Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Answers

On Friday I asked you all, Whatzit?

Larissa said she thought it might be a multi-purpose candle holder. And that's close enough for me!

Here's the story: Ellensburg is very near to the Cascades, and very near to a small town called Roslyn. Roslyn was a coal mining town and this object comes out of the coal mines there. My information says it was a miner's candle holder. The point could be driven into a crack in the rock, or it could be hung from a ledge with the hook.

Mining was a huge industry in Roslyn, especially in the early years just before 1900. Even today, as we see on the news all the time, mining is a dangerous industry. Can you imagine what it was like over a hundred years ago? Going down underground with just a couple of candles and these candle holders to light your way as you work in the dark and the dust? It's a scary job, but a job that fueled the railroads which helped to populate the West.

I found this description of miner's candles via Google Image Search. It's a small object, and fairly simple, but important historically.

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