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mining and ghost towns

             Much of what physically remains of the Old West today is a result of mining. The search for precious metals and ores for the manufacturing of numerous products caused the spread of many people across the countryside. Miners and those who traveled with them started a vast amount of mining towns. These towns possess much character. Many of these towns are now deserted and considered ghost towns. .
             From about 1820 to the early 1920's the mining frontier exploded. Typically a mining town started first with the disorderly rush of prospectors. Then came those who followed the camps. These people included the saloon owners, hustlers, and other desperadoes. .
             The mining frontier developed a pattern that usually consisted of four stages. First was the time of peaceful and adventurous exploration. This was followed by what we call a "Boom." A "Boom" is when a precious metal or ore is discovered and people rush from all over to try to get their share of the substance. Then came the vigilant stage, and finally regular government.
             There were a variety of impacts that came as a result of the mining frontier. Mining stimulated settlements that brought new states to the union. It provided a supply of gold and silver that kept the currency up to pace with the needs of business supply. It also supplied ore for the manufacturing of many products. In addition to these things, it gave the settlers in new communities the opportunity to work out procedures for self-government and to find solutions to combat violence, crime, and social anarchy.
             Unfortunately, along with the good impacts that mining brought, there are the negative ones that go along with it as well. Many of the mines were poorly constructed, causing many deaths of workers resulting from mining accidents. Mining left gullies and polluted rivers and streams as well as soil erosion. Miners many times drove Native Americans from their homes in an attempt to overtake the land in order to find prosperous mining.

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