The Draw to the West
Many Miners were drawn to abundance of minerals such as silver and gold in Nevada. This find was named after Henry Comstock; it was called the Comstock Lode. Approximately 500 millions dollars of ore was dissevered in this bonanza. The mining took place for 20 years. This led to mining becoming an important business.
Working conditions for miners were very poor and dangerous. Workers risked their lives on platforms with no walls ensuring closure, and many developed respiratory diseases. Lighting was also limited because candles would not light due to little oxygen. Floods, explosions, and cave-ins took the lives of miners. Temperatures also grew very hot, sometimes up to 130 degrees fahrenheit. In the 1860s, labor unions began to form.
Miners Working in Poor Conditions
Way of Life During the Gold Rush
Miners often lived in boomtowns. These towns opened and closed as the nearby mines did. They contained had stores and houses like many communities, but they had no laws or order. In 1860, not many women inhabited boom towns. Lifestyle was not very pleasant for women who did live in boomtowns. They labored and were were quite lonely. They performed tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and teaching. Many of these boomtowns became cities with the assistance of female workers.