This past weekend Mr. C and I had a rare opportunity to visit some private mining collections and displays. I have no photos of the first property we visited as I had no idea what I was in for and did not bring my camera. In my visits I got to reminiscing about my Grandpa. I found a few black and white photos of him and scanned them into my computer. I loved and still love my Grandpa. He was a kind and loving man who worked very hard all of his life. The reason I have included him in this post is that at the age of 14 years old he had to quit school and go to work in the coal mines in his home state of Alabama. Now that I live in the Gold Mining belt of California and all of its history I can much more appreciate what he gave up to help support his mama and siblings. Coal is very dirty and nasty. In my Grandpa's final years he was very ill and finally properly diagnosed with Black Lung disease. He died shortly thereafter and there was no restitution ever paid him as should have been. The life of a miner is not an easy one and I admire their fortitude.
Here are photos of the private collection I got to visit. All of this was for gold mining here in Northern California. This is a working two stamp mill. The ground actually shakes with just two and most mines had numerous stamp mills pounding 24/7.
I just adore all things old and drenched in character with so many stories entrenched into the pieces. This cabin is a real one that a miner lived in. No McMansion here...this is about 10'x10' and very basic!
This amazing collection is a wealth of history with many stories attached to it. One man and his wife lovingly search out and acquire bits and pieces and then carefully display them. The key pieces actually work and show us flat-landers just what it was really like back in the days.
Every place your eye could look was something amazing and historic and fabulous.
Even this mine entrance looks authentic because it really is!
How very generous of this wonderful couple to not only save and preserve such irreplaceable bits of history but to actually host an open house for visitors. No admittance charge and no donations were allowed. I thanked them in person but I will also send them a note of gratitude.
I am linking to Donna of Brynwood Needleworks for Memory Lane Monday. Thank you Donna for letting me share.