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Historic Mines & Mining Companies

What You Can Expect

Of the thousands of mines, mining companies and processing operations in the US, most are abandoned and left few records. It can take a bit of detective work to find the Information that's still out there.

Relatively easy finds:  Information about "famous" mines; property and claim records; regional production data and geology; mining districts; existence of a company and stock values

Difficult to find:  Production figures, assay records for a specific mine; lists of employees; information about the equipment and surface operations; maps of underground workings.

Top Picks

Research Tips

1.  Identify the location of the mine or the company's operations -- the more specific, the better.

2.  Search using the mine/company's name. Look in:

  • Historic state mining and business directories
  • State Bureau of Mines publications
  • Mining industry-related journals
  • Web search
  • County records; property records

3.  Broaden your search. Use:

  • Mining district
  • Geography -- Nearby towns or the county to discover publications about your mine.
  • Commodities -- Search for publications on gold, silver, coal, etc. for geographical summaries or mention of your company.
  • Look at a wider range of publications:
    • Local histories
    • Newspapers