Earlier this month we took a day trip to Bisbee, Arizona for Ed's birthday. He'd never been to the historic mining town, and had never been in a real live copper mine.
This mine ceased production in 1975, but for 100 years before that closure, the mine continuously produced metals valued at $6.1 billion in 1975 dollars! It was one of the largest production valuations of all the mining districts in the world.
That wealth came from "8,032,352,000 lbs of copper, 2,871,786 ounces of gold, 77,162,986 ounces of silver, 304,627,600 lbs of lead and 371,945,900 lbs of zinc". Here's an interesting bit - Phelps Dodge, the company who eventually acquired the Copper Queen Mine, is a company my mother worked for when she was a young woman starting her career in the Bronx, New York.
Once we entered the visitor's center and paid our admission, we headed over to the area to suit up for the trek into the earth.
Hardhats, safety vests, and headlamps.
Ed, ready to head into the mine.
We all pile onto a rickety rail car, straddling a padded wooden bench seat, our lights ready to go for when we enter the tunnel.
The tour guides for the mine tour are all former miners. We had two extremely knowledgeable guides who took us through some of the inner workings of the mine. Here's one of the rickety staircases we ascended to get to the center of a room to look at an area where the miners spent time chipping away at the veins of copper.
Once in the cavern area, the guide pointed out some of the areas where some of the metals showed on the rock face. All of us tourists shined our lights in those areas to get a better look.
Very important throughout the mine - signs pointing to the way out.
The tour takes about an hour and takes you 1,500 feet into the mine. And, a bonus for me - it's always 47 degrees underground. I must have been a cave dweller in a previous life.
Once the tour is over, the mine door is closed until the next group is ready to enter.
Time to hit the gift shop!
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2016: Furniture Recon
2015: Deck Walkers
2014: The Land Of The Blue Angels
2013: Taking A KW For A Spin
2012: New York And Snow – My Two Favorite Things
2011: Doin’ The Math
2010: Well, Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit
2009: I Even Have Time To Go On Strike
2008: Teaching Them Young
2007: You Gotta Be In It To Win It
2006: Cinema Stupido
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!