By Fritz Wolff
In A Room for the summer time, Fritz Wolff takes the reader on a memorable trip into the rough-and-tumble global of hardrock mining, recounting his reviews either above and under floor as an apprentice engineer through the overdue 1950s.In June 1956, on the age of eighteen, Wolff went to paintings for the Bunker Hill corporation in Kellogg, Idaho, within the Coeur d’Alene area. Arriving in a drained 1939 Chevy coupe, with approximately twenty funds in his pocket, Wolff spent 3 university summers operating for Bunker Hill. He realized firsthand the pleasures of camaraderie with fellow staff and the risks of operating underground.Today the hardrock mining is all yet forgotten. The Bunker Hill corporation is understood, no longer since it produced 430 million oz. of silver and never since it supplied a dwelling for hundreds of thousands of households for greater than a century, yet since it is without doubt one of the biggest EPA superfund websites. Wolff doesn't idealize the mining undefined; for lots of staff the stipulations have been nightmarish. yet in spare, lyrical prose, he conjures up the intrinsic goodness of an easier time, whilst hard-working parents went approximately their enterprise with braveness, humor, and plenty of gumption.
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Additional info for A Room For The Summer: Adventure, Misadventure, And Seduction In The Mines Of The Coeur D'Alene
And next to us sat an identical shaft compartment with a wire rope extending to oblivion. Whatever was attached to its bitter end would provide a counterbalance to the load we imposed, one skip descending and one skip rising. And next to it, in a space called the manway, a wooden ladder rested on the rocky sill. It provided a theoretical means of escape should all else fail. Obviously, walking out— actually, climbing out—was an option. As the skip continued loading, I glanced up at the clearance between our position and the overhead shaft OAKIE STOPE • 43 timbers.
The climate changed. Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead and neck as we rolled along in subtropical heat. Chris quickly stripped to his army surplus T-shirt. I sat there wondering how long I could survive in my Pendleton shirt. ” I asked. “About ninety-four in the shade. Humidity’s about ninety-four too. You don’t need a shirt like that down here. ” At the May Raise, we descended six hundred feet more to Level 21. ” We struck off down the drift for several minutes in darkness illuminated only by our headlamps.
Second thought: Impossible, no glaciers. I watched the river carefully as I made my way toward Kellogg, disheartened that it never changed color. I stopped at one of the bridges and crawled underneath an abutment for a closer look. No signs of algae or weeds appeared on the submerged rocks or cutbank, just a thin coating of floury mud. This was my introduction to lead water, a mixture of mountain stream, metalliferous mine water and mill tailings, and sewage from upstream communities stretching to the Continental Divide, fifteen or twenty miles away.