Friday, March 18, 2011

going under

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. 

We are moving on-I'll post when possible. 


  1. Sounds like an interesting visit, especially learning about your grandfather!

  2. I took the mining tour last year. What a grim place and what a horrible job! I read many accounts of miners through the years but the tour conducted by a man who had been a miner gave me a different perspective of the struggles.

  3. How coincidental, I've just been translating a talk about the Emscher Kunst project in the Ruhr in Germany which basically rejuvenated a coalmining region!


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