Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tintic Mining Museum - Eureka, Utah

Tintic Mining Museum

This little gem of a museum is right on the main street in Eureka, Utah.  I have driven past it many times, but never stopped.  This summer, we called and made an appointment to tour the museum.  It is part mineral museum, part mining museum, and part cultural/historical museum all rolled into one small former mining office building!  Crammed with memorabilia in every nook and cranny, it is an interesting place to explore.

Crystalline Galena-Barite sample

Tintic Quartzite

A geology professor from the eastern United States collected many samples in the Eureka, Utah area.  When he retired, he donated his collection to the Tintic Mining Museum.  As a result, they have an above average mineral collection on display.

Tintic was a Ute chief, and the area and mining district are named after him.

Clothing Display in the Museum

The museum is on the site of the general store.  The family who owned the store donated the land for the museum, with the condition that it include information on the store, so part of the museum is dedicated to that. The building itself is a mine office moved from one of the old mines.  (Some websites report this museum is in the old city hall, but the City Hall building is next door, and our guide told us this was an old mine company building).

Room representing the store

This room featured appliances (washing machine and refrigerator), an organ, piano sheet music, and many other items.  In a quick perusal of the room, you get a feel for many of the items that would have been in daily use during the mining era here.

Old Cash Register

I loved this old cash register, and was pleasantly surprised when our guide rang up our purchases using it. I can't imagine any of our modern cash registers having the same beauty!

Lamp made from WWI shell casings

I poked my head around a corner and discovered this lamp, cleverly made from old World War I anti-aircraft shell casings by a sailor in 1918.  It was donated to the museum, and is one of the many interesting things you may discover on your visit here.  This is a fun place to browse!

Job Advertisement

This advertisement for mine workers caught my eye.  My grandfather took a job in a mine in Ruth, Nevada in the 1930s (Depression Era).  He was in a line waiting to see about a job, and noticed that the mine company was hiring men who said they were muckers.  So, he told them he was a mucker and got a job.  My grandfather was an outdoorsman, who took a job underground in a mine to support his family.  He had no idea what a mucker was, but I am sure he soon learned, as his family was in Nevada for many years. I am grateful for his example.

Assay area

The Tintic Mining Museum has items on display outside the building as well, including this assay display.  I purchased an old assay cup (used to assay silver) inside the gift area, so it was great to see this part of the museum.  We looked at old cabins and mining equipment outside the museum, and then wandered across the street to the Porter Rockwell cabin (which I will show you in a later post!)

Displays behind the Tintic Mining Museum

Reminders of a mining era.

The Tintic Mining Museum is open to the public for limited hours on Saturdays and Sundays (generally in the afternoon).  If you would like to visit another day of the week, call ahead and make an appointment.  The volunteers who care for this museum are happy to meet you there.  It is free of charge, although donations are appreciated.

The Tintic Mining District also encompasses other mining towns:  click through to see my post about Mammoth and Silver City, Utah.

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