In June 2018, the MKPS received a circa 1870 relic of our industrial mining past on loan from Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nation Parks (SEKI). This relic, an iron water jacket used in at least two silver smelters, will become the focal point of a new outdoor exhibit. The New England Tunnel and Smelting Co. exhibit project has included preservation of this artifact; development and installation of an outdoor display that will identify the water jacket as a significant artifact and inform the public about its history and its technological and cultural context; and involvement of the public in the relic’s preservation process.
On Thursday, June 15th, we’ll have experts, goodies, and interactive activities on hand from 10:00am to 2:00pm. A local historical archaeologist and friends will be hosting family-friendly activities that tell the story of Mineral King’s ores and the stinky, poisonous, sweltering, and dangerous process employed to convert the ore into the stuff of dreams.
At 11:00am there will be a presentation by a preservationist from the National Park Service introducing the artifact and preservation process.
On Saturday, June 17th, at 10:00am, historical archaeologist Laile Di Silvestro will present “Thieving & Swindling: The History & Mystery of the New England Tunnel & Smelter Company.” Mark Twain purportedly said that a mine is nothing but a hole in the ground with a liar on top. As industrialization made its way into the agricultural frontier in the 1870s, that liar was often a corporation.
Was Mineral King’s New England Tunnel & Smelting Company different? Or did it deserve to be nicknamed the New England Thieving and Swindling Company?
Join us as we explore the story of the corporation and its impact on the nation. Immediately following, at 11:00am, join us for celebratory refreshments and the big exhibit unveil!
This project is the result of a collaboration between the Mineral King Preservation Society, Sequoia National Park, and the National Park Service Western Archaeological & Conservation Center. With funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Society for Industrial Archaeology, and the Tulare County Historical Society. This project would not be possible without the support from our community volunteers. The Mineral King Preservation Society (MKPS) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the cultural and natural history of Mineral King and surrounding southern Sierra communities, and to educating the public about the historic and natural significance of these areas through programs and displays. MKPS was established in 1986 to promote the preservation of the natural and historic assets of the Mineral King area in Sequoia National Park.
WHEN: Thursday, June 15th 10am – 2pm and Saturday, June 17th 10am – 11:30am
WHERE: Three Rivers Historical Museum – 42268 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271
CONTACT: Lisa Monteiro, Mineral King Preservation Society, Executive Director Email: [email protected]
Phone: (559) 799-4009
MKPS is a non-profit private operating foundation, contributions are tax deductible under 501(c)(3) IRS. ID# 77-0174309