45 photos
Mining in the American West
Though various types of mines have existed across the nation, almost from the very discovery of America, those in the American West, are and were the most plentiful, and the history they've left in their wakes, is of romance, fortunes made and lost, hardships, greed, Indian Wars, and numerous crusty old ghost towns.
From the beginning, America presented an image of golden wealth, and that image has never been lacking to the rest of the world. A key factor in shaping the national character of this country, the discovery of gold and other precious metals in the American West accelerated western expansion, beginning with the California Gold Rush in 1848.

After the discovery go gold in California, which clearly showed how rich the strikes could be, more prospectors by the thousands headed west to explore every promising region in their search for wealth. To these many adventurers, no mountain was too high to climb, no canyon to precarious to descend, and no river too difficult to cross. They were a determined lot.

Alaska Prospector & Dog, 1900

Alaska Prospector & Dog, 1900

Alaska Prospector & Dog, 1900 - 2

Alaska Prospector & Dog, 1900 - 2

Borax Miner

Borax Miner

Burro Train Ouray, CO, 1906

Burro Train Ouray, CO, 1906

Burros

Burros

California Gold Mining, 1871

California Gold Mining, 1871

California Miners in front of stagecoach, 1894

California Miners in front of stagecoach, 1894

Colorado - Prospector With Burros

Colorado - Prospector With Burros

Colorado Pack Train

Colorado Pack Train

Copper miners in Michigan, 1916

Copper miners in Michigan, 1916

Cripple Creek, CO - Mine

Cripple Creek, CO - Mine

Cripple Creek, CO - Mine

Cripple Creek, CO - Mine

Death Valley, CA - 20-Mule Team Borax Wagons

Death Valley, CA - 20-Mule Team Borax Wagons

Death Valley, CA - 20-Mule Team, 1890

Death Valley, CA - 20-Mule Team, 1890

Gold Fever, 1891

Gold Fever, 1891

Gold panning

Gold panning

Gold panning, NM, 1940

Gold panning, NM, 1940

Gold prospector in NM

Gold prospector in NM

Gold Prospectors about 1850

Gold Prospectors about 1850

Goldfield, NV - Gold Mine Entrance

Goldfield, NV - Gold Mine Entrance