The Queen Mine tour takes visitors down 1770 feet to see parts of the mine as it looked when workers were there digging. The mine itself is about 2 miles deep and has many shafts. We were only able to go into one shaft and see a large worked area, the equipment used to drill, an elevator, and an example of how dynamite charges were placed. Oh, and the bathroom-it was a 2 seater placed on a rail car. When full, it was pushed to the surface, cleaned, and returned.
In the beginning, men pushed ore out of the mine but later mules were brought in. The mules lived underground in a stable, and were treated quite well. I cannot imagine what that was like for the poor mules-never seeing daylight!
I researched my family while visiting the museum and found out that my grandfather had been "chief clerk" of Phelps Dodge Corp.-I'm glad he wasn't underground!
As time passed, the mine grew, finally taking over one area of a neighboring town. The hillside was just chewed up and an open pit mine was formed.
900 feet deep-8 billion tons of copper along with gold, silver, lead annd zinc. All this was fueled by the discovery of electricity.