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Stay OUT of Old Mines

Charles B

New member
It seems like the most adventurous thing in the world. That dark opening in the hillside beckons, tantalizes, excites. What wondrous treasures await discovery inside? What artifacts might remain in this time capsule, mute testimony to an era when grizzled men moved tons of rock in pursuit of their dreams? Such is the poetic, romance-novel appeal that might induce you to take leave of your senses and crawl into an old mine. Thousands of such small openings are scattered throughout the country. Although most common in the historically "hard rock" Western mining states, they can also be found in the old lead and copper districts of the Midwest and the coal mining and silver areas of the east. In reality, multiple dangers lurk beyond the pale ring of light that filters through the mines entrance

Crawling into an old mine, in which no miner or engineer has evaluated the condition for decades, is something that I would now consider as pure stupidity. No shiny bauble or rusty artifact is worth it. Take a picture of that beckoning hole, and then leave it alone. Remember that the "old timers" have already taken out the rock and dumped it on the ground for you. Satisfy yourself with a little piece of azurite, malachite, chalcopyrite, or pyrite from the dump pile if you must have a souvenir, but stay out of that mine!


Active member

Over here in Cali we have many abandoned mines. In fact, the town I went to high school in had one partially collapse underneath one of the town's parks. A few of the kids I knew in high school even had some abandoned mines on their properties.

I agree with you: take a photo, some rocks, but don't go inside.

Charles B

New member
Hello Roscue2,

Yep, you're right.
It's just not worth losing your life over them.
I call them an attractive nuscience. They are just as tempting as old buildings.
I'm actually building an ROV right now to send into some of these places.



Well-known member
The second picture on the top row is more than enough to scare anyone . Looks more like a plumber than a miner:rofl:

Charles B

New member
Hello Ronaldj2,

You're right. :rofl:
Jay is a good guy though.
We noticed way back in this cave what appeared to be discoloration from smoke. It was way to dangerous to go into the cave far enough to really see much. Jay went into the entrance....further than I was willing to go. I am building an ROV to send into this cave. We'll see how it works out.


i will be under ground soon enough no need to check it out any sooner.when i work at the mines i take less pay and stay topside


Active member
The state of California has been capping off old mines, or fencing them in for some time now. Saw some last week on the way up to Yosemite on Highway 140. They were on the side of a hill near the Merced River, but had been fenced in. HH


New member
We have caves in st paul MN and i and a freind explored them , very easy to get lost . low oxigen spalling sandstone, many a many people have been killed, in them from colapses they build big bon fires in the caves and when the rock heats up huges chunks of the roof fall and cruch people to death , and the only way in is a very small hole you have to squeez thru the oxigen levels drop until you get diorentated we followed one cave and it kept going up and getting smaller and smaller , all kinds of creepy bugs just inches away from you it got so tite i wonder maybe we should turn back , when we seen the opening , we came out at the top of the bluff, - They have since closed them down becuase to many people died yep stay out of them


New member
Bad enough the cave-like mine opening in a hillside ... what scares me are the straight down PITS that many miners dug in the 1800's. 4 or 5 feet across at the opening - just enough to lay some logs to loop rope over and descend.
Sometimes straight down over 100ft. Difficult to spot when you're just out walking / exploring. You have to MINE PROOF your dogs too. They are incredibly dangerous and it seems MOST of them have never been capped or even reported.


Well-known member
I will go crawling into a mine when hades freezes over. I do not expect that to happen soon. I grew up BROKE. Was a young teen ager and Was digging coal to try to keep the house warm in the winter. That rock (i think they called it a kettle rock" needed a post to keep it from falling but if i put a post under it i would have been severely hampered in extracting the coal we needed. So i continued to lay there and work under that rock. An ICE COLD drop of water went into my left ear. I rolled over to get the water out of my ear and that rock landed exactly where i had been laying. I took that as a sign to never again go into a mine. I joined the navy rather than go into coal mining. Go into a mine. Never.