McMullan - Fine Art Photographer

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Black & White Photography

Mining Equipment - Eureka, Utah circa 1994
Mining Equipment - Eureka, Utah circa 1994

Toyo 4x5 View Camera     Lens: Rodenstock 150mm     Film: Kodak TMax 100

Eureka, Utah is a quiet little town nestled in the Tintic Mountains of north central Utah. Mining was the major industry for years and there is a lot of evidence of that. In World War II, gold was declared a nonessential mineral and most of the gold mines in Utah shut down. Families of small mining operators held onto the claims that their loved ones had filed and worked for many years, all hoping that gold prices would increase substantially one day and that they would be able to start mining again. Sometime in the late '90's or even into 2000, the government decided to charge a yearly mining claim fee. The majority of the families holding claims let them go back to the government. Gold prices did eventually double and even triple but most of the old mines were never reopened. In Eureka, the mines were much larger than a mom and pop operation. Mining equipment such as this pump, motor or whatever it is litter the countryside. The homes are small and old, typical of quickly built shanties that the mining companies built for their workers. I love the history of little places like this and the only way to truly stop time is with a photograph.

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