Platteville Mining Museum

Bevans Lead Mine

Useful Information

Location: 405 East Main Street, Platteville, WI 53818.
405 East Main Street, east of Virginia Avenue, north of US Highway 151.
(42.732560, -90.472949)
Open: MAY to OCT Wed-Sun 10-17.
Fee: Adults USD 12, Children (5-12) USD 6, Children (0-4) USD 3, Seniors USD 10.
Classification: MineLead Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=11 °C.
Guided tours: VR=15 m, St=90, D=60 min.
Accessibility: yes
Address: Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums, 405 East Main Street, Platteville, WI 53818-2834, Tel: +1-608-348-3301. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1845 Bevans Lead opened.
mine abandoned and forgotten.
1972 mine rediscovered.
1976 opened to the public.


The Platteville Mining Museum shows the development of lead and zinc mining in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Platteville once had a mining school, and like many Wisconsin towns it was built on the mining industry. Beneath photographs and historic documents, there are models, dioramas, and equipment. Outside, on the museum grounds, is a mine train with a locomotive from 1931 pulling ore cars. The train ride is part of the visit, also a visit to a head-frame where zinc ore was hoisted from a mine and hand sorted.

90 steps are leading down into the Bevan's Lead Mine mine, which once produced over 1,000 tons of lead ore per year. The visitors are equipped with orange helmets before they enter the mine. The visit includes an above ground train ride in ore cars pulled by a 1931 Whitcomb locomotive. This train was originally operated in another zinc mine of the area.

Zinc was also important in the area, but this mine was only producing lead. Zinc is found below the water table so all abandoned mines in the area are inundated.

Nearby is the Rollo Jamison Museum, with its collection of over 20,000 items, including arrowheads as well as 19th century furniture and tools. Both museums belong together, tickets are valid for both.