The 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in northern California set off a mining explosion that greatly hastened the development of the American West. This new book gathers historic photographs of mining in the Old West, from "panning" for gold in the waters of California to deep mining throughout the Western Territorities. The photos capture the lives of miners and the tent cities and early towns that grew up around the mines. What is captured is the stuff of which legends were made: the old saloons, wooden sidewalks, and dirt streets. Readers look the old miners in the eye, where the harshness of their lives is etched. They also see the places where they worked: the makeshift mining operations rising on mountainsides just out of town, the deep and dusty shafts, the tools and machinery designed to mine the precious ore.With over 300 vintage images, this is a treasure trove for historians, Old West aficionados, and lovers of old photographs.