The typical style of wheel barrow used in the Bisbee mines
Wheel barrows have been used for centuries in mining and were present at Bisbee’s beginning. The typical wheel barrow for Bisbee mines is one with a steel tub and a single all steel wheel. A double wheel version was found on the 6th level of the Southwest mine in the leaser area, it is located in an abandoned tool room with a number of the single wheel versions along with it.
The most common place for use is in the older square set and cut and fill stopes were they would be used to transport the broken rock from the face to a raise. These stopes will have the raises about 50ft apart this keeps the haulage distances to a minimum. Because of the difficulty of transporting the rock , the ore was hand sorted underground, separating the ore from the waste. The waste was stacked making gob walls or put behind walls made of timber called gob fences. Along the Queen mine escapeway there are several gob walls in a small stope.
wheelbarrows inside a toolroom Southwest mine
With the introduction of Mitchell slicing stoping method which allows gravity to move the broken rock to the raise and mechanized mucking, wheel barrows use fell to the wayside. The leasers were the last holdout‘s in their use in Bisbee mines.
Diagram showing how close the raises were placed for stopes
Gob wall on 5th level Southwest mine.
Gob fence on right rib 5th level Southwest mine
Brinsmade Bruce Robert, Mining without Timber 1911 McGraw- Hill p100
Richard Graeme IV 2010, pers. comm., 8 February
Richard Graeme III 2010, pers. comm., 2 February