Abandoned Homestake Mining Company Hydro Electric Plant No. 2 – Road Trip Day 3 Ep.5

Neek sez:

On our way to Roughlock Falls, we saw a pretty intriguing sight – A Hydro Electric Plant that was built in 1917. This year is the 100th Anniversary of the building so we couldn’t resist stopping the car to explore it.

We could not enter the building because of the “No Trespassing” signs and a big fence around the property. Researching on the internet, we were able to find out about the history of the plant.In 1877, a group of investors including George Hearst (father of William Randolph Hearst) bought the Homestake Mine from the men who discovered it for $70,000. The investors incorporated the mine company and began selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 1879.  It would become the first and longest – listed mining stock in the history of the exchange.

800px-Homestake_Mine,_South_Dakota,_1900

Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota 1900 – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Homestake Mining Company Hydro Electric Plant No. 2 was constructed in 1917 to supplement the power of Plant No. 1 which was built in 1910. They both contained turbines that provided power for the Homestake Mining Company’s gold mining operation in Lead, South Dakota. The pipes that diverted the water to the plant were made of redwood and later lined with concrete.

DSCN8069

In 1947, a landslide damaged the conduit of the Hydro Electric Plant No. 2 and it was shut down. Plant No. 2 is now owned by SD Game, Fish and Parks. Plant No. 1 is still running and is owned by the City of Spearfish.

DSCN8074

The Homestake Mining Company was one of the largest gold mining businesses in the United States from the later 1800’s to the beginning of the 2000’s. It merged with a Canadian-based gold mining corporation in 2002. There is a bit of controversy in that the mining operations still use a toxic gold cyanidation process that has been banned in many countries except that courts in Colorado and South Dakota have ruled against the bans.

DSCN8072

DSCN8071

Lex and I were very careful to shoot video around the property with the zoom lens. You could hear the powerful creek underneath and imagine what the powerful turbines insides must have looked and sounded back in the day.

DSCN8068

Afterwards, we climbed down to the creek and Lex felt the cold water. I just wanted to skip around the rocks. It was a beautiful day and I’ll never forget it!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Abandoned Homestake Mining Company Hydro Electric Plant No. 2 – Road Trip Day 3 Ep.5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s