Monday, January 5, 2009

Empire Mine

In September--you know, that time when homeschoolers make great plans for trips and projects that never happen--I made a list of parks I'd like us to visit as part of our study of American and California history.

Well, 4 months later, we finally made it to one! Empire Mine--California's most productive gold mine. Over the course of 100 years miners dug over 300 miles of tunnels and went down nearly a vertical mile--all to haul out, bit by bit, one 6 foot cube of gold.

We didn't leave enough time for the small museum which has an amazing scale model of the mine and an impressive vault which holds at least $100,000 worth of gold.

Greta and Clem particularly liked the giant triangle. I wonder if the miners a mile down could hear it ringing.

The girls were also intrigued by the mules who lived their whole lives below ground. They were treated well, aside from never seeing the light of day. And some would not start work without a treat of tobacco.


AM said...

Why didn't they just bring up the cube all at once?

gina said...

Intersting place to visit!! I often feel blessed to be from Massachusetts, there is an abundant amount of rich history to visit- but that is a really cool place!

dish56 said...

Ooh--we've never been! I'll have to add it to our list...