The Junction Mine (Calumet & Arizona) in Bisbee, Arizona.
  The Snow Storm Mill in Mullan, Idaho, "showing copper precipitating
tanks on side," about 1910. Postcard published by M. Rieder,
Los Angeles, No. 8745.

Steam Points
The great Klondike Gold Rush included harsh northern winters. During those
harsh months, underground mining was very desirable. The miners would sinking
a shaft through the overburden to the pay gravels. These pay gravels were lifted
out of the shafts and stockpiled for spring processing.
In order to work the gravels, the miners had to thaw the permafrost, a task
accomplished with wood fires. By 1902, the wood fire thawing method was mostly
replaced by steam thawing. Steam was piped from surface boilers to steam points
which were driven with wooden mallets into the working face of the gravel.
Gold Mining Thawing by Steam Points, Alaska. Postcard published by
Lowman & Hanford Co., Seattle, Washington, about 1915.

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth Last updated: December 27, 2007