Tour 4: Underground Roundtable on Colorado Mining History
Tour leader: Kenneth Osgood, Colorado School of Mines
Join us for a tour of Edgar Experimental Mine, a teaching mine operated by the Colorado School of Mines in Idaho Springs, located in a canyon at 7,500 feet carved out by Clear Creek, which supplies the water to the Coors brewery in Golden. Prospectors founded the town in 1859 during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. The historic Edgar Mine—originally constructed in the 1870s—includes its original main tunnel connected to branches of tunnels dug by students over the previous half-century. The tour will take visitors through more than one-half mile of underground workings representing over 100 years of mine development. In addition, the tour will include a roundtable panel on Colorado mining history in a classroom inside the mine itself, followed by happy hour and early dinner (or appetizers) at Tommyknocker brewery in downtown Idaho Springs, which will include a discussion about saloon culture and the Western gold rush. Participants will pay for their own food and drink. On the wy to and from the site, visitors will enjoy spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.
Thomas Andrews (University of Colorado at Boulder) will moderate the discussion with George Vrtis (Carleton College), Elizabeth Jameson (University of Calgary), and Elliott West (University of Arkansas). Issues to be discussed include mining and the environment, gendered dimensions of mining history, mining history in global context, beer on the mining frontier, working-class women in the West's saloons, and more.
Participants should wear closed-toed shoes with a good tread, warm clothes, and casual (mud and dirt friendly) attire; attendees will be provided hardhats at the mine site.
Please Note: This bus tour requires participants to walk up a dirt road with a steep grade for a quarter mile; the tour and roundtable will take place in a confined underground space. Unfortunately, the mine is not wheelchair accessible.
If there is more than six inches of recent snowfall in Idaho Springs, participants will not be able to tour the mine but will meet in an alternate location. In the event of inclement weather, AHA staff will e-mail participants with further instructions. Return time of 7:30 p.m. is approximate.
Limit 20 people. $20 members, $25 nonmembers