Special Event at Laws - April 8, 2023

Ferminia Serras, 1840-1915Visitors to Laws Museum are sometimes surprised to find a mining exhibit at Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site. Some might be even more surprised to learn that women prospectors played a role in 19th and early 20th century western mining history. While the 300 plus mile Carson and Colorado Railroad was being built to serve Nevada and California mines, women as well as men caught “gold fever” and crossed continents and oceans to try their hand at prospecting. Some struck it rich, some died in poverty; some deplored the rough life, while others flourished in the clean air, outdoor life, and desert-mountain scenery.

For nearly half a century, women contributed their share to the history and legend of the “old west”: prospecting, filing claims, and establishing townsites, as characters in the evolution of western history. Today’s women in the mining industry, rather than roaming the desert with mules and pickaxes, are more likely to work as civil and chemical engineers and as geologists.

Come to the Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site and you will meet history docents eager to share biographies of “Old West” women miners: Ellen Nay, who discovered gold in the hills of Nevada; Frances Williams, a physician and miner; and Ferminia Serras, who became known as “The Copper Queen” --the town of Mina, Nevada is named for her.

Join us April 8th from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm at Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site for this women’s history month event. The first 49 visitors to get autographs from all six docents will receive a bag of polished rocks “mined” from the museum’s gift shop! Rides on the Pine Creek Tungsten Mine’s ore cart will be given, weather and staff permitting.