National Mining Hall of Fame

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National Mining Hall of Fame
National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (front).jpg
National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum Entrance
Established 1977
Location Leadville, Colorado
Website www.mininghalloffame.org

The National Mining Hall of Fame is a museum located in Leadville, Colorado, USA, dedicated to commemorating the work of miners and people that work with natural resources. The museum also participates in efforts to inform the public about the mining industry.

The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.

History[edit]

The museum was incorporated in 1977, and it was to be built on land owned by the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. As the building was to be built, the town of Leadville was facing hard times. With the closure of mines in Leadville in the 1980s, some possible contributors withdrew their contributions. After the chairman of the project, Doug Watrous, asked Richard Moolick, another board director, to negotiate with the city of Leadville, he came back with the offer. Moolick said they offered $0.50 a year for a 110 year lease. But the museum still needed money, so Joe Shoemaker, a former state senator, suggested that the museum seek 100 contributors that would donate $1,000.00 each. It took one year, but the museum was able to raise all the money. In 1987, the museum moved to a building that was the former Leadville Junior High School and before that the Leadville High School.[1]

Museum exhibits[edit]

The museum occupies 71,000 square feet (6,600 m2). Major exhibits include an elaborate model railroad,[2] a walk-through replica of an underground hardrock mine,[3] the Gold Rush room, with many specimens of native gold,[4] a large collection of mineral specimes,[5] a mining art gallery and a gift shop.

The Hall of Fame is a federally chartered memorial for men and women who have achieved lasting greatness in the mining industry and related fields. Inductees are selected by the museum's board of governors. A candidate ordinarily must be deceased, and have made significant contributions to the American mining scene. Consideration is given to prospectors, miners, mining leaders, engineers, teachers, financiers, inventors, journalists, rascals, geologists and others.[6] A database of inductees to the Hall of Fame is available here.[7] Notable honorees include Georgius Agricola, Meyer Guggenheim, Herbert Hoover, James M. Hyde, Ed Schieffelin, Harrison Schmitt, Paddy Martinez, Horace Tabor, Fred Chester Bond and Edmund J. Longyear, founder of Boart Longyear.

The Hall of Fame is criticized by James Loewen in his book Lies Across America for over emphasis on scientists, mining executives, and owners of vast mining properties. He states that "Only fourteen people - 12 percent of the total - represent individual miners, prospectors and explorers, politicians, labor leaders, philanthropists, and all others." The people commemorated are predominantly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant men, while historically mining has been one of America's most multicultural occupations.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Site". Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  2. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  3. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  4. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  5. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  6. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  7. ^ "National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum - Leadville, Colorado, minerals, gems, history". Mininghalloffame.org. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  8. ^ Loewen, James (1999). Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. New York: New Press. pp. 113–114. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°15′04″N 106°17′39″W / 39.2512°N 106.2941°W / 39.2512; -106.2941