Aladdin Tipple - Tipple Stabilazation - Aladdin, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 44° 38.323 W 104° 09.744
13T E 566429 N 4943158
A sign in front of the tipple at the Aladdin Tipple Historical Interpretive Park, Aladdin, WY, provides some background on how the tipple was stabilized previously. It looks like it's time for another treatment.
Waymark Code: WM12TAV
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 07/12/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member jhuoni
Views: 0

There were once signs at the gate, one simply identifying this as "Aladdin Tipple Historical Interpretive Park", and the other reading "Crook County State of Wyoming". For whatever reason -- probably related to the precipitous nature of the tipple, but maybe it was just vandals -- those signs are missing, although the gates are open to the public, with barbed wire fences to protect both the tipple and visitors. There are multiple signs warning of the tipple's instability, so see this one safely while you still can. The county probably placed the interpretive signs that can be see throughout the park, both in front of the tipple and at the end of the trail at the top of the hill.

This sign is one of several behind the fence in front of the tipple, but it is not difficult to photograph or read from outside. It could have used a little proof-reading, as the title should be "Tipple Stabilization". Below the text are photos of the tipple in even poorer condition than it is now, with blueprints for its restoration, and it reads:

The tilt of the tipple shown in the photos was the result of time and the elements. The degree of tilt and the fact that this structure did not completely collapse is remarkable. The corrosive nature of the coal slack waste piles caused the buried timber columns to completely rot away with the exception of the core heartwood of some piers. Stabilization of the tipple was accomplished by installing a wood-braced frame inside the coal bin and under the coal chute system. The new wooden frame is visible under the tipple. Concrete footings were installed under the new wood columns. The buried footings are eight-feet deep under the coal bin and four feet under the chutes. The tipple was straightened to its original position and the roof rebuilt. A new braced frame consisting of laminated wood beams, metal cross ties and pressure-treated wood columns now provides the vertical and horizontal support for the historic tipple. These modern materials differentiate those portions of the tipple that are new from those that are original.


The preservation, stabilization, restoration and development of the historic interpretive park involved the efforts of many individuals:

• The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Land Program
• Hydrometrics, Inc., Consulting Scientists and Engineers, Helena, Montana
• Mark A. Reavis, Architect, Butte, Montana
• Ben Hurlbut, P.E., Structural Engineer, Billings, Montana
• Archaeological Services of Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs, Wyoming
• College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota
• Crook County Commissioners, Sundance, Wyoming
• Aladdin Historical Society, Aladdin, Wyoming
• United States Department of the Interior - Office of Surface Mining
• Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Marker Name: Tipple Stabilazation

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Addtional Information:
There are a total of eight signs that provide information about the tipple. All but one are protected by the fence that protects the tipple -- and you -- but all are readable. Together, they include some vintage photos and provide enough information for a narrative:

The coal tipple is at the site of old Bakertown, and Aladdin is the last coal mining settlement of those that included Barrett Town and Hay Creek. This was "Aladdin No. 1", which began operation in 1898, operated by the Black Hills Coal Co. A train line carried coal from Aladdin to nearby Belle Fourche, SD and then to parts elsewhere.

Of course, it was common to use immigrants from all over as labor, not only because they worked cheaply, but also because language was often a barrier to communication, which impeded their banding together and unionizing. An 1899 report indicated that the average number of men employed was 35, but that year, they had 80. Coal Mining 101 is basically that a miner would "soften up" a coal face with a pick, plant charges, blast, and then shovel the coal into cars for transport out of the mine.

The tipple consists of two parts: The coal bin is the large gable-roofed structure, where coal was received and sorted, while the chutes would further sort and carry the coal, using gravity, to the bottom. The remains of a catwalk are visible on the east side of the tipple, and an operator on the catwalk would help to guide the coal as it made its progress downwards. You can get a peek at the entrance and hoist house by following the path up to the top of the hill. You'll also pass the old fan housing, which was installed in later years to improve ventilation.

The mine had its peak year in 1901 when it produced 40,000 tons of coal, but by 1911, it was down to 1,000 tons. Focus had shifted away from industrial production by 1911, and later efforts were for domestic use such as heating and cooking. By the 1940s, operations had ceased, and the mine entrance was blown shut by the end of the decade over obvious concerns about an open adit. Besides Mother Nature's normal wear and tear as she attempts to pull down the tipple, there is an interesting sign at the top of the hill about bioremediation and how the coal waste ("slack"), fungus, and trees on the site are all working together to clean up the mess that mankind left behind when the mine was closed.

Group Responsible for Placement: Crook County, WY

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

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