KimJoki's Albums

Family Mining Photos

  • by KimJoki
  • | Apr 24, 2012

My Family has a long history of being underground iron miners.  These photographs capture some of my family as miners.  Since there are no more underground iron mines in the Upper Peninsula these photos represent a dying culture.  I had the priviledge to work for 2 years in the last underground iron mine in the area the Mather "B" mine which closed in 1980.  It was an awesome experience and one that I will never forget.  I do have a few pictures of myself I took before I quit the mines but they are not included here.  I believe they are in a box which I left with my ex wife.  I will post them when I get them.

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  • 5 years ago


    Great pics!

  • 5 years ago


    Great photo... Thanks for sharing.

  • 5 years ago


    owenwilson,  As far as black lung disease, that was not an issue with underground iron mines.  We had good air with very little risk of lung damage.  There was a risk from rock dust... the silica in the rock dust would be dangerous because silica has sharp edges and would make tiny cuts in the lung tissue that would scar.  Over time it could have negative effects on a persons ability to transfer oxygen.  However, 99 % of the time iron ore workers are working in and around iron ore deposits and there was very low silica levels.  There was also no risk of methane as coal miners experience.  I have always felt iron mining was much safer than coal.  :-)

  • 5 years ago



    That was one helluva tough way to earn a living !!  But I guess that, in those days, folks had no choice in the matter. To eat, you had to earn, whatever which way you could.

    It was the "Black Lung" which was ONE of the scariest things about working down a coal mine,for example . Wasn't it the French writer, Zola, who wrote the novel, "Germinal", about life working down a coal mine ?  (Gérard Depardieu took the main role in the film of the same name).  And Zola being Zola, of course, he went into almost horrific detail about the effects of the "Black Lung" illness caused by breathing in air, saturated with coal dust...

    Would working down an iron mine, kd, pose similar, life-threatening problems, insofar as the lungs were concerned ?? In any case -


    Render unto  miners, what is due to  miners, whether coal or iron. Thanks for posting.

  • 5 years ago


    Waay Cool!! My Grandfather worked his life in these mines and I never got a chance to know him since he died before I was born.

    It's really good to see just the kind of place he worked for so long.

    Thanksfor posting !

  • 5 years ago


    Julien - yes... I am very proud of my families history as miners!  :-)

  • 5 years ago


    We have a proverb - " The work decorate ( beautify ) the person . " You must to prouding with your family .

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for posting! It looks similar to a coal mine I visitied. I love it how many of your relatives worked in this mine.

  • 5 years ago


    great stuff! thanks for sharing.

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