Homestake Mine - Construction and Mining in the 1930s

Posted by Brian Gevik, Film Courtesy: Historical Footprints Inc. - Lead on

At one time, the Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota was the deepest and largest in the world. 40 million ounces of gold were extracted from the mine between its opening in 1877 and its closure in 2002. The mine had both open pit and deep shaft operations. It is now the home of the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

The film clip below shows construction of Homestake Mine's Yates headframe and its associated hoistroom. (A headframe is a structure erected above a mine shaft. A headframe's pulley wheels and other mechanisms, paired with a hoist and steel ropes or cables, move miners and equipment down and up a mine shaft.)

Images of the Past Homestake Mine - Building the Yates Headframe The head frame was situated at the top of one of homestake's main vertical shafts.

 

Another clip from the film shows miners at work more than 4000 feet below the surface. (The mine would eventually reach a dept of nearly 8000 feet.) Miners drilled, blasted, and moved both waste rock and ore. The film also shows some of the large machines required for delivery of air for breathing, compressed air for tools, and large amounts of water used for a variety of purposes in the mine.

Images of the Past Homestake Mine - Mining Gold in 1936 How miners drilled, blasted, and removed ore from what was once the deepest mine on earth.

 

Related Video:

The Last Gold Pour at Homestake, 2002

Gold Recovery at Homestake - 1936-2002

 

"Personalities" with Chuck Anderson. Vintage radio interviews with well known and not so well known South Dakotans.

Personalities: How to Survive A Death March

When you're drafted into the military, you have a chance of being on the front lines. When you're on the front lines,...

Personalities: "Hell No, We Don't Glow!"

In the southern shadow of the Black Hills sits a small town with a small population...and a big past. Chuck Anderson...

Personalities: Being Volga German in an Anti-German World

The "Germans from Russia" story continues with Drs. Tim Kloberdanz and Harry Delker, experts in German anthropology...

Personalities: How the Volga Germans Came to America

The Dakotas are a product of Native American and northern European cultures. With a deeper look, one can see the...

Personalities: Baxter Black

The nation knows his tongue-in-cheek performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson . People from the heartland...

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz Pt. II

In this continuation of the story of Roy and Lucille Fitz, the De Smet couple discusses the reality of the...

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz, Part 1

Sadly, we're losing senior South Dakotans able to share first-hand remembrances of what life was like here in the...