When it comes to researching mines, specifically in your area, there are a lot of online resources you can use. However, don’t forget about the local resources. Check out the local museums, ask friends if they know of any mines in the area or if they know anyone that talks about mining. What about some of your elderly neighbors or grandparents? If there was mining in your area there is a good chance you will find a mining or miners museum in nearby towns or counties.
With the Internet age upon us, there is tons of information at your fingertips. Google is your best friend for finding that information. For your searches, don’t use long sentences. Use specific keywords and if you don’t find what you want, try other words or variations. Use region specific words and be a little more generic in the beginning. In my case I started out with my state, county and Mining. (Colorado Mesa Mining) Remember, Google is not necessarily looking for a complete sentence or for the words to make sense like they should to another person. Once you have done some basic searches with a few words, then add additional related words and see what other results you get.
Keywords that can help:
- “your state”
- “your county”
There are many other words that might be more region specific to you. Try some of the local Names for things like: towns, mountains, hills, valleys, etc. Try a mix of these words and scan through the results for what you are after.
Here are a few of the resources that I use, some of them more specific to my area but you can find similar sources for your location.
- http://thediggings.com – Mine claim maps and reports
- http://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/ – Mineral Resources Data Systems
- http://westernmininghistory.com – Western Mining History
- http://www.coloradodnr.info – Colorado DNR – Look for the DNR web site where you live and search their site for Mining informaiton.
- http://mining.state.co.us/Pages/Home.aspx – Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety – Look for similar web sites that cover your area.
- http://maps.google.com – A great place to start looking when you think you know the location of the mine you want to activate and document.
Once you have a mine you want to Activate and Document, you need to make sure you know who owns the land and are you permitted to be there. In many cases it will be state or federal land and you have the rights to go there as long as you don’t disturb anything or take anything from the site. If you are not sure, a lot of the reference sites for mines indicate who the property owner is. Also, if you can find the site on maps.google.com, click on the location and it will pop up a marker with the GPS coordinates. Write those numbers down. A good place to find out who owns the property is the County Assessor’s web site for the county the mine is located in. Using the GPS coordinates you can usually enter that information into their web site and it will tell you who owns the land. This is public record information available to everyone.
For instance, on Google Maps if I click on the location for the Lost Dutchman Mine that I Activated, it gives me the following coordinates. Now I take those latitude and longitude coordinates over to my local county assessor’s web site, enter them in and it says….
You can see that this is BLM, Bureau of Land Management, property. It is legal for us to go to this location, barring any locally posted rules about the area. Some areas allow or don’t allow hiking, ATVs, Bikes, camping, open fires, etc. Be mindful of local restrictions. Also remember that sometimes a State or County road might run through the property. So it is legal for you to drive down the road and maybe you can see the mine from there. You could take a picture for your documentation and activate right from your car or a nearby parking spot that is not on private property. Just be safe when on or near the road and respect the land owners rights. We can enjoy our hobby without affecting others or trespassing.
So spend some time doing the initial research to find the resources you need to locate, research and activate the mines in your area. Be safe, stay out of the mines or any dangerous locations and post your activations to our site. We really want to hear from you and see what you have found. We would be happy to post a picture from your activation, link to your online images and re-Tweet your MOTA activities.
Note that I am not a legal expert and just offer guidelines to help you have fun safely and legally.
JohnnyF – WJ0NF