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MISSOURI SOUTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY
Tri-State Mining Maps

Introduction

Mining began in the Tri-State area in 1848 when lead ore was discovered near Joplin, Missouri. Further exploration was prompted in the 1870’s when smelting plants were built in Kansas, increasing production of both lead and zinc. Deposits were also discovered in Oklahoma not long after. The Tri-State Zinc Lead District was established in 1917.

Lead and zinc mining lasted in the region for over 100 years, from 1850 until 1958, when the reduction in prices for lead and zinc led to the decline and the eventual end of mining in the area. Missouri Southern State University acquired the Tri-State Mining Map Collection in 1979 from the Federal Bureau of Mines. The collection has been made widely available to the community including property owners, researchers, environmental agencies and groups, real estate developers, and engineers.

The Collection

The Tri-State Mining Map Collection at Missouri Southern State University consists of more than 5,000 maps that document lead and zinc mining in Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas, and Northeast Oklahoma. The collection has important historical, environmental, and economic information for the region. Covering the time period from the 1860s through the 1960s, the maps provide detailed locations of mine shafts and drilling activities in the area. Maps are divided by section number, state and mine names.

How to Use This Collection

This collection is searchable by a variety of fields.

Rights and Reproductions

For information on rights and reproductions from this collection, please contact the archivist, Charles E. Nodler, at Missouri Southern State University's Spiva Library Archives Department by phone at 417-625-9552 or email to nodler-c@mssu.edu.

Additional Resources

For the general audience, the GeoCommunicator Site Mapper, available from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, will help to place the maps in geographic context.

For additional information on mining in southwest Missouri, please see:


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