in the Western United States
Mining was an important element in the economic development of the Western United States. While gold and silver have taken the historic spot light many other minerals have been extracted from the earth over the years. There are several excellent museums which capture much of the history of this important endeavor, a few state parks that preserve some of the historic "diggins" (including the spot where gold was first discovered in California), and countless artifacts in regional museums throughout the West. Here are links to important mining museums, some mining sites, a couple of mining ghost towns, a few relevant biographies, and some notes on the California Gold Rush.