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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

The Homestake Gold Mine Lead 2011

11th Finglish trip July 2011 #15

The great Homestake gold deposit in Lead, South Dakota, was discovered near the site of the Manuel Brothers Park. Moses and Fred Manuel and Hank Harney discovered the

Homestake deposit in 1876 and sold the claim to George Hearst in 1877. The Homestake Gold Mine became one of the largest underground mines in the history of North America and one of the deepest in the world. Initially, the Open Cut was the result of the surface workings of the miners. Then, underground mining directly beneath the Open Cut created surface subsidence. The mining was finished in 1998.

The nearby Finnish Lutheran Church was built in 1891. It served the First Lutheran Church congregation from 1891 to 1962 when a new church was constructed. The Women's Club of Lead purchased the old church for an art memorial and had the building moved to a location near the Open Cut. It was moved to its present site in 1993 where it is now a gift shop. Behind a curtain covering the altar area is a painting of the Ascension of Christ. This was painted by Charles Alaniva, a Finnish miner and was installed in 1907.

Steven Mitchell was baptized in the Lead Finnish Lutheran Church in 1953. He is a graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with BS and MS degrees in mining engineering. Mitchell´s mining career was with Homestake Mining Company in Lead, South Dakota, where he held various engineering and management positions. His grandfather worked also at the Homestake Gold Mine. Steven has written a history of the Homestake Gold Mine 'Nuggets to Neutrinos: The Homestake Story'.

Next David Waino Tilus Cave Hill South Dakota USA

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