Aladdin Tipple - Later Years of Operation - Aladdin, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 44° 38.324 W 104° 09.786
13T E 566373 N 4943160
Quick Description: A sign at the Aladdin Tipple stands in front of the old truck scale at the front of the Aladdin Tipple Historical Interpretive Park, Aladdin, WY. It provides some background for the mining operations in the area, of which this is the lone survivor.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 6/24/2020 8:50:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM12P5X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 0

Long Description:
There were once signs at the gate, one simply identifying this as "Aladdin Tipple Historical Interpretive Park", and the other reading "Crook County State of Wyoming". For whatever reason -- probably related to the precipitous nature of the tipple, but maybe it was just vandals -- those signs are missing, although the gates are open to the public, with barbed wire fences to protect both the tipple and visitors. There are multiple signs warning of the tipple's instability, so see this one safely while you still can. The county probably placed the interpretive signs that can be see throughout the park, both in front of the tipple and at the end of the trail at the top of the hill.

This sign will greet you just after you've entered the park. Below the text are two uncaptioned "back in the day" photos, and it reads:

By 1911 the industrial production of coal at the Aladdin Mine was dwindling. Later coal mining at the site was for domestic coal for heating and cooking. The coal was reportedly "a good coal which burned so hot it made the stove top rattle." The concrete and wood remains (south of your location) are all that remains of a truck scale used to weight coal as it left the mine, The mining for domestic coal stopped in the early 1940's and the mine entrance was blown shut in the late 1940's by an area resident concerned with the potential hazard of an open adit.

The immediate valley at the turn of the century boasted an estimated population of 500 inhabitants. Various coal mine settlements sprang up in the area with names such as Bakertown, Barrett Town and Hay Creek. The area settlements had company-built homes, a school, hotel, boarding house, saloon, barber shop, general store, post-office, drug store and dance hall.

The coal tipple is at the site of old Bakertown. Aladdin is the only coal mine settlement that remains. The population of Aladdin is currently 15 (1992) The Aladdin general store and post office, built in 1896, is truly worth a visit and will lend a better understanding of the area's coal miners and homesteaders and their way of life.
Marker Name: Later Years of Operation

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Addtional Information:
There are a total of eight signs that provide information about the tipple. All but one are protected by the fence that protects the tipple -- and you -- but all are readable. Together, they include some vintage photos and provide enough information for a narrative:

The coal tipple is at the site of old Bakertown, and Aladdin is the last coal mining settlement of those that included Barrett Town and Hay Creek. This was "Aladdin No. 1", which began operation in 1898, operated by the Black Hills Coal Co. A train line carried coal from Aladdin to nearby Belle Fourche, SD and then to parts elsewhere.

Of course, it was common to use immigrants from all over as labor, not only because they worked cheaply, but also because language was often a barrier to communication, which impeded their banding together and unionizing. An 1899 report indicated that the average number of men employed was 35, but that year, they had 80. Coal Mining 101 is basically that a miner would "soften up" a coal face with a pick, plant charges, blast, and then shovel the coal into cars for transport out of the mine.

The tipple consists of two parts: The coal bin is the large gable-roofed structure, where coal was received and sorted, while the chutes would further sort and carry the coal, using gravity, to the bottom. The remains of a catwalk are visible on the east side of the tipple, and an operator on the catwalk would help to guide the coal as it made its progress downwards. You can get a peek at the entrance and hoist house by following the path up to the top of the hill. You'll also pass the old fan housing, which was installed in later years to improve ventilation.

The mine had its peak year in 1901 when it produced 40,000 tons of coal, but by 1911, it was down to 1,000 tons. Focus had shifted away from industrial production by 1911, and later efforts were for domestic use such as heating and cooking. By the 1940s, operations had ceased, and the mine entrance was blown shut by the end of the decade over obvious concerns about an open adit. Besides Mother Nature's normal wear and tear as she attempts to pull down the tipple, there is an interesting sign at the top of the hill about bioremediation and how the coal waste ("slack"), fungus, and trees on the site are all working together to clean up the mess that mankind left behind when the mine was closed.



Group Responsible for Placement: Crook County, WY

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Wyoming history please include that in your log.
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