A new mine has been discovered in Bonners Ferry.
A man who goes by the name of Marty filed a claim on the “Lazy Susan Mine,” and exploration took place on Wednesday, March 2nd. In honor of “Idaho Day 2022,” themed “Mining in Idaho,” fourth graders from Boundary County School District 101 arrived at the Museum to learn about mines and mining in the county. The mine and this activity was constructed expressly for this one-time event, and is not a permanent exhibit.
Each student was issued a “hard hat,” a “miner’s light” (flashlight), and an activity booklet containing photos, stories, puzzles, and gold panning as well as “hard rock mining” adventures. The tour began by studying numerous artifacts in the Museum’s collection: hammer pick, double ended pick axe, various miners’ lamps, spoons (or scrapers), a gold pan, samples of ore, milling balls, hand drill steel, and a hard hat with a carbide lamp. The young miners then entered the mine where they could hear various mining sounds (ore carts rumbling, water dripping, picks chipping hard rock walls). Using their miners’ lights, they were able to see additional artifacts inside the mine. Shift boss, Sue, took this opportunity to teach about various aspects of the mine. Before exiting, each signed the traditional “miners’ wall” recording their shift at the” Lazy Susan.”
“Click” to hear the sounds of the “Lazy Susan Mine”
Returning to their tables, the miners busied themselves with gold panning, drawing artifacts, writing observations, and puzzles designed to reinforce their learning. The final activity of the day involved extracting minerals from “ore samples” (a cookie containing several types of “minerals,” called baking chips). The miners used skills of observation, estimation, hypothesis, area, categorizing by color (and taste), and comparison of hypothesis with actual findings. The activity ended by eating the “tailings,” which all miners seemed to enjoy.
A cadre of Museum volunteers were at hand to guide the students and assist with their activities. Hands-on learning such as this, requires many hands and willing members of the historical society. A huge thank you goes out to: Rege & Carolyn McNeill, Randy & Leilani Cummings, Dave Anderson, Tom Florea, Chris Schnuerle, Audrey Schenck, Mary Dirks, Donna Kent, Dave & Dottie Gray. Special thanks to Sue Kemmis, Museum Curator and program designer and coordinator, who makes these events happen.