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      When I first began to work the craft and gem show circuit down in the south Houston areas, I was continually asked, "Where's the Lone Star Mine"?  I had to chuckle a little and then tell my customer/s that the mine was on my dinning room table, the garage, the backyard or anywhere else around the house in which I could find a place to work at.  At the time, I honestly didn't think there was such a mine.  But little did I know..........

          I figure a state as big as Texas must have a mine by that name.  I obviously did not want to infringe on any trade names, so I begin my initial research on the Internet and sure enough there was a Lone Star Mine.  In fact, there were several mines by that name.  However, I will only discuss the one and only in the Big Bend area of Texas.

          Update (4/3/2011) : At one time, one could visit the Lone Star Mine via the mountain bike trail races and by one of the outfitter tour companies by a jeep excursion.  However, this is no longer true.  In June of 2009, the land has been acquired by a new owner who does not allow such visits.  Out of respect for the new owner, I have deleted from this page, any reference to the mine's location.  Please respect the new owner's rights and do not try to locate the mine.  You may/will be treated as trespasser or being mistaken for an illegal alien or a narco-terrorist.  So for your own safety and respect for the land owner, don't try to figure out where it is and visit the place.  

     However, the mine is a part of Texas history and the conservation of the Mexican Free-Tail migrating bats by the Texas Railroad Commission.  Therefore, the following is a discussion only of it's history.  

            The mine was active during the 1910ís, 1940ís, 1954 to 1958, and early 70ís. More than 1,000 flasks of mercury were produced from the mine. The workings consist of extensive trenching, several shafts and adits with drifts.  At least 28 openings, consisting of adits, shafts, and trenches have been identified at this site.

          In the late 1990's, the Texas Railroad Commission began a land reclamation project for the mine and it's sister mine, the Miriposa Mine.

          The problems were obvious due to its location being near the Big Bend National park and the Big Bend Ranch State Park.  Until recently, the public could visit the site and explore the mine structures and workings. (Again. this is no longer true, don't go there.)  A racecourse for an annual mountain bike race use to traverse the mine area.  

          These mine openings had health and safety hazards typically associated with abandoned hard rock mines such as:

  1.  Deep abandoned shafts with deteriorating head frames or collars;
  2.  Cave-ins caused by deteriorating rock conditions;
  3.  Unstable mine roof collapses;
  4.  Unsafe structures or ladders providing access into shafts and winzes;
  5.  Complex underground workings that could lead to disorientation;
  6.  Frequent use by poisonous reptiles.

Therefore, a variety of closure types were installed :

Bat Friendly Gate 1 , Bat Friendly Gate 2

Bat Friendly Gate 3 , Bat Friendly Gate 4

          This project has drastically limited the liability for the area landowners by eliminating dangerous openings, while preserving the mineís historic structures and cultural features.  These mines are part of the rich mining history in an area that relies on tourism.  Additionally, it has also provided a habitat for the Mexican Free Tail and other bats who benefit the farmers by ridding them of their pesky insects.

          For more information about the Big Bend area, please see the links below :

Ruins of the Lone Star Mine

Alpine, Texas

Balmorhea State Park

Big Bend National Park - The National Park's Site

Big Bend National Park - John Uhler's Site

Big Bend State Park

Visit Big Bend

Chile Appreciation Society, International

Davis Mountains State Park

Fort Davis, Texas

Fort Stockton, Texas

Lajitas, Texas

Marathon, Texas

Marfa, Texas

Presidio, Texas

The Stillwell Ranch

Terlingua, Texas

The Woodward Ranch

          And of coarse my own adventures and reviews :

  Gem Trails of Texas : West Texas 2005, Part I

 Gem Trails of Texas : West Texas 2005, Part II

 West Texas Road Trip 2003

 Big Bend 2002   

                 Finally, for more shopping, click on the catalog categories or the links to the left .....

Also, check out the crazy adventures of the :

and learn where a lot of these gems, petrified wood and fossils came from

Lastly.....

          For More information, Please contact me from the e-mail link below :

Or for snail mail and phone  ========>

 The Lone Star Mine Shaft

  Attn. Francis Kiefel

105 Pansy Path

Lake Jackson, TX 77566

 Phone : (979) 297-7764

Fax : (979) 480-9165

Last but not least, please visit :

   

Copyright © 2004 by [The Lone Star Mine Shaft  - Francis Kiefel]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/02/11 09:17:07 -0600.

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