Thursday, April 28, 2011

Farming and Mining

We are staying at the Rose Valley RV Ranch in Silver City, New Mexico. So it is no surprise we have seen a lot of old farm equipment and a lot of mines--although they aren't silver mines.

This water tank tells you where we are.

And this is the sign for our street.

There is a lot of rusty farm machinery decorating the park. This slide show gives you an idea of what we see here each day.

This is a great park with huge, private sites, wide roads, a walking trail out back, and fun things to look at. We are enjoying our stay. And there are lots of things to see in the surrounding area.

In 1870, silver was discovered south of here near Lordsburg. According to the Historic Silver City Area Scenic Trails, "Captain John Bullard and his men rode south to investigate. After examining the ore, one of the men said, 'Boys, if this is what silver looks like, we have plenty of it at home. They hurried back and began to dig one half mile west of the present courthouse."

Silver mining grew the city from one cabin to over 80 buildings and Silver City became the county seat. Later, copper mining became the biggest activity. As we drove to Silver City Saturday, we passed through the town of Tyrone and saw copper mining there. Yesterday we passed the Santa Rita Mine and stopped to look at it and read about it. The mining pit is huge, over 1 mile across and 1,600 feet deep. The open pit mining here began in 1910 and it operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In 1854 the United States bought land south of the Gila River in New Mexico and Arizona to provide a southern railroad route to the Pacific. It looks like we got a good deal for our 33 cents an acre purchase prize.

The two copper mines we have seen here, as well as many other mineral resources, came with the land we bought.

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