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Date of Award
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Thesis: EWU Only
Master of Arts (MA) in Critical GIS and Public Anthropology
Anthropology and Geography
Small-scale mines from the early 20th century are scattered across northeast Washington and specifically the Colville National Forest, but few have been investigated archaeologically. This thesis seeks to place one such mine, R306 Mining Camp, within its historical context and develop a more complete picture of its background, character, and those who lived there, by examining archaeological evidence and archival records. Twenty-nine other historical mines are then used to develop a three-classed hierarchy based on size to determine how R306 Mining Camp compares to similar sites from the same time period. The results of this thesis found that R306 Mining Camp fits within Class 1 of the hierarchy, which includes mines with characteristics comprising of log construction, shallow diggings, small acreage, simple mining technology, and sparse artifact scatters. However, the site has some unusual qualities, namely the log and milled lumber construction chosen for its structures, making them appear made for long-term occupation despite artifactual evidence pointing to short-term use of the site. Archival research found R306 Mining Camp may be related to seven mining claims staked by Elmer Hoage in the 1920s and 1930s, one of which was co-located with a woman. The research demonstrated in this thesis will aid in determining the significance of historical mines in northeast Washington for the National Register of Historic Places and contribute to our understanding of small-scale mines and prospectors in the region.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Thiel, Samantha J., "A hard kind of labor: an archaeological analysis of small-scale hard rock mines in northeast Washington" (2020). EWU Masters Thesis Collection. 605.