Mining community

A mining community, also known as a mining town or a mining camp, is a community that houses miners. Mining communities are usually created around a mine or a quarry.


United States

In the United States several different types of communities were established by Americans during the frontier period; mining towns, railroad towns, cow towns and farming towns were the primary settlements built. Throughout the continental United States, valuable minerals were discovered and mining operations launched. The miners would usually settle a site and make home of tents and shacks, that miners built by hand.

Eventually mining buildings such as smelters or stamp mills would be constructed followed by cabins, stores and saloons. A community would naturally be born with the settling of women and children and existed as long as precious metal could be dug from the area.

Sometimes the geographical location of a mining community or the various American railroads would ensure a community's existence after all the valuable minerals were gone. Many American mining communities became ghost towns though others have become prominent cities. A settlement usually can only be considered a mining community if a mine exists directly at the settlement or within the immediate area and if the population relies on the mine economically. Smelter towns, built for smelting ore extracted from mines, are considered a type of mining community.

Historic mining communities


Bosnia and Herzegovina



In Germany, a Bergstadt refers to a settlement near mineral deposits vested with town privileges, Bergregal rights and tax exemption, in order to promote the economic development of the mining region. Baden-Württemberg


Lower Saxony

North Rhine-Westphalia








Upper Austrio-Hungarian mining towns

Lower Austrio-Hungarian mining towns

Czech Republic

(Listed under names given when founded or working as a mining town)

United States

See also


    • Sherman, James E; Barbara H. Sherman (1969). Ghost Towns of Arizona. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-0843-6. Book features pg. 147 about what is necessary for a settlement to have in order to be considered a "mining town".
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