Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Silver mine at Shafter to be reopened

Aurcana Corporation, a Canadian silver mining operation, has announced that it is recommissioning a silver mine located near the Presidio County ghost town of Shafter. Beginning in April, Aurcana is hoping to produce enough silver at Shafter to mine 2.8 million ounces of silver in 2012 and then as much as 21 million ounces over the next four years.

I have yet to visit Shafter, which is located 43 miles south of Marfa on Highway 67, but it should be an interesting visit. Shafter has a current population of 11 and a whole bunch of abandoned stores and buildings left over from the last silver mining operation, and the first scenes of The Andromeda Strain were filmed in the ghost town.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Shafter over the next few years as a result of the mining venture. Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back to La Reunion

Where have I been lately? Working lots of overtime, for one thing, but I was able to break away from work long enough for a trip back to the La Reunion ghost town site in western Dallas - only this time, I was accompanied by Dustin, a graduate student from Texas A&M-Commerce who has developed a keen interest in visiting the site and learning more about the people who built it and what legacy they have left for greater Dallas.

Dustin and I managed to gain access to the La Reunion Cemetery on Fish Trap Road, which has undergone a tremendous amount of upkeep since the City of Dallas assumed responsibility for the cemetery's maintenance. It doesn't look like the same place I visited in 2010. We managed to discover a few more graves that I missed on my previous expedition.

We also visited the site of the old DeLord house, and Dustin was able to point out the remains of old foundation that I previously hadn't discovered. Unfortunately, the DeLord site has apparently become a homeless camp within the past year and a half, and the integrity of any remaining artifacts at the DeLord site is becoming compromised as a result. The little brick tower I previously discovered has been shattered so that the bricks could line some makeshift fire pit dug in the soil. If you do visit the site nowadays, you do so at your own risk.

Afterwards, Dustin and I were able to exchange information about the La Reunion colonists and share some very good research leads with each other. With the construction of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge opening new travel routes into western Dallas, there has been some increased interest in the old French settlement, and Dustin and I both thoroughly enjoyed our visit back to the site.

Will share more once my schedule frees itself a little more. Hope all of you are doing well.