This wooden coal tipple is one of the last structures of its kind in the American West. It’s a great example of mining technology used in the late 1800s, constructed to store coal coming out of the mine and sort the resource as it moved down the chutes.
The tipple is a relic of the area’s mining history. In 1898, the Aladdin coal mining operation was just one of many such enterprises in the valley. But following the closure of the nearby railroad, Aladdin, Wyoming, became one of the last mining operations to survive—for a while.
At the height of the town’s mining boom, the surrounding area had a population of 500 people. But coal production began dwindling by 1911. Just three decades later, the mine’s entrance was blown shut for safety. After the mine closed, people abandoned the area. Today, the hamlet of Aladdin boasts a population of fewer than 20 people.
In the years following the mine’s closure, the corrosive coal slack caused the tipple’s wood to rot away, eventually making its top half topple. Local preservationists stepped in to re-stabilize the structure so it could continue to stand.