New Exhibit Opening!

Date: 14-Sep-2017
Capacity: Not Set (Available)


“The Disappearing Mining Landscape of Grant County, New Mexico”

The Western Museum of Mining & Industry’s new special exhibit, utilizes photography, geological samples and information to document 10 of the 19 districts of the historical mining landscape of Grant County, New Mexico. This landscape is disappearing one artifact and one building at a time. There is no entity charged with its preservation, and many historical mining structures have been destroyed for a variety of reasons. What has been preserved, has been done almost entirely through individual efforts.

Why is the history of mining worth preserving in Grant County? Mining is the reason for the existence of Silver City; furthermore mining has always been part of Grant County starting with the Mogollon culture in 600 AD and continuing to this day.

Not generally known is the extent to which mining was, and is, conducted in Grant County and the tremendous and unusual geological formations in the County, many of them associated with the minerals being mined. Also not widely publicized is the unique geology of Silver City itself, in which every era of geological time is represented. Mining is the main thread in the fabric of history of the County, and in particular the southwestern portion New Mexico.

With these facts in mind, research and photography began in 2012. Terrence “Terry” Humble, co-author of Santa Rita del Cobre, advised. Terry and his father, Pat, were both miners and personally responsible for saving huge amounts of Grant County mining history.

To begin the pictoral history of the mining story in Grant County, David Menzie, a retired, experienced geologist with the State of New Mexico, was the initial contact. Menzie directed Ann to research information contained at Western New Mexico University's Miller Library collections.  Following that, the Gila Resources Information Project introduced Ann in 2014 to geologist, Andrew Lindlof.  Ann and Andrew then began a multi-year partnership which continues today to ensure that all 19 Grant county mining districts are documented. Lindlof and McMahon have crisscrossed most of county on foot or by truck.  Lindlof gathered rock and mineral samples from each of the locations visited while photographed the remaining history.  It was their dream to exhibit these materials and rocks with the photographs, enabling people to see and touch!

In 2015 they were awarded the Besleme-Orrell Mining Heritage Award by the Mining History Association Heritage Award Committee.  In 2017, they received further assistance from Virginia "Ginger" McLeMore.  Dr. McLemore is a Senior Economic Geologist with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, a research division of New Mexico Tech.  She is in the process of updating a New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Minerals Report - Mining History and Mineral resources of the Mimbres Resource Area.

Years of photography and geology training and experience are behind the creation of this body of work.

It is meant to preserve history for others to contemplate, to understand, to enjoy and to be inspired by!