Saturday, July 16, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: July 16

July 16, 1913 – Ten of the 15 miners imprisoned in Spruce Mine No. 1 at Eveleth, Minn., this morning when torrential rains caused a rush of water from the surface to the workings of the mine, were taken alive from the mine this evening.

Rescuers continued their efforts by dynamiting the drift and believe that the five remaining miners will be rescued by tomorrow morning.

They were cut off from the ten men rescued by a sudden rush of water and are said to be on the upper level of the mine.

Two hundred and fifty men went into the mine this morning on the first shift of the day. The rain was then falling in torrents and had been coming down since 5 a. m.

Spruce Mine, Eveleth, 1913*

At 10:30 a cloudburst broke over the city, choking all means of outlet for the water, which finally rushed from the surface into the workings of the mine and the men dropped everything and fled for safety. All escaped except 15, who were on the upper level.

Local officials of the mining company ordered mine guards to their posts, but it was impossible to check entirely the rush of wives and children of the imprisoned men.

The Spruce Mine No. 1 is one of the largest and richest privately owned mines on the Iron Range.

The five entombed miners were rescued the following evening after standing in water up to their shoulders for 31 hours. They were located by tapping on a pipe that had been drilled 40 feet into the mines. After the first signals were heard, the work of excavating was resumed with double energy and the men were soon located and brought to the surface.

All were weak from lack of food and sleep, but none was in serious condition.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain July 16, 2016, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Ten Escape From Flood in Mine; Five Are Caught. Rush of Water During Cloudburst Imprisons Workmen at Eveleth, Minn. Rescuers Dynamite Drift Believing Miners Will Be Released by this Morning.”; July 17, 1913; p. 1.

South Bend News-Times; “Five Miners Are Taken From Mine.”; South Bend, IN; July 18, 1913, Afternoon Edition; p. 13.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Entombed Miners Are Saved. Stood in Shoulder Deep Water for Thirty-one Hours.”; July 19, 1913, p. 1.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
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