Probable Site of Mine No. 6
In the late summer of 1885, tensions between the white and Chinese workers at the Union Pacific Coal mine in Rock Springs began to escalate. Over the previous five years at least 300 Chinese had moved into the town, and their presence was felt both culturally and economically.
When the white workers went on strike for better wages and working conditions the Chinese refused to join them, and soon the mine owners hired about 150 Chinese workers to replace the striking white miners. The already simmering racism in the town soon erupted into one of the worst massacres in American history.
On September 2, a fight broke out at the Number 6 mine, and two Chinese workers were badly beaten. The mine foreman shut down work, and the white miners all headed to the saloons even though it was mid-morning. By 2:00 in the afternoon the mine owners closed the saloons as well in an attempt to quell the angry miners, but all that did was put a drunken and angry crowd on the streets. A mob mentality soon took over.
Sources: Carroll, Chadley, Pfaelzer, Rock Springs Historical Museum
About this site: The area where the mine was located is now completely covered over by industrial and residential development. Historians have been unable to identify the exact location of the entrance to the mine shaft, but old maps indicate it was in this general area.