Tag Archives: mining

Sequachee Valley News – May 5, 1898



  • A. W. Crockett has headed for Indian Territory.
  • B. L. Arledge took a trip down the Valley Monday.
  • Rev. E. G. H. Pryor is making an addition to his barn.
  • Mr. W. B. Hilliard kindly renews his subscription to the News.
  • Mr. J. J. Maguire, the traveling optician, is in town this week.
  • Bright Eyes J. M. Price, Jr., is clerking for C. C. Shirley this week.
  • J. B. Martin will open his harness shop in the premises vacated by O. W. Eakin.
  • Ask Mesdames T. N. Graham and O. H. Crozier about that secret and watch them smile.
  • W. C. Adams and wife went to Chattanooga to attend the Spring Festival.
  • Landlord Graham of the Graham House, harvested his first crop of bees for this year Monday afternoon.
  • W. C. Adams proudly claims to have doubled his business the last pay day, which we are very glad to know.
  • Wm. Hoots has bought out Geo. W. Eakin’s barber shop and will run the same in connection with his own.
  • A Mr. Knight has taken charge of Mr. T. N. Graham’s photograph business and is doing some excellent work.
  • Cal Adkins has a boil, which has shifted from his arm to his neck and he is not correspondingly happy thereat.
  • The T. C., I. & R. R. Co. have the gasoline engine at work and the boys feel happy as it means work and pay for them.
  • Hon. John H. Dykes renews his subscription for the News. He also has it sent to his grandmother, Mrs. Nellie Dykes, of Beersheba Springs.
  • Mr. C. C. Shirley has added agricultural implements and machinery to his hitherto crowded stock and the space in front of his store looks like an artillery park.
  • The members of the band are practicing every day and have now a repertoire of five or six pieces. They will probably make their debut at Sequachee on May 30, Memorial Day.
  • Deputy Organizer Geo. F. Harris of the Regents of the White Shield has organised a lodge at Victoria Saturday night and conducted fifteen through the mysteries.
  • The school is getting up an elaborate program for the closing exercises. If they will send it to the News we shall be glad to publish it free of charge. We are always with the schools.
  • Col. Gaines, superintendent, was in town last week and left orders with Capt. Crozier to get out all the coal they could as the Company has a large order for coal from the Government, consequently the men are doubling on shifts.
  • Mr. Smith, of Smith & Poe’s Pound Store is actively and energetically pushing his business. His partner, Mr. Poe, has charge of their Dunlap store but at present is near Chattanooga looking after a strawberry farm in which he is interested.
  • Mr. W. B. Hilliard says his wheat is looking fairly well with the exception of some places, the reason of which be cannot understand. He wishes a flour and grist mill could be built In the Valley on the line of railroad in which we heartily concur.
  • Rev. J. M. Wooten will leave Whitwell for Chicago next week, and his many friends will hear from him from time to lime through the columns of the News. Everyone wishes Mr. Wooten unqualified success in the new field in which be is to enter.
  • Geo. W. Eakin is overseer of the roads and is getting in some good work. He has had many bad places filled with cinders and his territory extends from Lon Smith’s half way to Victoria and he has the benediction of the cyclists as well as others for good roads.
  • Miss Maud Harlson of Etna is visiting in the city.
  • A concert was given Thursday evening at Red Men’s Hall by a traveling band.
  • Dol Teague was killed Saturday by coal falling on him. He was one of the older miners in Whitwell.
  • B. E. Tatom, Esq., of Jasper, was in the city on legal business, Thursday and Friday.
  • Mr. J. H. Harris has purchased a lot in the eastern part of the town and will erect a residence on it soon.
  • Mrs. Hudson, wife of John Hudson, Sr., died last Thursday night of consumption. She had been a valetudinarian for several years.
  • The third quarterly meeting for Dunlap and Whitwell circuit was held at Red Hill last Saturday and Sunday. the preaching was done by L. M. Cartwright, Presiding Elder, and the venerable John Alley, of Dunlap. Alley preached the funeral of Jesse Shirley deceased on Sunday morning.
  • An entertainment was given last Friday evening at the Red Men’s ball, by Miss Mattie Vincent’s school. It was a success in every particular. The large hall was crowded to overflowing. The music rendered by Mrs. E. A. Ashburn was super excellent. The girls and boys, mostly girls, acquitted them selves with credit to themselves and honor to their teachers, showing that they bad been properly and well trained.


  • J. E. Dyer went to Chattanooga Wednesday.
  • The Monroe Conclave here has about seventy-two members and is making ready to start the work of erecting the combination building, school house, and R. W. S. Hall. Notices are out for the bids here and the work on the building will be started next week, and will be pushed with rapidity until completed. The building will add greatly to the looks of things on the top of the mountain, besides the convenience to schools and churches that it will afford these necessities that should be more strongly encouraged at this place.
  • Last Saturday night the R. W. S. organized at Victoria with a goodly number of members from nearly all parts of the country around Victoria.
  • We will note the sad accident that occurred here last Saturday morning. Mr. Doll Teague left home very early that morning to get to the mines to load some cars that were standing at his room and the shot that he had fired the night before had left the coal standing and he went to mine the coal out, and after be had mined two or three feet under the coal the coal broke and fell on him holding him for some time while his partner was using all possible means to get the large piece of coal off of him, but had to dig him out after all. This occurred about 5 o’clock in the morning and shortly after seven they succeeded in getting him to the mouth of the mines, and then to the foot of the mountain to his home where he could talk with his family till about one o’clock when the dark hour came and be passed quietly away leaving a wife and four children to mourn his loss. The entire community tender their heart-felt sympathy to the bereaved widow and the fatherless children.
  • Last Thursday was rather an unlucky day in the mines. Three boys narrowly escaped death. Thomas Henson’s little son was sitting in the mines watching his father work and a piece of slate fell from the top of the room and broke one of his legs. Then Willie Doss a trapper was thrown from a trip in No. 1 Bank, and barely escaped with his life. And Bennie Adkins was coming out of No. 3 Bunk on a trip of coal when the mule became excited and and ran away hurling the boy between two of the loaded cars head first and was being badly jammed when Harry Eckert caught him and pulled him from between the rapidly moving cars and saved his life. We hope all will be more on the lookout after such serious accidents.
  • Wishing the News may extend all over the land I remain.

-Oliver Bolivar.

Read the entire newspaper at the Library of Congress.

The Act of Mining – Two Documentaries from New Directors/New Films


Eldorado XXI
Directed By Salomé Lamas
2016 Portugal/France
Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara with English subtitles

Behemoth / Beixi moshuo
Directed By Zhao Liang
2015 China/France
Mandarin with English subtitles

Two documentaries from this year’s New Directors/New Films depict the evils released on earth when men plunder the underground.

Salomé Lamas’s Eldorado XXI opens on a frozen landscape where a mining town of aluminum sheds emerges. New Yorker readers will recall the scene from William Finnegan’s Letter from Peru, “Tears of the Sun: The gold rush at the top of the world”:

“The mines at La Rinconada, a bitter-cold, mercury-contaminated pueblo clinging to the glaciered mountainside, are ‘artisanal’: small, unregulated, and grossly unsafe.”

Perhaps a third of Lamas’s film consists of a single shot from a stationary camera, eyeing hundreds of miners descending into and ascending out of this portal to hell.

Other episodes depict a circle of pallaqueras (women who scavenge bits of gold from the nearly depleted mine), chewing coca leaves and smoking cigarettes (“we’re going to die anyway”) as they discuss the upcoming presidential election; a night-time scene of profoundly drunken men navigating the town’s alleyways; and miners’ prayers to the mountain deities before entering the mine.

Before arriving at ND/NF, Eldorado XXI was screened (in IMAX format) by the Berlinale Forum, which also chose Lamas’s scarily fascinating Terra de ninguém for its 2013 edition (read my post).

Zhao Liang’s Behemoth (Beixi moshuo) brilliantly juxtaposes a rumination on Dante’s Divine Comedy with the sights and sounds of destruction of Inner Mongolian grasslands by Chinese coal mining companies.

Completely blacked out by China’s official media outlets, Beixi moshuo has nevertheless gained attention via international festivals:

“The transformation of paradise into purgatory, with hell firmly in sight, gets imposing visual treatment in Chinese filmmaker Zhao Liang’s Behemoth. This image-based hybrid of documentary and poetic allegory is a plaintive account of the rape of the earth by coal mining companies in the Inner Mongolian grasslands, and of the dehumanizing existence of local and Chinese migrant workers.” – Hollywood Reporter

“Drawing as much on music and long-form poetry as cinema, Behemoth works like a symphony as it takes us from the surviving pastoral enclaves of rural Mongolia to the hellish noise, dust and smoke of the mines, factories and iron foundries. But it also has a more incisive political message for audiences in the developed world, illustrating as it does the environmental and human cost of the Made-in-China economic miracle that we all benefit from.” – Screen Daily

“Maverick indie helmer Zhao Liang continues his muckraking tour of China’s social and environmental woes with the stunningly lensed, cumulatively moving “Behemoth.” Acting as a modern-day Dante on a tour through Inner Mongolia’s coal mines and iron works, Zhao (“Together,” “Petition”) eschews narrative for an impressively self-shot poetic exercise in controlled righteous outrage, emphasizing the contrasts between rapidly dwindling green pastures and dead landscapes disemboweled by toxic mining. The human toll is also here in the final sections, making starkly clear the price impoverished workers pay for back-breaking labor. Zhao’s quiet yet powerful indignation will play to the arthouse crowd, and his striking visuals should ensure that “Behemoth” receives berths beyond environmental fests.” – Variety

Opening to viscerally shocking explosions against a soundscape of Mongolian throat-singing, Beixi moshuo depicts the literal elevation of Hell onto a rapidly disappearing verdant plain of Mongolian horsemen and their grazing sheep, devastating an ancient way of life and poisoning Chinese workers for the end result of a ghost city.

Mining is murder, and we are all accomplices.