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Pass the Mic: Hearing Hinsdale

Hearing Hinsdale:  An Oral History of Mining  was a six-week summer camp that took place in 2013.  It was designed to capture the stories of community members involved in historic and current mining activities in Hinsdale County.  The reporters,  ages 10 to 14,  collected oral histories of residents who have worked in three mines critical to Hinsdale County's growth.  The program mirrored KVNF's  Pass the Mic youth radio program.

Interviews include:

Grace Mae Hearn, age 10, talks with Linda Ragle who  owns the historic  Hough Mine, which she inherited from her uncle, Bruce Pavich.

Josephina Hollingsworth, age10, interviews Robert Hurd who worked at the Golden Wonder gold mine when he was 18 years old, from 1972 to 1973. The  Golden Wonder is the only mine still in operation today in Lake City.

Johnny Nichols, age 14, interviews Perk Vickers around the time of Perk’s 99th  birthda.   Perk found success working in a number of Hinsdale County’s most important mines, including the Golden Wonder, the Ute-Ulay, and the Golden Fleece.

Hailey Hooper-Gray, age 12, interviews Jaime Walker who works at the Golden Wonder gold mine sorting ore and performing basic housekeeping.

Thomas Nichols, age 9, interviews Burton Smith who witnessed the decline of the area’s mining industry as a boy. Burton comes from a family of engineers, with deep connections to the region’s mining history.  His grandfather and father were both civil and mining engineers, and his mother was a civil engineer. His grandfather came to Lake City around 1917 to evaluate operations at the Golden Fleece gold mine and eventually built the mill that still stands on that site.

Rylan Kelley interviews Joseph Perry Richard and Milo Morse.    Joseph Perry (JP) became friends with Milo the summer of 1967, when both men worked at Ute-Ulay Mine.  JP worked as a mucker at the bottom of the totem pole, and Milo ran the mill and the ore train, at the top. The historic Ute-Ulay Mine was established in 1873, and is considered to be “the mine that made Lake City” because it was historically the most productive among area mines. The mine principally produced silver, and grew into a complex of structures that includes mines, a mill, and a town site. Last year, owner LKA International turned the property over to Hinsdale County for preservation and development as a heritage tourism site.