Aladdin Tipple - The Hoist House - Aladdin, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 44° 38.345 W 104° 09.726
13T E 566452 N 4943199
Quick Description: A sign in front of the tipple at the Aladdin Tipple Historical Interpretive Park, Aladdin, WY, provides some background about how coal was pulled out of the mine here, first using "beasts of burden", and later, modern technology.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 7/18/2020 5:07:25 PM
Waymark Code: WM12VAA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 1

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 is one of several behind the fence at the top of the hill, but it is not difficult to photograph or read from outside. Below the text is a photo of one of the "beasts of burden" at work before the times of 40-50 horsepower, and it reads:

The hoist house (directly west) is a later addition to the coal mine. An internal combustion engine replaced the beasts of burden who originally hauled the coal from within the depths of the hillside. The hoist house is a simple 2 x 4 framed shed structure clad in salvaged galvanized sheet metal. The hoist is a modified truck chassis and motor and its remains are visible within the hoist house. Using an auto-chassis-mounted engine is a common feature at small mines. The engine probably provided 40 to 50 horsepower, quite powerful at the time of its use. Prior to installation of the hoist house, mules would pull loaded mine cars to the adit entrance. The coal would then be transloaded to the tipple bin. The tipple, constructed slightly downhill from the portal, allowed gravity to assist in conveying loaded coal cars from the mine entrance to the coal handling facility. Tramways (small wooden trestles with mine car rails) were constructed and used for transporting coal to the tipple and to the coal waste dump. Remains of the tipple tram are horizontal poles projecting from the north face of the tipple bin.
Marker Name: The Hoist House

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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