When I was a kid, I visited the Empire Mine every year for field trips. To the point when I said, "I don't think I ever need to see it again."
I'm fine with admitting when I'm wrong. And now I love visiting the park again and again. Because the grounds change from season to season. And I keep discovering hidden spots or new history. And I happily share with friends, family, or photography sessions when we visit the park. I find it fascinating that an operational mine complete with noisy stamp mills and dust and what must have been scents of metallic equipment and smoke from the blacksmith shop, is only a short walk from luxurious fountains and rose gardens and the Bourne Cottage (actually a mansion).
The fancy garden paths and shady locations are lovely any time of year. And they're a great way to explore history outdoors. The cottage does offer tours, but you don't need to be indoors if you don't want to be around people in an indoor environment.
Most of my photos feature the gardens and fountains. The workyard tends to be hotter because it's gravel and metal equipment. One day I'll make a collection of workyard images to share. You get to visit both sides of life in mining times (the work-yard and the owner's cottage) when you visit the park. As always, check for current times that the park open for visitors. And please be mindful that professional photographers need a permit on park property. We've had the permit in past years, but, with Covid affecting our income, we haven't renewed for 2020. I just don't want anyone to be surprised if they show up with plans for a family photoshoot with a professional photographer friend. Tourists are fine taking photos inside the park. The website shares a lot more guidelines for photography on park property- click here for more information.
And the Empire Mine hosts weddings and events if you're looking for a wonderful location.
We enjoy each and every opportunity to visit now. And we're happy to share fascinating history we've learned through the years (even history we learned from long-ago field trips).