Archive for the ‘Mines’ Category

Hashima Island

If you aren’t watching Life After People on the History Channel, you should. The series is based on the best selling book by Alan Weisman The World Without Us, which examines what would happen if humans just vanished from the earth. It doesn’t ask how we might vanish, that ground has been covered by innumerable books, movies and tv shows. It asks what would become of our roads, bridges and buildings, our homes, museums, and the creative works we’ve created such as books and and art? It is a fascinating book and an equally fascinating series.

In it’s premiere episode, the series examined two places that have been abandoned for years: the area around Chernobyl and a mining island called Hasima Island off the coast of Japan. Known as a Ghost Island it was a source of coal for local residents before a mining operation was established. At it’s peak there were almost 1000 people per hectare living on the island, making it the most densely populated place on Earth.

I won’t re-invent the wheel by writing more here. Follow the link above or watch this video. Hashima Island is an urban explorers wet dream, and is place I would love to visit to document for myself…

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The collapsing mines of N Arlington

In June of 2003, an old problem resurfaced in North Arlington. The town sits over numerous copper mine shafts dating back to the 18th century. In the late 1980’s one backyard was swallowed up on Scuyler Ave and another on Forest Ave. 2.7 million dollars later, over 27 old shafts were filled in. Residents thought that was the end of it, but maybe not. On Morton Place a depression was discovered in a sidewalk, and when it was investigated, engineers found cavities ranging from 5 to 35 feet deep.

The dead end street was closed and the family whose home sat next to the sidewalk depression were evacuated for safety. Federal funds were approved to fix the problem, which further investigation revealed was related to the old Schuyler Copper mines. The $380,000 grant paid for the “voids” to be filled in with material and then the sidewalk to be rebuilt. Officials do not think any homes were in danger, as they were the last time this issue came up.

Town officials believe this to be an isolated incidents. Said Mayor Russ Pitman, “There are whole towns in Pennsylvania above working mines.” Local resident Linda Wicks wasn’t convinced though. “Two more years and I’m outta here.”

In researching the mines I came across this article which states that the first steam engine in America was used to pump water from one of the Schuyler mines in 1754.