George. Colorado's War on Militant Unionism. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972.

Temin, Peter. Iron and Steel in Nineteenth-Century America: An Economic Inquiry. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1964.

Trimble, William Joseph. The Mining Advance into the Inland Empire. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1909. Reprint. Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press, 1986.

Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens). Roughing It. 1872. Reprint. New York: The New American Library, Inc., 1962.

Voynick, Stephen. Leadville, a Miner's Epic. Missoula: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1984.

Walker, David A., Iron Frontier, the Discovery and Early Development of Minnesota's Three Ranges. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1979.

Walker, Joseph E. Hopewell Village, The Dynamics of a Nineteenth Century Iron-Making Community. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966.

Wallace, Anthony F. C.. St. Clair, A Nineteenth-Century Coal Town's Experience with a Disaster-Prone Industry. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1988.

Wells, Merle W. Gold Camps & Silver Cities, Nineteenth Century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho. Boise: Idaho State Historical Society, 1983.

Wyman, Mark. Hard Rock Epic, Western Miners in the Industrial Revolution, 1860-1910. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

Young, Otis E., Jr. Western Mining, an Informal Account of Precious Metal Prospecting, Placering, Lode Mining, and Milling on the American Frontier from Spanish Times to 1893. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.


This glossary provides a quick overview of terms used in the text. For a comprehensive glossary of mining terms see Albert H. Fay, A Glossary of the Mining and Mineral Industry, U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 95, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1920 edition and Paul W. Thrush, comp., A Dictionary of Mining, Minerals and Related Terms, US Bureau of Mines, Special Publication, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1968.

    A horizontal passage driven from the surface for working or unwatering a mine.
    The process of bringing particles of free gold or silver in contact with mercury. The most common practice was to pass a slurry of crushed gold ore over large copper plates that had been coated with mercury or, in the case of silver, mix a slurry of crushed silver ore in metal pans containing mercury.
    A primitive mill using a circular path of cobblestones with retaining walls on either side. Heavy drag stones were dragged over the mixture of ore and mercury using a horse, water wheel, or steam for power. As the ore was crushed the free gold was amalgamated. The amalgam was dug from between the cobblestones.
    The content, type, or quality of metal in an ore was tested or "assayed" by an experienced assayer using various methods including fire assay or acid tests. Assay offices often purified precious metals prior to shipment to the mint.
    Base Metal:
    Copper, lead, zinc, and other common industrial metals.
    The initial process of upgrading ore.
    Blast Furnace:
    An upright shaft furnace in which solid fuel was burned with an air blast to melt the ore and fluxes, and obtain a separation between the metal and the slag.
    In mining, an enlarged metal or wooden bucket used to haul matter out of a mine shaft. Sometimes used to carry miners.
    A machine used to break coal, particularly anthracite, prior to shipment. In time, the entire surface crushing and separating plant at an anthracite coal mine was called a breaker.
    A vehicle riding on guides in the shaft, that was moved up and down by the hoisting engine, and was used for hauling men, supplies, and ore.
    The product obtained from fixed carbon and incombustible material after strongly heating bituminous coal out of contact with air, and driving off the volatile constituents.
    A device or process for reducing the values in an ore into a smaller bulk in order to diminish the expense of shipping and further treatment. Sluicing of placer ground was the earliest form. Hand-sorting of ore to obtain a higher grade was probably the most commonly used. In concentrating mills the ore was crushed, screened to the proper size, and then passed over vibrating tables to separate the heavier metals from the gangue. Concentrator was the name givento the surface plants which concentrated ore into a concentrate prior to shipment to smelters.
    Cornish Steam Pump:
    A very early mine pump that was invented by Watt for the Cornish tin mines in England. The pump consisted of a steam engine that operated a walking beam. The other end of the beam was connected to a wooden timber that extended to the bottom of the shaft. The end of the timber was connected to a piston with check valves so the water was lifted on top of the piston. If the shaft was greater than 300 feet deep, an additional pump had to be installed, and the water in the lower section was pumped up into a sump. The top section then pumped the water from the sump to the surface. Additional walking beams were installed to act as counterweights to overcome the weight of the timber and the water column.
    Cyanide Process/Cyanidation:
    The dissolving of gold and silver by the use of a solution of alkaline cyanide. The process was invented in Scotland in 1887, first successfully used in South Africa and New Zealand in 1890, and in the United States at Mercur, Utah in 1892. The practice consisted of fine grinding of the entire tonnage in a roller, tube, rod, or ball mill. The crushed ore passed to leaching tanks. A solution of sodium or potassium cyanide was placed in the tank with the ore. The ore then gave up the silver or gold mineral into the solution. The gold was retrieved in zinc boxes (or other methods of precipitation) where the precious metals were precipitated. The precipitate was smelted and refined into gold and silver bullion.
    A floating placer mine operation where buckets scooped up gravels that were then screened, sorted, and sluiced. Gold stayed onboard in the sluice boxes while waste gravels and sand were washed back into the creek or sent by conveyer to stacks in the creekbed behind. The dredge was developed in New Zealand in the 1880s and first successfully worked in the United States at the Bannack District, Montana in 1895.
    The separation of minerals from each other and from waste matter by inducing (through the use of reagents) relative differences in their abilities to float in a liquid medium. The process will separate all metallic sulphides or elemental metals. If necessary, differential flotation can be used on complex ores. In such an ore, each sulphide mineral, such as copper, lead, and zinc, can be separated from the others. First patented by Carrie Jane Everson of Denver on August 4, 1886, the process was ignored until perfected in Australia at the turn of the century. The first successful plants in the United States were at Butte where in 1911 the process was introduced at the Butte & Superior zinc-lead mine and at the Inspiration Copper Mine at Miami, Arizona in 1915.
    An inclined channel, usually made of wood, for conveying water.
    An agreement between the miner and a business owner whereby food, clothing, ammunition, and mining supplies would be furnished in exchange for a negotiated percent of return on the miner's earnings.
    A timber or steel structure, over the shaft that supports the sheave and hoisting rope and is braced to withstand the pull of the hoisting engine.
    Any engine with a drum on which the hoisting rope is wound.
    Hydraulic mining:
    The excavating of a bank of gold-bearing gravel by a jet of water that was discharged through a nozzle under great pressure. The nozzle was known as a "monitor" or a "giant." The gravel was carried away by the water and transported through sluices with riffles to catch the gold. Hydraulic mining was perfected in California by 1853.
    Long Tom:
    An open box 12 feet long that is 15 inches wide at the upper end and 30 inches wide at the lower, or discharge, end. The lower end is closed, but has a screen in the bottom of the last two feet. The holes in the screen are one-half inch wide. Under the screen is another inclined box at least 36 inches wide and 6 feet long with riffles in the bottom. Both boxes are usually 12 inches deep. Water enters at the upper end and washes the gravel through the screen. The slurry drops into the lower box and the heavy metal is collected in the riffles.
    The metallic mixture that results from smelting sulphide ores.
    Mill tailing:
    See tailing.
    Mine Face:
    The end of a tunnel, drift or exposed ore body.
    Open cut; open pit:
    A method of mining the ore in which the workings are open to the surface.
    The portion of a deposit containing valuable minerals that can be mined at a profit.
    Ore bin:
    A metal or wooden structure used to store ore prior to shipment.
    Placer mining:
    The extraction of heavy minerals from alluvial gravel by removing the detrital material with running water and trapping the values in riffles.
    Precious metals:
    Usually designated as gold, silver, and platinum.
    A mineral property, the value of which has not been proven.
    A vertical or inclined opening or passageway connecting one mine working area with another at a higher level.
    Russell Process:
    A metallurgical process perfected in the mid-1880s at Park City, Utah for the extraction of silver via lixiviation.
    A vertical or steeply inclined access passage from the surface into a mine. It is usually sunk from the surface by mining in a downward direction. The interior is timbered so that each entity has its own passageway or compartment cage, skip, manway, or pipe.
    A series of inclined troughs, each of which are about 12 feet long and 12 inches square, called sluice boxes. These were coupled together to form a continuous trough 24 to 72 feet long. Devices known as riffles were placed in the bottom of the sluice. As the gravel was washed through the trough, the heavier metals were retained by the riffles.
    The chemical reduction of a metal from its ore and certain fluxes by melting at high temperatures. The non-metallic material floated on top of the heavier metallic constituents in the molten state and remained in that position when it cooled and hardened.
    Stamp Mill:
    The ore to be treated by amalgamation is usually ground in a stamp mill. A stamp consists of a vertical steel stem with an iron foot or shoe that is lifted by a cam and dropped onto previously crushed ore. Five stamps in a row are usually included in one battery. In the case of gold ore, the discharge from the battery flows over amalgamating plates. These are copper plates usually about the width of the battery (approximately 5 feet) and 10 to 12 feet long. The copper sheets have a silver plating and are coated with a thin film of mercury which adheres to the silver. This allows them to catch the particles of gold. Silver ore passes from stamps to pans for amalgamation. Stamp milling was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages and improved in California in the 1850s. The process was used throughout the precious metal mining regions of the United States until amalgamation was replaced by the cyanide process in the early twentieth century.
    An opening in the underground workings of a mine from which ore is mined. The width and height of the stope are determined by the size of the ore body.
    Strip Mine:
    See open cut; open pit.
    The gangue and other refuse material resulting from washing, concentrating, or treating ground ore that is discharged from a mill.
    The operation of setting timber supports in a mine.
    The tracks, trestles, and screens at a coal mine where the coal is processed and loaded.
    An established system of roads, rails, or cables over which ore is moved from the mine to the mill.
    Waste Rock Dump:
    The uneconomical rock that was mined and disposed of in the vicinity of a mining operation.


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