A Darkness Lit by Heroes: The Granite Mountain - Speculator Mine Disaster of 1917, Butte, Montana
By Doug Ammons. Softcover, 233 pages.
The Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine fire of 1917 was the biggest hard rock mining disaster in the history of the American West, and one of the most heart-rending events. This book tells the story of the miners and their families, struggling to survive when thrust into forces beyond their control.
The primary details of the story and many of the smaller particulars are from the historical record, but presented in the form of a written novel rather than a journalistic report.
The information came from multiple sources: dozens of newspaper articles during and after the disaster from the Butte Miner, Anaconda Standard, and Butte Daily Post. They also include the offical federal report for the Bureau of Mines by Daniel Harrington (Lessons of the Granite Mountain Fire, 1922), and private correspondence of various miners held by the Butte-Silver Bow Archives.
The largest source was the 600-pages of eye-witness testimony drawn from the coroner's inquest, held in Butte near the end of June 1917, two weeks after the disaster. More than seventy miners testified, including members of all the groups of men who are presented in the book.
Softcover, 233 pages.