After taking the long drive this morning (see that post here) was when the adventure started. The drive there was interesting, yet nowhere near as fun as any other days that we have experienced (such as becoming a billionaire, White Water Rafting off a waterfall, or getting charged by an elk [all of these scenarios actually HAVE occurred on my current travel adventure], Etc.) Today, however, was the day we went to the World Mining Center of Butte, Montana. None of us knew it, but Butte Montana was a complete mining town. Oddly enough, all of the buildings were either completely broken down and trashed or extremely well kept and in great condition!
The World Mining Center was right behind the Montana Tech Institute (which was ALSO oddly not a tech institute like stated but a Miner Training Center). Walking in was the gift shop where they sold rocks and other random things and souvenirs that applied to mining, but that was nothing. When I walked outside, there was an entire mining town there. The stuff inside was all buildings were staged with things that would have actually been there (old Coca Cola machines, old cigarettes, beer bottles, Etc.) but the buildings were COMPLETELY legit. I thought that was the cool part. How awesome was it to travel back in time like that? There have been other times that are much more simulating about past cultures complete with old cars and jukeboxes and stuff, but it was still really cool.
I was very wrong thinking that that was the coolest part. The cool part was going into an actual mine. Walking in there was a few minecarts and small cheap lights for working deep underground. Eventually there was an area where it had collapsed, but it was interesting being in the dense atmosphere with the darkness everywhere, showing you how depressing it would have been to be a child or adult working 12 hours a day there for 6 days a week! There was also an underground museum part. In the museum were large machines and real sticks of dynamite behind glass, which I also thought as quite fascinating.
The tower that dangled the minecarts thousands of feet down below the surface was around 80 feet tall (at LEAST). We climbed to the top of it on not-so-sturdy stairs to to get to the top. You could see the entire mine from up there! The last thing I saw before I left was the memorial. It was kind of like the Pearl Harbor memorial with all of the dead soldiers, it this time it was miners. There was at least a few thousand names names there and one of the men had actually fiven his life to save 50 other of his crew mates before the poisnous gass caught up and killed him too. Butte Montana is a neat place!