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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Johnson Lake Mine Historic District" (with photographs); Archeological Investigations at Great Basin National Park: Testing and Site Recording in Support of the General Management Plan by Susan J. Wells; A History of Great Basin National Park by Harlan D. Unrau; and Archeological Survey and Site Assessment at Great Basin National Park by Susan J. Wells. A preliminary draft was produced by Meghan McGinnes, a former intern to the National Park Service Archeology and Ethnography program and expanded upon by Mike Chin, a former intern to the Teaching with Historic Places program. It was rewritten and revised into its final form by Adrienne Boice, a former intern to the Teaching with Historic Places program and was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in U.S. history course units on the turn of the 20th-century mining boom, the first World War, and historical archeology.
Time period: Early 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To outline the basic process for mining tungsten.
2) To describe the significance of mining tungsten during the World War I industrial period.
3) To explain the role of archeology in learning about Johnson Lake Mine and the people who lived and worked there.
4) To research war-related efforts in the local community and their impact during and after the war.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) one map of Great Basin National Park showing Johnson Lake and the surrounding area;
2) four readings about mining in White Pine County, laws of the White Pine Mining District, and the history and archeology of Johnson Lake Mine;
3) three drawings demonstrating the topography, structures, and artifacts at the site;
4) two photos of structures and artifacts at Johnson Lake Mine.

Visiting the site
Johnson Lake Mine is located in Great Basin National Park. The park is located in east-central Nevada near U.S. Highways 6 and 50 near Baker. The main park entrance is five miles west of Baker, NV, near the Nevada-Utah border. Johnson Lake Mine is open to the public, but is accessible only by foot. The trail to the site begins at 8,000 feet and ends at almost 11,000 feet elevation, so it may not be accessible to everyone. Great Basin National Park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, with extended hours in the summer. It is closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. For more information, contact the Superintendent, Great Basin National Park, 100 Great Basin National Park, Baker, Nevada 89311, or visit the park's website.

 

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