Ted Ehmann Histories

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Florida has a 133 year-long phosphate mining history.

Pictured above is Florida's Peace River which flows slowly over one of the world's largest deposits of phosphate, Bone Valley. 


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Florida has a 133 year-long phosphate mining history.

Pictured above is Florida's Peace River which flows slowly over one of the world's largest deposits of phosphate, Bone Valley. 


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You have found phosphate mining history.net. This site is to help you view the entire history of phosphate mining in Florida and the Deep South from its origins in solving a soil fertility crisis after the first agricultural revolution. Commercially many individuals, companies and employees have benefited from the mining activities in Florida's Bone Valley since 1887, but there has been growing opposition to the harm caused to Florida's natural habitats, watersheds and aquifers. Simultaneously, more and more people are demanding organically grown food and environmentally neutral industries. Ted Ehmann's book, Boom and Bust in Bone Valley, will be going into production tis spring with Shotwell Publishing. Look forward to its release in fall/winter 2020.





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Coming 2020, BOOM & BUST IN BONE VALLEY

Phosphate fertilizers and Florida's rivers, creeks, springs and aquifers have come front and center. Learn the history of the 133 years of exploitation in Florida's Bone Valley. Learn as well what the people can do about the coming environmental and ecological crisis caused by strip mining and failed reclamation of mining lands over time.

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FLORIDA'S GRAY GOLD, Phosphate mining history 1868 - 2018

Typical Florida Phosphate Mine 1880s

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At the beggining of the phosphate mining boom in Florida, there were over 200 mining companys in the first 10 years.

phosphate mining godlen years 1920 -1997

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Advances in mining technologies and transportation gave birth to Florida's phosphates golden years in the twentieth century.

accident imc's mulberry phosphate mine 1994

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The invention of the dragline and diesel powered equipment made it possible for the 20 remaining phosphate mining companies to increase the size of their mining lands and fertilizer processing plants. The increase scale of strip mining, also resulted in a series of accidents that sent toxic waste into the rivers and aquifers.


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About the history of phosphate mining

Florida is one of a few places on the planet with large deposites of phosphate rock. the largest of these deposits is in the Peace River Valley. Due to the large amounts of fossils and phosphate, the region has been called "Bone Valley". In the mid-nineteenth century, farmers were dealing with a soil fertility  crisis as populations increased during the Industrial Revolution. Phosphate was discovered to be a perfect chemical fertilizer. Since the late 1880's Florida's Bone Valley has been a major supplier of the world's fertilizers. Beginning in the twenty-first century, governments and groups have increasing opposed the expansion of strip mining which has damaged the environment and threatens the rivers and aquifer.

historical photos

The State of Florida, owns a wealth of historic photographs that show the birth of phosphate mining, its dramatic changes and the people who played a key role in its history. This website and my forthcoming book Florida's Gray Gold, has been written to put these incredible images in the appropriate contexts. The goal has been to bring the history to life.