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|Mine owners hope to strike big with new adventure tour|
|Written by Haley Caldwell|
|Friday, 30 March 2012 04:32|
After Ed Schieffelin discovered the first silver nugget in 1877, Tombstone became the silver strike town of the Arizona. To this day, the mines that were once populated with silver-hungry citizens are still explored by the thousands of visitors who flock to Tombstone every year.
The Good Enough Mine Tour is the only tour available for the public, but within the next couple of months, a new “adventure” tour will open.
“The Tough Nut Mine Tour will really be somethin’ else,” said senior tour guide Carey Granger. “We have opened up a whole new part of the mine and there are spectacular minerals to see as well as spacious ore bodies that are just huge.”
Deemed an adventure tour by its creators, they say anybody interested in participating in the two-and-a-half-hour tour will definitely be in for an exciting expedition.
“There are spaces that are only three-feet tall where you have to crawl and there are also parts where you have to climb up and down ladders in order to get through the mine,” said Rex Miller, a Tough Nut Mine tour guide.
Four years ago, the opening to the mine was discovered in a backwash.
“We dug out the rocks and jumped in the mine entrance to explore,” Granger said. “Before we knew it, we found ourselves coming out of the entrance to the Good Enough Mine. We knew that this was a mine that could really be something exciting.”
After years of sprucing up and adding necessary safety installments, the Tough Nut Mine is in its final stages of cleanup before it opens to the public.
“I love going on mine tours,” said Ian Clay, a Tombstone visitor from British Columbia. “I like taking photos of the underground and capturing the historical aspects of old mines.”
Tickets for the tour will cost between $30 and $35.
“The money for the tickets will go to the company and some of it will be used to keep making fixes and improvements to the mine,” Granger said.
However, the mine has had several estimated dates of completion, which have all been passed.
“There is absolutely a good possibility of the Tough Nut Mine Tour opening in the beginning of June but it all depends on the economy and how soon we can get the finishing touches in place to make it a safe tour,” said Shirley Dejournett, owner of the mine tours.
Since this tour will be longer and more physically demanding than the Good Enough Mine tour, safety measures require an age limit of 10 years old as well as restrictions to pregnant women.
Because this part of the mind has been untouched for more than 130 years, this underground maze is a snapshot of history.
“We have found artifacts from the miners that used to mine here and will have them on display for everybody to see,” Granger said.