Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Folly Beach, South Carolina

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine (1)

It seems that a lot of readers are enjoying my series on local mining history, so I'll answer a couple of questions about the huge open-pit mine I've been showing you.

  • Some chemicals are used to leech the gold from the crushed rock, but I'm not sure which ones; it's much more regulated these days than in the past.
  • I was not using a telephoto for most of the photos, I was right there next to the crusher and the trucks, and down in the pit.
  • The mine is not open to the public, but with advance reservations and a small fee a few people are given a tour several days a week. That's how I was able to see it all, and I think it's one of the best sightseeing bargains in the area.

On to my next mining post, about the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. This is a former vertical-shaft gold mine, operating from 1891 to 1961, and now open for public tours. The only way down is in the two-level cage the miners used to ride; if you're claustrophobic or afraid of being suspended by nothing more than a single cable I don't recommend it, although the mine itself is surprisingly spacious. All photos are hand-held without flash.
Here's the sign when you get out of the cage at the bottom.
It's a multi-level mine, and this shows the bell system used to indicate how to raise and lower the cage. Yes, it's still run by a person, and the tour guide will ring the bells appropriately.
Here's a close-up of some growths on the mine walls. Next week I'll show you some of the tunnels.


  1. Very cool you got an underground tour! I've been inside the Homestake Mine in Lead, SD many times.


  2. It is very interesting everything you tell us about gold mining (I use the google translator to read you) With the photos the post is already complete.

    About AL, Alabama, I thought it was a diminutive of Alphonse.
    You know Al Capone = Alphonse Capone.
    Thanks for the info


    · LMA · & · CR ·

  3. Fascinating post and intriguing photos ~ the depth of the mine sign made me feel claustrophobic for a minute ~ glad I didn't have to 'work the mines' ~

    Wishing you a Happy Week ahead ~ ^_^

  4. Amazing..I wish I would be there..have a nice day.

  5. Wonderful tour of the old mine.

  6. What an eerie underground world!

  7. We passed by this mine on a visit to Cripple Creek this past fall. It looks like an interesting tour. My grandfathers were coal miners in PA and I've visited the mines they worked in in Lakawanna County.

  8. We toured a cave mine in the Gold Country a while back but did not see anything; it's more like a museum. Fun though and every educational.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  9. Interesting. I would probably go down :)


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