Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Bits of Mine Lore

 This hay rick was for horses.  Horses were used in the mine until around 2000.  Since the mine is no longer in production because of the low price of salt, there are horses and cats no more.  Evidently the horses led long and happy lives down the mine because the mine was brighter than coal mines and also had fresher air and no dust.

The miners, too, worked hard but fought to get jobs in the mine - they were some of  the best paying jobs in the area for centuries.  While there was still the chance of a methane fire, collapses and accidents were far less common than in other mines.  Miners worked eight hours a day plus an hour to and from their duty stations climbing stairs.

 This is a rope making machine.  Ropes go bad in the mine in about six months due to getting impregnated with salt.  Miles and miles of ropes were needed for all the machinery.
 The mine is currently being stabilized with rod assemblies driven directly into rock.

 Glauber's salt growing on the roof.  The wooden beams show this was older construction.
 Salt blocks used to cut off passages in case of a methane fire.
 This is one of the fire doors they'd block off.  From this photo you can also see how wide and spacious the corridors are.  That door is fully six feet tall and three wide.

 Large cavern showing a very slow cave in from the wooden beams eventually buckling.  This is a process that can take centuries.
Salt impregnated wood.
Old fashioned supports.

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