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  • Welcome to the RunnerDuck Blog

    We use to publish a monthly newsletter but decided to step up and do a blog instead. Just like our newsletter we will update this "newsletter" about once a month.
    Each month we bring you news from our little town of Coupeville, WA and happenings around the island we live on.
    We hope you enjoy our blog and we'd encourage you to sign up for email notification since it doesn't update all that frequently.
    Ken and Marilyn

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Day 7 – Mining Country

Yesterday we ventured into Butte to visit the World Museum of Mining and other sites. But first we got a phone call from a campground we were going to be staying at in South Dakota telling us that the flooding has taken away half their campground and they no longer have any room for us. I guess the bad weather across the country is taking a toll everywhere. Fortunately we awoke to another sunny day with no storms coming through during the night.

Our first stop in Butte was at Wally Mart to pick up a new coffee maker. Our previous one decided it was more fun to make steam than coffee but we didn’t see the humor in it. Ken can attest to it that the new one works just fine.

First stop was a pretty little display of the Lexington Stomp Mill and garden.

A stamp mill is used to crush rock into almost sand for further processing. The drive wheel moves the hammers up and down to crush the rock.

There was a gentlemen there to answer questions and one of the interesting comments he made when I asked him about the noise was that there was a school not more than twenty yards from this stamp, that had to make for some distracted studying from the loud noise. I didn’t get any pictures of the garden but the flowers were very pretty.

Next stop was the World Museum of Mining.

It not only is a great place to learn about mining but a lot about the way the miners lived. There is a replica town, Hell Roarin’ Gulch, from the early days of mining that has all the stores, homes, church, school, etc. The insides of  the buildings are exactly as they would have been back in the 1890’s. Here are a few of the pictures from around the “town”.

Ken looking to make a withdrawal.





The local church.

This interior of this school reminded Ken of when he went to school in North Bend, Nebraska. The desks were the same and they still had wooden wind-up clocks.

The museum is built on the old Orphan Girl Mine where silver and zinc were discovered during the gold rush of 1864. 7,500,000 ounces of silver were produced from this mine between 1875 and 1956. Here is the headframe or “gallows frame” as they were often called.

This is what was used to drop the miners down into the mine and to bring up the silver and zinc ore.

The white box on the right was for the miners and the red box to the left of it was for the ore.

There was a lot of interesting equipment around the area. Here are a few more pictures showing only a small portion of them.

This is a Fordson Tractor converted with Screw Pontoons for running on snow.

This was a very interesting Trolley Line Maintenance Vehicle.

This was a very cool looking old wagon that had seen better days.

We didn’t get to go on the in-ground mine tour due to the tour being full but we did get to check out a small mine to give us a feel of what it’s like down in the ground.

It was a fun visit and very interesting, well worth the time and money to visit if you’re in the Butte, Montana area.

We stopped for lunch and then back to camp. Just after we left Butte they had a heavy rain squall come through dumping 1 1/2″ of rain in thirty minutes. We had a couple of small rain showers come through the camp but nothing like the night before.

Today we head for Spring Creek Campground and Trout Ranch in Big Timer, Montana about 162 miles away. We’re looking at some pretty threatening weather but hopefully it will pass and we’ll have another beautiful day.






2 Responses

  1. Oh, so wished I’d known you were stopping in Butte- Jim was raised there! We could’ve guided you to some of the most AMAZING food! Great pictures…..

    • Yep too bad because we ate at this little Italian restaurant and casino that wasn’t all that good. It seems like every restaurant in Butte has a casino and we don’t gamble. Still we had a good time!

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