The White Ash Mine Disaster

The White Ash Mine Disaster (HMXOR)

Location: Golden, CO 80401 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 45.403', W 105° 13.349'

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For many years, Golden's people have respected the flood waters of Clear Creek above ground. However, it was the flood below ground that claimed the most lives. On September 9, 1889, water broke into the White Ash Mine beneath Clear Creek at the west end of 12th Street roaring down to levels as deep as 730 feet. It continued to flood at the rate of 85,000 gallons a day until an estimated three million cubic feet of water had flooded into the shafts. Ten miners lost their lives: David L. Lloyd, William and John Collins, Richard Rowe, Joseph Allen, Joseph Hutter, Henry Haussman, William F. Bowden, and Jack Morgan. The mine, Golden's most prosperous coal mine, which had operated since 1867, could not be salvaged, and the bodies of the victims were not recovered.

For many years, the mines beneath Clear Creek had problems with water seepage. In 1879, the Black Diamond Mine north of the White Ash Mine was abandoned because of such seepage. It was water from the Black Diamond Mine that burst into the White Ash through a seam weakened by an earlier mine fire. But the legacy of the White Ash Mine lived on, with three other area mines named for it. The original was named for the ash left after its coal was burned. Today, people may visit and remember the victims of this disaster at a marker of the mine's entrance.

Background photo: View from Lariat Loop Trail on Lookout Mountain east over Golden, circa 1888. Courtesy Colorado School of Mines.
Caption: Group of miners. Courtesy Golden Pioneer Museum.

Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 9:00am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 480941 N 4400779
Decimal Degrees39.75671667, -105.22248333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.403', W 105° 13.349'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 24.18" N, 105° 13' 20.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303, 720
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1081-1129 Clear Creek Trail, Golden CO 80401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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