Magma Copper Company, notes by Jerry Ferrin
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Magma Copper Company Underground Mine near San Manuel, Arizona

The former Magma Copper Company mine site showing the #5 shaft and 3C, 3A, 3B and 3D shafts area.

USGS aerial photograph taken 12 November 1992.

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The former Magma Copper Company mine site showing the #5 shaft and 3C, 3A, 3B and 3D shafts area, USGS photo 12 Nov 1992.
Key: 1 - Lamproom building. 2 - Hoist house. 3C, 3A, 3B & 3D - Production shafts. 4 - Mine Safety & Training Depts. building. 5 - #5 shaft.
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Notes About the Magma Copper Company Underground Mine

at San Manuel, Arizona

by Jerry Ferrin


This is a collection of my writings at various time about my experiences while working at Magma Copper Company near San Manuel, Arizona, November 1978 to 2 August 1982.

This collection includes a series of messages that started when I posted Ollie Hagler's obituary on the Rootsweb Surname Message Board for Hagler when I saw the obituary, as I'd known and liked Ollie when we worked together at Magma Copper Company.

Later, his daughter Amber posted this response: "Olliver was my father (please note the correct spelling with two L's not one). His father was Ollie Elmer Hagler, his mother was Lala Rooke Glenn Hagler. He was one of 6 six sons born in Joshua, Texas. He has two biological children, myself and sister Karissa, and three children by adoption. I have extensive geneology information if you are interested in further research."

I then posted my recollections of working with Ollie on the same message board, as follows:

Ollie Hagler at Magma Copper's underground mine, San Manuel, Az

Ollie Hagler, your father, was a friend of mine when we worked together in the Mine Training Dept. at the Magma Copper underground mine near San Manuel, Arizona, circa 1980 - 1982.

Our job was to conduct both surface and underground training for "new-hires" at the mine, who were called "lemon heads" for the bright yellow-green hard hats they were required to wear for their first few weeks at the mine.

This was soon after Ollie had quit working at the San Manuel schools; I think he had been a principal.

Ollie was good at teaching classroom subjects on the surface but was never very comfortable underground. We were often assigned together to take our classes underground for their "OJT" (on the job training) and I'd be the lead instructor for the group in terms of being the "cager" to give signals to the shaft hoist operator to lower or raise our groups, checking the "bombs" (production blasts) placed by the chute blasters assigned to our training groups and doing the final "checkout" of our panel before the lunchtime or "end of shift" blasts.

What I always particularly liked about Ollie was his good humor.

There's a mining museum being planned for Tucson and I'll append a copy of an article about it to the end of this article. In addition to being an instructor in the training dept., I was the mine photographer and assembled many of the audio-visual training programs we used at the mine. I mention this because I'm planning to donate a collection of at least 10 color prints of various subjects from the mine to that museum, including 20-ton trolley locomotives, ASEA cars, Welkom cars and so on.

At the time we worked there, the mine had over 200 miles of underground railway in the main haulageways, drifts and crosscuts, to give you an idea of the size of it. In terms of tons of ore hoisted "from depth" per day, often over 70,000 tons/day at the time, it was the largest underground mine which has ever existed.

While we were there, the main levels being worked were the 2315 (draw) level and the 2375 (haulage) level; the 2015 and 2075 levels were nearly depleted and the 2615 and 2675 levels were just being brought into production. Those numbers refer to the depth, in feet, of the level below the surface: 2,315 feet, for example. It was the "block caving" mining method used for large bodies of low-grade ore at depth; the ore contained less than 1/10th of 1 percent of copper, as I recall. However, there were also at least 27 other trace minerals (including gold and molybdenum) recovered and it's my understanding that they are what made the operation viable.

I'm not collecting information on the Hagler family, though I did hear from a few different people soon after I'd posted Ollie's obituary (which I did simply because I liked him), and I think it likely that you'll be hearing from other people who are working on the Hagler family tree in response to your post.

At any rate, following is the article about that mining museum:

Mining tales from below:
Flandrau Science Center finds gems in growing collection
of miner stories

By Karen Schaffner, The Arizona Daily Star, 7 March 2005

Rod Carender of Oracle worked in mines for nearly 10 years, but his first day on the job is the one that remains most sharply etched in his mind.

Then 18 and a recent high-school graduate, Carender found a job as an underground mechanic's helper with the Magma Copper Co.

On his first day, he was given two gifts common to all newbies: a yellow hard hat to show he was new to the mine and the nickname "lemonhead."

When it was time to go underground, Carender, now 48, boarded a chippy hoist, an open four-man elevator that operated in a narrow shaft. On the way down, "I stuck my head out the side," said Carender. Just as he pulled it back in, the hoist whizzed past a protruding steel beam that easily would have taken off his head.

"I realized you could die very, very fast."

He later learned about White Boots, a miner who reportedly lost his head his first day on the job and was haunting the mine, looking for his head.

"I almost became a White Boots," Carender said. "But I didn't know any better. I was a lemonhead."

Though harrowing, Carender's story is typical of the mining tales being collected at the University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center. The oral histories will eventually end up in archives and exhibits in the center's mineral museum, which will be a major component of the center Downtown at Rio Nuevo.

Fearing their stories would be lost as the miners and their families and friends aged and died, Alexis Faust, Flandrau's executive director, got the idea to record and archive their stories. The "Miners Story and Project" was born.

"That history and those stories will become the basis" for the mineral museum, Faust said.

Thanks to a major grant by the Phelps Dodge Mining Co., Flandrau is working with Local Projects, a national museum-exhibit design firm known for its work on the StoryCorps Story Booth at Grand Central Station in New York City.

Faust is hoping the stories will provide a picture of one large facet of how the Southwest grew. She wants to highlight just how important is the contribution of the mining industry and the men and women who participated in it.

"On the backs of many of these people lies the story of the Southwest," she said. "We really want to record this critical piece of history and share it."

To accomplish that daunting task, Faust brought aboard Shipherd Reed, a documentary-film director and video-biography producer. He is the person recording the stories and interviewing the miners.

Reed has been on the job for about two months now and is starting to notice the threads running through each story.

"Everybody remembers the first mine they walked into. As the miners say, 'When I was green . . .'

"Miners are famous practical jokers," Reed continued. "Often when (a miner is) green, that's when they'll play a joke on them, such as luring them into an unused area and frightening them. And it's dark down there."

There are also stories of feats of strength, and, according to Reed, "almost all have had some sort of close shave."

But it's not just miners Reed wants to talk to.

"We are interested in hearing everyone's stories, and that would include wives or families or friends of miners," he said. "Even if they didn't go underground, they remember the culture of the mines. I believe that everybody has good stories."

That's true in Bisbee.

According to Faust, the miners there would "sneak a piece (of copper) out in their lunchboxes. They understood the aesthetics of the pieces," and hated to see them get melted down, she said. "They would trade them to the barber for a haircut and a shave - so the barber had the best collection in Bisbee."

Recording an oral history means you need some oral-history-recording equipment. To that end, a vintage-style travel trailer with a mobile recording studio inside is under construction.

The trailer is expected to be decked out in copper and full of the latest recording equipment. When an interview is over, both the museum and the miner will have a CD copy.

Since Tucson isn't the only city where mining is important, Reed plans to take the trailer all over the Southwest, where anyone with a story to tell can make an appointment for an interview. Stops later in the year are planned in Bisbee and in Silver City, N.M.

To participate in the Miners Story Project, contact:

Shipherd Reed
Project Coordinator
Miners Story Project
Flandrau: The University of Arizona Science Center
1601 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone: 520-626-2304

Amber posted the following response on 31 May 2005:

"Thank you for your response. I am thankful to know a little more about my dad. He was the light and joy of my life, and I miss him terribly. His humor was also one of the things I loved best about him, and I am thankful to have had him as my dad. Thank you again, I was touched by your posting.

God bless!

Amber Hagler

Ps. I shared your post with my mother, and she would like to send her regards. She said Daddy often spoke of you fondly."

I responded to Amber with the following posting on the same day:

Ollie Hagler at Magma Copper's underground mine, San Manuel, Az

Dear Amber,

Thanks for passing on your mother's greetings to me; and for letting me know you enjoyed reading my memories of Ollie.

He was an influence on me in several ways when we worked together. One was that he was a good source of feedback on the audio-visual scripts I wrote for the programs I produced; my only source of worthwhile feedback in the mine training dept, as a matter of fact. Another way his teacherly influence was important to me was his encouragement of me doing what I really wanted to do at the time I was considering quitting the mines and returning to the University of Arizona for a BFA in Studio Art (Photography Emphasis), which is exactly what I ended up doing.

Ollie didn't really "fit in" with most people at Magma Copper's underground mine in that he was educated and cultured; as you can imagine, most people weren't. However, to his good credit, he was able to speak with people at their own level and never flaunted his superior education and learning. In that way, he did a great job of "fitting in".

He was a thoughtful man, by which I mean that not only was he considerate of other people, but that he'd sometimes pause to think for a moment about how to deal with a situation before responding to it. Believe me, some of the young men we had in our classes were cocky, obnoxious, vulgar and inattentive. He dealt with them well and I never saw him lose his temper or fail to make a point if he felt it was important. Much of the information we taught was related to underground safety; understanding and following it was literally a matter of life and death for trainees. While he was patient, he could also be firm and strict with a trainee who was being disruptive in a class, ignoring safety rules or not "getting the point" in one way or another.

Let me paint a picture for you of a typical day for him and other instructors at Magma Copper when we were doing OJT (on-the-job) underground training. We'd arrive at least an hour before the shift, go to the changing room and put on our "diggers" (underground work clothes) and safety equipment (safety glasses, lamp belt with the "Self-Rescuer" emergency breathing device, hard hat, respirator dust control device and steel-toed boots with meta-tarsel guards). Then we'd "brass in", meaning we'd check into the mine by handing in our "brass", a piece of roughly-rectangular brass with a square bottom and rounded top which was stamped with our payroll/employee ID number, pick up a hat lamp and battery from the charging stations, then do paperwork and collect time cards from the men (and sometimes women) who'd report to us.

At 8 a.m. (all training classes were on day shift), we'd have our trainees (called "lemonheads" for the bright yellow-green helmets they wore to identify themselves as trainees) at the shaft collar to get into the double-decker shaft cage at #4 shaft (which held 50 men per deck, standing and packed in like sardines) to be lowered into the mine. Bear in mind that many miners would wear the same "diggers" day after day without washing them, and you'll get a sense of the smell of the man cage.

When the cage stopped at the draw level where we were to work that day, usually the 2315 level, we'd get off at the shaft station and load into the "man cars" pulled by a battery locomotive which would take us through the airlock (used to control mine ventilation) and through the crosscut (a horizontal mine opening which is completely underground outside the ore body and only connected to the surface by a shaft) to the main drifts (horizontal mine openings inside an ore body), then we'd walk into the "panel drifts", the large drifts which the small "grizzly drifts" joined. The grizzly drifts were the workplace for the chutetappers we were training.

Imagine a concreted "tunnel" about 7.5' tall, sort of elliptical except square at the bottom. Along one side at the top ran a water line and a compressed air line; a device called a "bazooka" (or air mover) was attached to the latter to provide ventilation in the immediate area. The water lines had a "hose drop" (a short piece of rubber hose) beside each grizzly the chutetapper could use for dust control. Running beside the water and air lines was the electrical blasting line which had a set of "pigtails" to which the leg wires of blasting caps could be attached to initiate production blasts of "Kinepack" explosive; the bombs were called "plasters" because they were "plastered" or attached to boulders too big to break with a "doublejack", which was a 16 lb. sledge hammer with the handle sawed off to a 30" length to make it possible to use in the limited swinging room of a grizzly drift.

Other tools used by chutetappers were a 5' pry bar, known simply as a bar, and a grizzly hook, which was made of steel, about 3' long, with a hand loop on one end and a hook with a mouth about 7" wide on the other end. The bar was used to pry or shift boulders, the hook was used to hook and shift them; both tools were used to "put muck through the grizzly and down the raise".

Every 40 feet or so, I forget the exact distance, the grizzly drift had a "grizzly" in the floor of the drift. It was basically a sizing device to ensure that no boulders too big to pass through the raise (an inclined ore passage which connected the draw level with the paired haulage level 60' below) were put into the raise. The grizzly itself was made of pieces of railroad rail turned upside down so that the flat surface was on top; the rails were spaced 12" apart. Each grizzly was about 7 feet wide. On either side of the grizzly was a "drawpoint", which looked like an arch formed into the concrete of the grizzly drift; the "draw raise" behind the drawpoint was a bell-shaped opening going up into the undercut from which the ore, broken by caving downward, was drawn by the chutetapper to put through the grizzly into the transfer raise to the draw level.

At each side of the draw point opening were steel rods attached to eye-bolts set into the concrete of the grizzly walls; they were called "control rods", and "control boards", which were of green oak, about 3" thick and 6' long were inserted behind the control rods to control the flow of "muck", which was what ore was called. Control ropes attached to the top eye bolt of the control rods were used to raise, lower and position the control boards to control the flow of muck.

"Walk boards" (2" x 12" x 8' or so, nominal) were supposed to be in place over each grizzly for a worker to walk on when passing over the grizzly. Additionally, the safety lanyard attached to the safety/lamp belt was supposed to be attached to the safety cable which was at the top of each grizzly drift and ran the length of each drift when the worker was crossing a grizzly.

Basically, the chutetapper's job was to make the muck go through the grizzly so that it could be loaded out of the raises into the train cars which ran on the haulage levels 60' below the draw levels. The draw and haulage levels were "different worlds" in that they served different purposes and were designed differently.

The entry level workers on the draw levels were called chutetappers; the next step upwards was called a "chuteblaster", meaning a chutetapper qualified and certified to use explosives for production blasting. On the haulage level, the basic job was called "Car Loader", and a Car Loader who was qualified to use explosives to blast down "hang-ups" in the transfer raises was called a Raise Blaster.

Before becoming an instructor, I had done all those jobs; while I also trained Car Loaders and Raise Blasters; Ollie just trained Chutetappers as I recall. I don't think Ollie was ever certified to teach blasting. He was, however, an MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) certified instructor for the draw levels.

I've left a lot out of this account, such as blasting procedures for the draw level, a description of the lunchroom, a description of the main panel conditions (some were so hot that portable rail-mounted airconditioners had to be used), but will write more about it at some other time if you're interested in hearing more.

However, I think I've told you enough about the mine to make it clear that it was a HUGE transition to an alien environment for Ollie from school classrooms, and that he did very well in that transition.

Best regards,

Jerry Ferrin, 31 May 2005.

Amber Hagler posted the following response on 2 June 2005:


That account brought tears to my eyes, as I felt very close to him, reading about him as seen through your eyes. I am very proud of my father and his integrity. My memories of him center on his ability to teach and encourage. As a matter of fact, I have tried very hard to be like him in the manner in which he treated others. I love reading your stories. I have some things that my father had from the mines; ore drippings that looked like saguaros, copper balls that he brought us to use as marbles (although I think I remember him saying that he wasn't supposed to take some of those things, but they let him so he could show them to my sister and I). I am interested in hearing more about him, if you don't mind sharing.

I am not surprised that Daddy encouraged you to follow your heart's desire. He was always a believer in having something that you were passionate about. He called it having a reason to whistle. Daddy encouraged me to pursue the arts as well as a career. While Daddy never considered himself and artist, he had a tremendous understanding of the craft. He was actually an accomplished carpenter, and built beautiful hand carved furniture. Did you know that about him? I am a fine arts integration specialist (long name for arts teacher!) and I teach music, dance, and visual arts. I hope to finish my PhD (in his honor, I was born and he didn't get to finish his) in clinical psychology and have a practice that uses art as a therapy medium. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing more.



On 1 July 2005, Jo Brown added the following remarks to the message board thread:

"Jerry and Amber,

Have just finished reading your messages. I knew Ollie in his days as principal, but I was a young kid, and I was at the "other" school, Ave B, rather than First Ave, where he was at. And I remember Judy always had her chihuaha dog in her hands when I would see her around town, pre-marriage days. I also spent a summer during my college years working for the training dept, although the names are long gone from my memory, was there a Rick there?

Just wanted to say thanks for the messages, they were some fun reading. But sorry for your loss, Amber.

Jo Brown

On 2 July 2005, I posted the following response to Jo Brown's message:

1980 Strike at Magma Copper's underground mine, San Manuel, Az

Dear Jo,

That strike was in 1980.

The instructors in the Training Dept. were Richard Cole, who somehow managed to avoid going underground most of the time; Ollie Hagler, Wyman Eske - a former salvage miner who was one of my favorite people there; Frank Salas, a big fat guy who was a former head of the union who had apparently done a good job for the company while he was union president; Howard Hogue, another favorite person of mine, and Dave Brown.

Mine Safety Dept. personnel included Ward Lucas, Grant "Stick" Kempton , Geoff Busse, Keith Stanford and Matt Ford.

I don't recall you, but do remember that there were often "summer hires" working in the training dept.

Actually, at the time of the strike, I wasn't a certified MSHA instructor yet; I was a time-card employee and had been working on "temporary assignment" in the training dept. to produce Audio-Visual training programs - doing the writing, photography, recording, production and even narration - for nearly a year. So I used the "time off" during the strike" to attend the Univ. of Arizona and take Mining Engineering courses as a full-time student. When the strike ended, there were only about 2 weeks left in the semester but I couldn't get time off to finish the classes, so I had to take an F in a few of them, which was really a sore point with me. Then, after the strike, my application to become a salaried employee (put in long before the strike) was finally approved, and I had to take a pay cut of nearly $4000.00 per year. When I objected, I was told I could either take the position I applied for at the wages offered, or be fired, though I didn't know that a pay cut would be part of the "advancement" to a salaried position.

Perhaps you recall this incident during the strike: there was an old derilect trailer house which had been used at the mine, but wasn't used any more. It was towed up on a hill far away from anything else on the mine site, ostensibly for use as a guard shack during the strike, and one night it was "blasted", an event which Magma tried to represent must have been done by striking miners. I didn't think that was the case, nor did my step-dad, who was a asst. shift foreman at the mine. My reasoning was that if a miner wanted to blast something during the strike, they'd have taken out the railroad bridge between the mine and the plant, not a derilect, unused trailer sitting on a hill. I still believe that some salaried Magma employee blasted that trailer to try to make the striking miners look bad in the press.

Though I greatly enjoyed my work at the mine, liked and respected many of the people I knew there and still have many vivid memories from the mine, it is also true that the company itself was, due to favoritism and underhandedness on the part of some people in positions of power there, not a good place to work.

I seldom think of this aspect of working there; I prefer to recall the fun, excitment and friendships I had while working at Magma.


On 20 September 2006, Jo Brown posted the following response to my account of the strike:


Yep, I worked for Sandy Gerdon that summer. Thanks for the names and the memories.

Am also stopping by to share a recent obituary from the San Manuel Miner. Mike Katich died Aug 9, 2005 at age 88. He was with Magma, starting at age 17 in Superior, then assisted in opening the San Manuel facility. He retired as a safety engineer and mine training instructor in 1980. Died of Alzheimers and cancer.

I will hang onto this obit for a while in case you want more info, or if you want me to just mail it to you somewhere, I can do that too.


On 23 June 2006, Jo Brown posted the following message to the message board thread:

"If interested...

Here is a link to a new book - A Memoir of Underground Life in the San Manuel Copper Mine takes the reader inside the San Manuel Copper Mine in Arizona.

"Mother Magma", by Onofre Tafoya

Thus concludes the string of messages from the RootsWeb message board. The following is from a note to my friend Shirley Brier on 25 Mar 2006:

Electric Toilets at Magma Copper's Underground Mine

When I worked underground at Magma there were chemical toilets which had to be pumped out every few days so that the contents could be transported to the surface in special tank cars. Some bright young engineer read about an "electric toilet" which, instead of flushing, sent a huge charge of electricity through deposits in the toilet to reduce them to dust, which greatly reduced the volume so that not so much material had to be hoisted out of the mine.

It worked as advertised, but the smell of it working was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever smelled in my life. The "electric shitter", as it was called, was downwind of the work areas and the ventilation system carried the smell all through the mine. The complaints about the new toilet system were immediate and loud, as well as downright angry.

It came to the attention of the Mine Manager, Hank Seaney, who went underground to investigate it himself. Hank gagged and almost puked as soon as the toilet was activated. By the end of the day, that toilet was hoisted out of the mine and that was the last anyone heard of "electric toilets" around there.

On 29 Oct 2006, I made the following posting on the Rock Net message board at Bob's Rock Shop in response to someone referring to explosives as a "big hammer":

Explosives: The Big Hammer

When I worked underground at Magma Copper near San Manuel, Arizona, I heard explosives called "The Big Hammer" more than once in the context of production mining.

It was a block caving system of mining, and the job of a chutetapper on the production levels was to use a doublejack (a 16 lb. sledgehammer with a shortened 30" handle to allow swinging it in grizzly drifts) to break up the boulders which came out of drawpoints into pieces small enough to pass through the grizzly into transfer raise to drop 60 feet to the haulage level.

The boulders most often had what we called "seams", and a few good whacks with a doublejack at the right places along the seams could cause a boulder to almost magically split apart and fall through the grizzly when an experienced chutetapper was at work. Boulders which didn't yield to that were left for "The Big Hammer" at the lunchtime or end of shift blasts.

Experienced Chuteblasters, who were chutetappers certified to handle explosives, would use the least amount of explosive needed to do the job, and the objective was to "put the muck down the raise" with the blast, rather than scattering it all up and down the grizzly drift where it had to be shoveled into a raise.

We used Kinepack, not sticks of dynamite, for that sort of blasting, which was called production blasting, and the bombs - meaning the explosive plus a blasting cap - were called "plasters", as they were "plastered onto a boulder with a handful of mud if it was available, or just laid in place. Putting rocks on top of the bomb to attempt to confine/focus the blast was a huge mistake, as all it did was make rock shrapnel that tore up the compressed air and electrical lines in the drift, as well as scattering muck which had to be shoveled into raises by hand.

Kinepack was packaged in a bag that looked like aluminum foil and each bag was about 2.5 inches wide by 6 inches long by 1.5 inches thick.

As an example of using the least amount of powder needed for a job, my stepdad, Randy Wilson, was a haulage foreman for many years at that mine, and one of his responsibilities was "picking up wrecks" on the haulage level, where trolley locomotives and 20-ton ore cars in trains of 15 cars had derailed. It was common for the couplings of ore cars to "jam" when the cars where jack-knifed. The easy fix was to get the cars back in a straight line so that the coupling would work. When that wasn't possible because several cars in a row were derailed and jack-knifed in a haulageway, Randy could take an inch of a stick of dynamite, put it on a certain point of the coupling, and blast them apart without damaging the couplings! I think that's where I first heard the expression of "the big hammer" used for explosives.

My own introduction to Magma Copper Mine was due to my step-father, Randy Wilson, who encouraged me to apply for a job there as he knew that the mine would need audio-visual training programs made in order to comply with requirements of an MSHA act that would soon be going into effect. I greatly loved and respected Randy and was closer to him in many ways than I was to my own father. We spent many, many hours "talking muck", as my mother referred to our conversations about the mine and mining in general. I'll add some of those stories and some of my photographs of the mine to this page later. For the time being, Randy's obituary follows. -- Jerry Ferrin, 21 December 2006.

The Calhoun Chronicle, February 4, 1993.


Randall Keith Wilson, 64, formerly of Big Springs, died in Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1992.

He was the son of Elsie P. and the late Bert Wilson. He retired from Magma Copper Mine in 1988 after 34 years of service. He was the Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge #51 in Oracle, Arizona. He was a member of Tucson Scottish Rite Bodies and Sabbar Shrine Temple.

He is survived by his wife, Alice L. Wilson, and his mother, Elsie P. Wilson, both of Tucson; children, Peggy Sheffield of Mammoth, Ariz., Patricia Ellis, Thomas Wilson, and Jacqueline Pennington, all of Oracle, Ariz.; step-children, Darrell Ferrin, Jerry Ferrin, Brent Ferrin, and Janet Elmore, all of Tucson; brothers, Lyle Dean Wilson of Antioch, Ill., Howard Wilson of Tucson, George "Pat" Wilson of Illinois; and 15 grandchildren.

Services were held at St. Marks United Methodist Church with Pastor Jerry Haas officiating. Burial was in East Lawn Palms Cemetery.

The Miners Story Project wants miner's stories about the mine!

Dear Mr. Ferrin,

I am writing to you as the Project Coordinator of the Miners Story Project, the oral history and documentary project at the UA Mineral Museum that seeks to record and preserve the history and heritage of the mines and mining towns in Arizona.

A colleague of mine at the Mineral Museum came across some information about the San Manuel mine that you posted on the internet.

Would you be willing to share your experiences at the mine with the Miners Story Project? I am thrilled by your interest in the history of the mine, and I hope we will be able to do an oral history interview with you!



Shipherd Reed
Project Coordinator
Miners Story Project
Flandrau: The University of Arizona Science Center
1601 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone: 520-626-2304

-- E-mail from Shipherd Reed to Jerry Ferrin, 22 Feb 2008.

Further reading: (These off-site links will open in a new browser window)

Magma Copper Company, an excellent history of the company from

Magma Copper Company, current search results from

Mine Site Visit: San Manuel Facility - Magma Copper Company, a 1992 report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Magma Copper Company, San Manuel Facility: In this promotional video from Magma Copper Company, you'll learn how the former mining company produced copper for the last half of the 20th Century in a below surface mine in San Manuel, 40 miles northeast of Tucson.

Mother Magma: A Memoir of Underground Life in the San Manuel Copper Mine by Onofre "Tarry" Tafoya, ISBN# 0-9771167-6-X.

'Shutting Down the Stacks: San Manuel'   Movie trailer, documentary by Heather Lares and Linda Bohlke.

Google search results: 'Shutting Down the Stacks: San Manuel"

Demolition set for smelter smokestacks   "The towering twin smokestacks of the former smelter complex at San Manuel, 45 miles northeast of Tucson, are slated to be demolished on Wednesday. BHP Copper, owner of the complex since 1996, is wrapping up a $130 million, three-year effort to close and reclaim the property after deciding in 1999 to halt mining and smelting operations. A scheduled 1 p.m. blast is designed to topple the two stacks into a compact area for burial of tons of brick and debris. Public access to the area around San Manuel will be controlled by police around the time of the event." - Arizona Daily Star, 13 Jan 2007.

This RootsWeb website is being created by Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book. This page was created 31 December 2006 and was last updated 22 Feb 2008.

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