Previously: “The King Come Down.”
Published at the Creepypasta Wikia by user Daltsch in 2011, “A Diary In A Mine” makes excellent use of the fictional diary format to chronicle the events occurring after several miners get trapped in a cave-in in Leadville, Colo. in 1899. It also makes excellent use of actual history: There really was a cave-in in the Bonair Mine in Leadville in March of 1899; Charles Reuss and Bert Frey really were trapped down there for about two weeks; and they really were rescued on March 22.
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Although Bonair was primarily a gold mine, these events all took place shortly after the end of the Colorado Silver Boom. In 1879, large amounts of silver were discovered in Leadville, leading to a mining rush that lasted until 1893. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act that year caused the price of silver to plummet; before the period ended, though, some 82 million dollars of silver were mined in the state of Colorado.
Many former mining hubs became ghost towns shortly thereafter, although Leadville was able to continue on mining veins of lead and zinc for some time. The last remaining mine in the area closed in 1999 — although the nearby Climax Mine reopened again just a few years ago.
Right around the time “A Diary In A Mine” hit the internet.
One can’t help but wonder what might still be lurking all those abandoned tunnels…
On May 6th, 1899, miners in the Bonair Mine in Leadville, Colorado, found a diary in a small, seldom-used drift about 500 feet deep within the mine. The diary was turned over to the police, since it had been linked with the disappearance of a 28-year-old pumpman working in the mine: Ashland Parr, who had been missing since March 9th (the same date as a cave-in that had occurred in the mine). The diary was never seen again until a policeman released its contents to Ashland Parr’s family this year. The family has been kind enough to give me access to this diary.
Here is a transcription of the diary entries on and after March 9th, 1899 – the date of Ashland Parr’s disappearance.
Damned rocks caved us in today. Chas, Burt and I were lucky to be in this drift and not in the shaft like poor Shep was. Shep was screaming something when the rocks came down on him. I think he hurt his leg but I think he’ll be all right because he was able to get out of the mines. Bert found a steam pipe and began rapping on it to try to get in touch with any rescuers. Fortunately we found a few and they’re able to send supplies down to us such as food. I think we’ll be fine down here. They wrote to us that we should be rescued by tomorrow.
Caves are really dark at night. I’ve never appreciated just how dark they are until today. Anyways the rescuers told us some bad news – they’re trying to dig a rescue shaft and connect it to the main shaft that had been caved in, but the part of the main shaft they dug to is full of debris. This means that it will be a few more days until they rescue us. We’re still receiving meals as well as gas for our lantern so it’s not all bad. Chas and Burt are worried about their families and I don’t blame them, but right now we have to focus on getting out of this mine.
The new shaft is getting deeper and deeper but I guess there still isn’t any luck because there is so much debris in the main shaft. However we’re still getting our meals and the gas for our lamps so I guess we’ll be fine. Burt was pacing around in the drift when he found some weird grooves in the wall. I think Chas made them because he’s getting really bored down here. At least none of us are worried. I hope our families are okay.
[Photo via DariuszSankowski/Pixabay]