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Thread: Those miners were made of strong stuff!

  1. #1
    brian10x's Avatar
    brian10x is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Angry Those miners were made of strong stuff!

    I was planning on another trek to Black Diamond here in Southern Arizona today, but I got a late start because I wanted to do a little yard work first.

    So, two hours later, nearly passed out from the heat and wiped out for the rest of the day, I'm sipping a cool drink in air-conditioned comfort, my two dogs licking the sweat from my brow, and I start to ponder the steel these old time miners were made of.

    These guys used to pound holes in solid rock in the same heat, most of the day, with very little water, crappy food, dangerous conditions, and in most cases, very little rewards at the end of the day.

    Sometimes, searching for these mines, sitting on my padded seat, iced beverages strapped nearby, I lose sight of the superhuman effort expended to carve out so many holes in the ground, and the resulting lives lost or cut dramatically short by the struggle.

    The next time I find a mine, I hope I remember to pause a few minutes to close my eyes and try to imagine the reality of life back then. The hardships must have been beyond our imagination.

    BS
    Soft, fleshy, not worthy to tread where they have...

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    Interesting thought.
    When I am out at a GT, enjoying the peace and quiet, I think about how it must have sounded. We once found a 60 stmap mill in the hills. Imagine those stmaps running day and night, echoing off of the hills.
    We don't have your heat here. Our miners would have had rain and cold and wet. While I do my GTing in the nice and (usually) dry summer.

    They had to have been tough.
    I've got a book that my great grandma wrote about homesteading in Alaska, delivering mail by wagon in Nebraska as a kid and other things she did. It wasn't just the miners that were tough! Those frontier women could have kicked our a$$!!

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    I often think about the hardiness of those early miners and settlers too. Heck, I can't even walk out to the mailbox without gasping and panting on one of these 108 degree days here. Imagine wearing heavy long dresses or heavy wool or sack cloth pants and not even being able to get an ice cold drink whenever you want to.
    It's hard to comprehend the everyday hardships these folks endured, not to mention illness and injuries sustained in their every day lives. (most of the cures I've read about seemed to include heavy doses of kerosene and sugar and for those who would admit to it, a shot of whiskey also helped) Wonder what they'd think if they could see the way things have changed?
    I love reading their stories, it's about as adventurous as I get in this miserably hot weather.
    There are a couple of good books available describing in detail the daily lives of these hardy souls.
    One is "Filaree" written by Marguerite Noble. The other is "The Pioneer Woman of Gila County, Arizona and Their Descendants" compiled by the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers. We purchased ours' at the local Tonto Nat'l Forest visitors center but they're also available from Git A Rope Publishing, Art And Antiques Inc.
    I find that some of these more obscure books offer a wealth of information, both historical and rhetorical.

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    Yeah.
    I have some copies of great gama's recipies - including how to make a mustard plaster!
    I am in awe of the people who traveled across country to a place they'd never seen with the whole family and everything they needed to start a new life in a little covered wagon. Last time we moved it took two trips in a 24' U-haul. And I didn't need to start a new life, build a house, raise livestock and all the rest!!

    It's amazing that us decendents are even here!

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    talk about medicine and becoming ill, you should see some of the OBGYN tools they used to use down at the musuem in Virginia City. OOUUCH !!
    High Desert Drifter
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    Is THAT what those were? I thought they were miner's tools

    (I didn't really say that did I?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraA
    Is THAT what those were? I thought they were miner's tools


    (I didn't really say that did I?)
    Well times were hard so they had to improvise and recycle.

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    Default Those miners were made of strong stuff!

    I recall my dad telling about my great grandmother going up to the Yukon to pan for gold.
    She left New York with my grandfather and great uncle Fred to look for gold.I have forgotten some of the details,since it's been many years.But a prospector who had a claim near hers was murdered,no doubt for his gold.And when they went back to New York on the boat,great grandma told the two boys,she didn't have enough money,so they would have to work their passage.Both Great Uncle Fred,and especially my grandfather believed she had plenty of money,but just didn't want to pay for them so they worked on the ship.
    She wasn't a widow.She was married and had a total of nine kids eventually.She was a german woman with an iron will,and I guess great grandpa just let her do her own thing while he ran a store and took care of the other kids at home,who were my great aunts.Family joke was she only came home to get pregnant,since she went to one of the Oklahoma land rushes,and other places.
    Took a lot of guts for a woman to do that in those days.

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    This link has some really good reading about how women played an important role in western settlement as well as setting milestones in the development of the USA. Although this particular site hasn't been updated in a few years,the info and links are really good ones. It's part of the "My Hero" project.
    Yep, the early miners were made of tough stuff, but behind them there was probably an equally strong women saying, "C'mon darlin' drill that dang rock hole and make us rich."



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    Default Bridget Mason

    Laura - One of my old west heros is a lady named Bridget Mason. You may not find much on her if you use her real name but do a goggle search on Biddie Mason for grins.
    Yet Another Bob

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