Black Hills Mining & Caving
Aug 10, 2013Public
Photo: Our first stop of the day, the Broken Boot Gold Mine, just outside of Deadwood.
Photo: Grant asked if he could ride the cart into the mine.
Photo: This was Dulce's brainstorm, as Grant likes mining shows. And their favorite game is Minecraft.
Photo: Get those helmets on and let's explore the mine.
Photo: The mine goes 300 feet below the mountain
Photo: In 1878, Olaf Seim and James Nelson started digging this mine during the Black Hills Gold Rush.
Photo: They found 15,000 ounces of gold. However, that was spread out over 26 years, which averages to 1.5 oz per day. Hardly profitable.
Photo: Interestingly, they made far more money from iron pyrite, aka "Fools Gold". It could be used to make sulfuric acid, which was used in the processing of real gold.
Photo: Matt was a terrific guide. Since we were the only ones here in the morning, we got a private tour.
Photo: The mine wasn't dug by machines, but the old-fashioned way, with pickaxes, drills, and explosives
Photo: The mine closed in 1918. It re-opened in 1954 as a tourist attraction, longer and more successful than the gold mining itself.
Photo: At one point, Matt turned off the lights and it was pitch black. Then he lit a candle. The miners would use the reflection off a thumbnail to know where to pound the hammer. Timing was essential, obviously.
Photo: They also used explosives, the youngest and least experienced ones got the honor of lighting the fuse and running for dear life.
Photo: This is a warning to the kids to stop touching everything
Photo: During the renovations to make it safe for tours, the crews found an old worn boot. Hence the name Broken Boot Gold Mine.
Photo: That's why we wear helmets
Photo: He let the kids take some samples. Will he find a gold nugget?
Photo: Afterwards, Matt taught the kids how to pan for gold
Photo: Mama got into the action as well
Photo: Dip in more water and slosh out more rocks.