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A look at the lives and work of "farmer-miners"

Wisconsin lead mines: a region once the mecca of hosts of fortune seekers

In the first half of the nineteenth century, southwestern Wisconsin was primarily known for its rich stores of lead. Depression and the depletion of easily accessible ore, coupled with the discovery of gold in California, hastened the region's transition to agriculture. Many farmers continued to mine, though, to supplement their income. In this piece, Walter Pollock describes the lives of these "farming miners" and the process of mineral extraction and smelting about 1890.

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Related Topics: Mining, Logging, and Agriculture
Lead Mining in Southwestern Wisconsin
Creator: Pollock, Walter
Pub Data: Untraced newspaper clipping in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library.
Citation: Walter, Pollock. "Wisconsin lead mines: a region once the mecca of hosts of fortune seekers."; Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 4/23/2014
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