While less of a project, and more of a discovery, this is where our love of historic graffiti began. From 2008 to 2014 we spent a few weeks each year exploring abandoned mining camps and mines that remained open.
One of the mines we explored yielded an entire tunnel full of carbide lantern graffiti burned onto the walls. Carbide lamps came into production in the 1890s and were all but replaced by electric models by the 1930s. They had a broad use, even appearing as headlamps on early versions of the Ford Model T. Carbide lamps were favored in cave surveys where the lead surveyor could use the lamp flame to leave a sooty burn mark on the cave wall for survey stations.
The entrance to the mine is very easy to overlook, and took us quite a while to find. Once we put on our chest waders and splashed through the falling water, we were greeted with a few hundred yards of waist deep water. Further in the mine dries out and there we found the side adit containing the gallery of carbide graffiti.
*Information found while researching these names to be added over time.
Here are a few additional marks found in other mines during our exploration.