Chattanooga Times Free Press

DUCKTOWN, Tenn. (AP) - The vast landscape of the Copper Basin bears the scars of 150 years of mining, but also preserves the history of a way of life.

After a man named Lemmons discovered copper on Potato Creek while looking for gold, the basin became home to generations of men who lived, and sometimes died, in the Burra Burra mine. Before diesel drills or electric pumps, men burrowed and blasted more than a half-mile down into the earth to bring out the precious ore.

The center of mining operations in the basin around 1900, the Burra Burra - named for the famous mine in Australia - now is the only historic copper mine in the southern U.S. open to visitation. Below-ground operations ceased in 1958, though above-ground activities continued until 1975.

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