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Silver Star in Madison County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine

 
 
Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
1. Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine Marker
Inscription.  These sheave wheels from the Speculator Mine were used to hoist the bodies of the 168 miners who died in the Granite Mtn. Mine Disaster, June 8, 1917.

It remains the worst metal mining tragedy in U.S. History. The Granite Mtn. shaft was burned out, so rescue was through the Speculator, connected underground.

Photos are welcome – but please stay away from wheels or machinery
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersIndustry & CommerceNotable Events. A significant historical date for this entry is June 8, 1917.
 
Location. 45° 41.304′ N, 112° 17.055′ W. Marker is in Silver Star, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is at the intersection of Highway 41 and Ridge Road, on the left when traveling north on Highway 41. Marker is located in a pull-out on Ridge Road, just to the west of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Silver Star MT 59751, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rope Drive Compressor Wheels (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis & Clark Camped Here
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(approx. 6.6 miles away); The Jefferson Valley (approx. 6.6 miles away); The Trail of Lewis & Clark (approx. 10.1 miles away); A New World: Tertiary Mammals (approx. 10.1 miles away); Road Agent Trail (approx. 10.2 miles away); Sacajawea, "Pomp" and Seaman (approx. 10.3 miles away); Jefferson River - Beaverhead River (approx. 10.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large painted wooden panel, mounted above eye-level, between and suspended by the subject sheave wheels.
 
Also see . . .  The Granite Mountain – Speculator Mine Disaster. Just before midnight on June 8, 1917, a fire broke out in the Granite Mountain Mine on the Butte Hill, sending billows of toxic smoke out the main shaft and into the maze of tunnels branching off from it. Within minutes, miners throughout the honeycomb of drifts and stopes realized their danger and frantically sought escape through passageways into other mines. 168 men died in the disaster, which to this date remains the worst hard-rock mining accident in U.S. history. A crew of men was attempting to install an immense electrical cable — 5 inches thick and weighing several tons — as part of a fire alarm system, an upgrade designed
Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
2. Sheave Wheels from the Speculator Mine Marker (wide view)
to save lives in precisely the kind of crisis the men would soon be in. The weight of the cable proved too much, and when the men lost control of it, it plummeted down the shaft half a mile, snagging and snarling into a tangled mess at the 2,500-foot level. In the days before plastic, electrical cables were insulated with oil-soaked cloth and paper. As one of the workmen climbed over timbers that reached across the yawning abyss of the shaft that extended down another half mile to inspect the damage, his carbide lamp ignited the oil-soaked wrapping of the cable. The highly inflammable insulation on the cable burned as fast as a cannon fuse, quickly carrying the blaze throughout the shaft and kindling the massive timbers that lined it. (Submitted on January 9, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Double-decker Mine Shaft Car (<i>located near marker; for transporting miners in & out of mine</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2016
3. Double-decker Mine Shaft Car (located near marker; for transporting miners in & out of mine)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 8, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 360 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 8, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3. submitted on January 9, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 15, 2024