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The Sunrise Mine

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Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, prospecting for various ores led to a culture in mining and the emergence of mining towns. This included an old copper mine located in Platte County, Wyoming. While mining for copper was relatively short-lived at the Sunrise Mine, from 1880 until 1887, iron was discovered at the same site and at a time when the price was high enough to warranted mining. Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. began mining at the Sunrise mine in 1898 after a 10-year period of prospecting and exploration. It was common for a mining company to develop a town for its workers and in close proximity of the mine. This was the case for the town of Sunrise, Wyoming. But often these company towns did not include places where miners could “let loose.” With copper mining and then iron, the town of Hartville emerged in 1884, the oldest incorporated town in Wyoming. By the 1900s, there were nine saloons in the town of Hartville (Sunrise was a “dry” town) as well as other establishments for entertainment. During the Old West period, Hartville was the scene of multiple shootings. Many of the victims were cowboys buried at the town’s Boot Hill.
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