History 430: Theory and Practice

Document Type

Undergraduate Research

Publication Date

Fall 12-14-2011


Problems of the open mines in the Tri-State area had been a hot topic for many years in the early 1900s. The problems that the surrounding communities faced were deadly. Many people, unknowingly, stepped into open mine shafts and were seriously injured or even killed. Properly closing mines after they had been stripped of all their valuable ore was not a priority of the mining companies; seeing how there was no enforcement of the laws when it came to closing down mines and covering up open mine shafts, many companies just left the open shafts uncovered. It was widely known that there were open mines around the communities but not all the open mines were accounted for which would lead to these tragedies. Some companies tried to put a barbed wire fence around many but weather and other factors knocked down many of these fences. The Tri-State area has been one of the world's largest and most productive suppliers of lead and zinc. This was caused by the rich deposits that were found in the plains of the area. Many problems were created thanks to this discovery in the region. There were problems with general health as well as worker and public safety. Since so many mines were created so rapidly it is no fluke that many of these mines would have disappeared just as fast as they appeared. This would have not been a problem except for the numerous mines that were left open in the area. Open mines in this area were a problem that many people faced in some of the most tragic ways. There was a lack of safety education in the area surrounding the mining district which needs to be addressed.